11/14/2018
ULS NEWS ARTICLES

Today's News

University of Louisiana System

16 2018-06-26
Monroe

ULM students experience cardiology


A 15-year-old high school student from Natchitoches played the part of cardiologist at P&S Surgical Hospital’s Cardiovascular Lab earlier this week.
Jaylon Braxton and 14 other students from the University of Louisiana at Monroe President’s Academy, a college preparatory program, dissected pig hearts, learned about heart disease, and discovered the heart’s circulatory system by tracking the heart’s blood flow.
Braxton said, “It was really fun and cool because it was something I had never seen before. We got to put on the gowns and gloves and play with real hearts,” he said. “We were able to dissect the hearts and see the arteries and valves and the different things that operate inside of us. So, it felt really surreal.”

Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Miles Hilbun (far right) leads the heart demonstration. (Also pictured: Debbie Austin, VP of Patient Services at P&S Surgical Hospital (crochet vest) and ULM Nursing Instructor Leah Hawsey. (Photo: Emi McIntyre/ULM)

Dr. Miles Hilbun, an Interventional Cardiologist on staff at P&S, led the demonstration and shared the excitement of the students, all of whom are interested in pursuing medical careers.
“By far the best part was seeing their enthusiasm, interest, and eagerness to learn about anatomy and the medical field,” he said.
Leah Hawsey, an instructor at ULM’s Kitty DeGree School of Nursing, accompanied the students to P&S and said she “loved seeing the excitement” in the young students.
“They loved being able to interact with the cardiologist and be hands-on with a real heart. It was definitely an amazing experience for our future healthcare providers.”
P&S CEO Linda S. Holyfield, a ULM nursing graduate, advocates real-world experience for young people. She has hosted ULM interns at the hospital for several years.
“We value the opportunity to educate high school students about potential healthcare careers. Our robust cardiovascular lab is an excellent example of the innovation they can anticipate in their own professions. It is vital to encourage our community’s children to imagine their futures.”
16 2018-05-15
Monroe

State budget cuts could affect college students


MONROE, La. (KNOE) - As lawmakers fight to update the state budget, the latest proposal takes aim at college students. A new bill would cut the TOPS scholarship program by 30 percent.


Source: MGN
People in higher education see the TOPS scholarship program as a promise.

"This is a promise that was made to the students of Louisiana that if you meet certain academic standards that the state would assist you in paying tuition for you to go to college," ULM president Dr. Nick Bruno says.

Academic standards that Cole Starkey met in high school. Now it's helping him pay for his education at Louisiana Tech.

"I’ll be going into my senior year next year so I’m going to need as much financial assistance as possible being I’m already on as many scholarships as I can," Starkey says.

He says he's worried about proposed cuts to the TOPS program.

"It’s already expensive enough for college so we're trying to get as much assistance as we can,” he says.

He's not alone.

In fact, at ULM alone thirty percent of students rely on TOPS.

ULM president Nick Bruno says with tuition on the rise this hurts.


"Certainly if you take $1,000 away from somebody, they'll have to backfill it with something and it's probably going to be loans," Bruno says.

He says keeping kids in college should be a top priority for the state because eventually, the money will help build Louisiana’s economy.

"You’re definitely going to slow down what Louisiana needs most and that's professional level, four-year degree employees to fill the slots that are needed by companies like CenturyLink and IBM," Bruno explains.

Representatives say even if this bill passes, the cut isn't final. They say they could still find money to fill the gaps during the upcoming special session.


16 2018-05-14
Lafayette

From addiction to graduation: This student had to clear some big hurdles


Group projects, 10-page papers, all-night study sessions — these are common in a college graduate's journey to commencement. But some go through much more to get there.

When Justin Lafleur was 23 years old he was in his final semester of college, just a few months and some tests away from being a nurse.

Then his mom died suddenly.

He immediately packed up and left the University of Louisiana at Monroe to head home to Ville Platte.

"I didn't even take finals," Lafleur said.

His mom had been sick, but the death was shocking. He came home to join his dad and younger sister in facing this grief.

"Within three months she was pregnant and my dad lost his job," Lafleur said. "It was that kind of implosion."

He worked to help to pay the bills, and having not finished his nursing degree, he headed to a community college in Opelousas to become an licensed practical nurse.

That's where he met his wife, got married and graduated.

Justin Lafleur stands with his wife, Destiny, and their
Justin Lafleur stands with his wife, Destiny, and their three girls, Lily, Susie and Marilyn. Justin is graduating from LSU of Alexandria Thursday. (Photo: Courtesy of Justin Lafleur)

They have three children, but almost had four. The last pregnancy was supposed to be twins, but one of the babies didn't make it.

From the loss of his mom to the loss of his child, it had only been a few years. The grief was too much.

"I fell into alcoholism and drug addiction," Lafleur said. "At this point, I'm not working, I'm not really functioning, my wife is carrying the load."

The family staged an intervention, and Lafleur went to the Acadiana Addiction Center for four months of treatment.

READ MORE: These graduates want to be the voice they didn't have | How to make your side hustle your main gig


When he got out, he worked as a dish-washer in a restaurant for about a year. Then he got the opportunity to work at the addiction center and help others like him.

"I needed to do this with my life," he said. "... Nobody understands an addict or alcoholic like an addict or alcoholic."

He started as a substance abuse technician — the lowest position on the totem pole, he said — moved up to admissions and now is the alumni services manager.

He's been there four years now. He's been sober six and a half.

But something has been missing. He decided about a year into working at AAC that he needed a bachelor's degree.

"I was so afraid to go back (to school) because of my age," Lafleur said. He was 35.

So he tried an online course at Louisiana State University of Alexandria. Although it took him a while to adjust to the online format — something he didn't try back in his 20s — he got an A.

That gave him the confidence to try again. He took two classes the next semester and worked up to 19 hours this spring.

After years of online and on-campus classes, he graduated Thursday in Alexandria with a bachelor's in psychology. He's part of the school's largest graduating class with 266 graduates.

His family watched as he crossed the stage. His sister, now a veterinarian, was there along with aunts, uncles and his wife and three girls.

They checked the kids out of school to watch the morning ceremony.

"They need to see what Daddy's been working so hard on," Lafleur said.

He'll put his degree to use as a substance abuse counselor at AAC, now located in Sunset.

But he won't stop there. Next on the horizon is LSU Shreveport, where he'll work toward becoming a physician's assistant.


16 2018-05-14
Lafayette

From addiction to graduation: This student had to clear some big hurdles


Group projects, 10-page papers, all-night study sessions — these are common in a college graduate's journey to commencement. But some go through much more to get there.

When Justin Lafleur was 23 years old he was in his final semester of college, just a few months and some tests away from being a nurse.

Then his mom died suddenly.

He immediately packed up and left the University of Louisiana at Monroe to head home to Ville Platte.

"I didn't even take finals," Lafleur said.

His mom had been sick, but the death was shocking. He came home to join his dad and younger sister in facing this grief.

"Within three months she was pregnant and my dad lost his job," Lafleur said. "It was that kind of implosion."

He worked to help to pay the bills, and having not finished his nursing degree, he headed to a community college in Opelousas to become an licensed practical nurse.

That's where he met his wife, got married and graduated.

Justin Lafleur stands with his wife, Destiny, and their
Justin Lafleur stands with his wife, Destiny, and their three girls, Lily, Susie and Marilyn. Justin is graduating from LSU of Alexandria Thursday. (Photo: Courtesy of Justin Lafleur)

They have three children, but almost had four. The last pregnancy was supposed to be twins, but one of the babies didn't make it.

From the loss of his mom to the loss of his child, it had only been a few years. The grief was too much.

"I fell into alcoholism and drug addiction," Lafleur said. "At this point, I'm not working, I'm not really functioning, my wife is carrying the load."

The family staged an intervention, and Lafleur went to the Acadiana Addiction Center for four months of treatment.

READ MORE: These graduates want to be the voice they didn't have | How to make your side hustle your main gig


When he got out, he worked as a dish-washer in a restaurant for about a year. Then he got the opportunity to work at the addiction center and help others like him.

"I needed to do this with my life," he said. "... Nobody understands an addict or alcoholic like an addict or alcoholic."

He started as a substance abuse technician — the lowest position on the totem pole, he said — moved up to admissions and now is the alumni services manager.

He's been there four years now. He's been sober six and a half.

But something has been missing. He decided about a year into working at AAC that he needed a bachelor's degree.

"I was so afraid to go back (to school) because of my age," Lafleur said. He was 35.

So he tried an online course at Louisiana State University of Alexandria. Although it took him a while to adjust to the online format — something he didn't try back in his 20s — he got an A.

That gave him the confidence to try again. He took two classes the next semester and worked up to 19 hours this spring.

After years of online and on-campus classes, he graduated Thursday in Alexandria with a bachelor's in psychology. He's part of the school's largest graduating class with 266 graduates.

His family watched as he crossed the stage. His sister, now a veterinarian, was there along with aunts, uncles and his wife and three girls.

They checked the kids out of school to watch the morning ceremony.

"They need to see what Daddy's been working so hard on," Lafleur said.

He'll put his degree to use as a substance abuse counselor at AAC, now located in Sunset.

But he won't stop there. Next on the horizon is LSU Shreveport, where he'll work toward becoming a physician's assistant.


16 2018-05-14
Monroe

ULM breaks records on graduation day


MONROE, La, (KNOE) - A record-breaking day on ULM'S campus in more ways than one.


On Saturday, the university graduated it's biggest class ever, and one school graduated 100 percent of its class.

''Mama I made!” said Briana Franklin. “We did it!"

Nine hundred twenty-three caps and gowns filled the Fant-Ewing Coliseum Saturday as ULM'S biggest graduating class yet.

"Today is really special because we have our largest commencement in history of the university," said ULM's President Nick Bruno.

Students say it's a big accomplishment for the school.

"ULM has grown so much,” said Scarlett Eaton. “You can see it around campus. The atmosphere and everything like that is changing. I'm really excited to see what's in store for ULM."

And that's not all. One hundred percent of their nursing students got a degree today.

"I was at the medical laboratory sciences awards banquet and every one of those students have jobs waiting for them,” said Bruno. “Of course our accounting and computer science and construction management degrees are all doing that."


For many students, today is just the beginning of what they hope to accomplish.

"So next, I start dental school at LSU in New Orleans in July," said Gabrielle Ingram.

"Houston is possibly next for me. I'm just trying to get my name out there,” said Franklin. ”I am a photographer, Vintage Prints is my name."

And though, they're looking to the future, ULM memories will always stay with them.

"Big memories like homecoming and joining my sorority to just football games and study parties," said Ingram.

"Things like eating in the caf or just like studying in the library it's like all of a sudden it's like "oh my gosh, you're actually like graduating," said Eaton.

The graduates got their final lecture from keynote speaker judge Milton Moore, who encouraged them to vote and support higher education.

But one lesson they're sure to keep with them is what college taught them outside the classroom.

"Looking at me from a freshman to now, I've grown a lot as a person in general," said Franklin.

ULM also graduated a record number of almost 300 honor students.
16 2018-05-14
Monroe

A higher calling: Louisiana teen plans to break world aviation record


Mason William Andrews, 18, is training to be the youngest pilot to circumnavigate the globe. (The title is currently held by Lachlan Smart, an Australian.)

Mason said the original plan was to fly across the Atlantic to go on vacation in the United Kingdom.

"The more I thought about it, I figured I'd be the youngest person to ever do that, and that was true. And looking into the logistics and the range my plane would have to have and the avionics equipment it would need, I decided that might as well do the full circumnavigation for the world record," he said.

The tentative departure date is July 9. He'll start and end in his hometown — Monroe, Louisiana.

The route is The Great Circle over the north Atlantic, which will take him through New York and Canada to Iceland, through mainland Europe to Cairo, Egypt and on to Oman, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and island hopping with a leg from Hawaii to San Francisco.

The route will take 40 days, give or take a week.

"Ideally, I'd fly 10 to 12 hours a day. It's going to be very weather-dependent. I'm certainly going to be spending at least a few days in certain places with bad weather," Mason said.


He started flying in 2013 in hang gliders and non-powered aircraft. In 2014, he had his first flight at Monroe Regional Airport and decided he wanted to fly as a career.

Today, he's majoring in professional aviation at Louisiana Tech University. By hours he's a rising junior. He graduated high school a year early and spent his senior year of high school at Louisiana Delta Community College.

Mason said the project requires an immense amount of logistics, such as finding fuel and having the avionics necessary for long-range communication and navigation.

He said the long stretches over open water will require a lot of time at the controls. He's practicing long legs in flight simulators as practice.

Through doing this, he most hopes that people learn about MedCamps of Louisiana. The free summer camps are for children with developmental and physical disabilities.

Mason has worked at MedCamps for two years and plans to act as a full-time counselor again in June.

"It's something that's really important to me, and I decided with the outreach and potential fundraising ability that I'll have, it's a good thing to put my resources towards," Mason said.

So, what will come next?

After this, he said, there's not a larger goal in aviation.

"A full-circumnaviation is pretty much as far and as long as you can stretch yourself and your equipment. The only thing I might think about is there's another pilot who did a circumnavigation eastbound like I'm doing who is now working on a project to fly a north-south circumnavigation over both North and South poles," Mason said.


16 2017-10-20
Monroe

ULM's Browse on the Bayou is Nov. 4


On Saturday, Nov. 4, beginning at 7:30 a.m., the University of Louisiana Monroe will host its annual Browse on the Bayou, a specially designed campus visit day for high school juniors and seniors and transfer students.

This campus preview day is a great opportunity for potential students to meet with faculty, staff and other students as they tour campus and learn about various academic opportunities, student organizations and scholarships at ULM.

Assistant Director of Recruitment Jamie Hilburn said Browse on the Bayou gives prospective students the opportunity to explore the campus, plus offers sessions on curriculums and courses, financial aid and more.

“High school juniors and seniors, and transfer students, are invited to spend the morning with us and ‘Browse’ all ULM has to offer,” Hilburn said. “You can get a feel for the campus, learn about the different colleges and there will be people to answer any questions you may have.”

Check-in is at Brown Auditorium and campus tours are every 10 minutes between 7:30 a.m. and 8:20 a.m.

President Nick J. Bruno will deliver his welcome address at 9 a.m. at the auditorium.

Visitors will be served donuts for breakfast and Chick-Fil-A for lunch.

Each student will also receive a free Browse on the Bayou T-shirt and a complimentary game ticket to watch Warhawks as they take on Appalachian State the same day at 2 p.m. at Malone Stadium. Guests of students will be able to purchase tickets at a discounted rate.

For more information visit ulm.edu. To register for this year’s Browse on the Bayou, click here. To view the full schedule, click here.

Join now for as low as
99¢/1st month
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16 2017-08-30
Monroe

Bruno: NYIT no longer interested in ULM as site for med school


The New York Institute of Technology is no longer planning to operate a College of Osteopathic Medicine on the University of Louisiana-Monroe's campus, ULM President Nick Bruno says.

During an interview Friday afternoon, Bruno told The Ouachita Citizen NYIT sent a letter to ULM on Thursday declaring the change of plans.

"We received a notice yesterday that they had completed a strategic operating process, along with a new president in June, and they decided it was not an opportune time to expand their operations," Bruno said.

"We understand what their issues are, and they were very gracious," he added.

NYIT, which is a private, not-for-profit institution, signed a nonbinding Memorandum of Understanding with ULM in June. At that time, NYIT, which operates similar colleges in New York and Arkansas, agreed to explore the possibility of locating a osteopathic medicine school at ULM.

Bruno thanked the community for its vocal support of the endeavor.



"We found a great deal of support in the community and the region," he said.

In spite of NYIT's withdrawal, ULM would continue to seek a partner to establish a college of osteopathic medicine, Bruno said.

"We're now going to reach consultants to find another partner for the school," he said.

Stay tuned to The Ouachita Citizen for further updates to this story.


16 2017-08-30
Monroe

No med school at ULM, for now


The New York Institute of Technology passed on operating a medical school at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

ULM is now seeking a new partner for a college of osteopathic medicine according to a statement from President Nick J. Bruno

“We are working with our consultants and actively seeking a new partner to locate a college of osteopathic medicine on the ULM campus,” Bruno said Monday. “We believe in this project, in its viability and its importance to our campus and our region.”

READ MORE: Update: Regents OK license for medical school at ULM

Bruno sent a letter to the university’s community medical school partners and ULM employees on Friday informing them of NYIT’s decision. Bruno’s letter stated that NYIT examined its own “strategic operating plan” and withdrew from the project.

“This is in no way a reflection on our university, our community or our leaders,” Bruno said. “It was a business decision for NYIT and made by NYIT alone.”

In June, the university Board of Regents granted a license to NYIT to operate a medical school at ULM.

NYIT and ULM explored establishing a Monroe site for the College of Osteopathic Medicine through a nonbinding memorandum of understanding. NYIT is an institute of higher education based in Long Island, N.Y. It is private, not-for-profit and operates colleges of osteopathic medicine near New York City and another at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

A college of osteopathic medicine is backed by many northeast Louisiana leaders, including elected officials, the chambers of commerce, physicians, medical facilities, organizations, businesses, Ouachita Business Alliance and CenturyLink according to a statement from ULM.

"I would like to thank everyone who supports this project, including Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Board of Regents, the Louisiana Board of Supervisors and President James Henderson, the Northeast Louisiana Legislative Delegation, the business leadership, the medical community and the ULM Foundation for their efforts on ULM's behalf," Bruno said.

“While we are all disappointed that NYIT, for its own operational issues, chose not to locate at ULM, this will not stop our concentrated efforts to expand our health sciences footprint,” said Bruno. “That definitely includes a medical school."


16 2017-08-18
Monroe

Bruno: ULM adds students, programs, campus improvements


MONROE, La. - The University of Louisiana Monroe is on a roll.

That was the message ULM President Dr. Nick Bruno shared with the crowd Thursday at Brown Auditorium.

“This is my sixth State of the University address, and it’s the most optimistic of all,” Bruno said.

Bruno’s address pointed to progress in academic programs, enrollment, hiring and budget.

He said he joined the other presidents in the University of Louisiana System at a meeting recently, where they tussled over what they would have to do to transform their universities. As the state of Louisiana continues to struggle with finances, Bruno said the question facing the presidents was: “How do we become more self-sustaining?”

Bruno said the answer, at least in part, is through growth. Larger enrollment means more income.

“We will be looking at all our existing programs and see whether they are growing,” Bruno said.

Another significant piece of the growth puzzle, Bruno said, is new programs. Among those ULM recently added are adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, gerontological clinical nurse leader, a Master of Arts in Communication online, post-baccalaureate accounting technology and a juris doctorate/Masters of Public Administration in partnership with Mississippi College. The university hopes to bring back chemistry and add a doctorate of physical therapy.

“We will be the third physical therapy program in the state in a field where the demand is ridiculously high,” Bruno said.

This summer the Board of Regents approved a partnership with the New York Institute of Technology to house a branch of its College of Osteopathic Medicine on the ULM campus.

The new programs will bring additional students, money and prestige to ULM, Bruno said. They also address disciplines with big needs in the marketplace. But while established programs will be evaluated in terms of growth, Bruno answered critics who say universities trail behind the needs of the job market when he said, “Learning to think never goes out of style.”

The expected increase in enrollment the new programs should bring would augment the current trend line of growth. Preliminary numbers for the fall 2017 semester show an estimated increase of 194 students. If those numbers hold up, Bruno said, enrollment at ULM will be 9,309, the third year of growth and the largest student body this decade.

A rosier budgetary picture has allowed the university to hire 40 additional faculty and 40 additional staff employees, so that ULM now has about 400 in each classification, Bruno also announced pay raises were working their way through the system.

The 2017-2018 budget of $92.1 million sees a 5 percent increase from the state and a 2.3 percent increase in self-generated funds.

As enrollment grows, retention will play a vital part in making ULM more independent of state budgetary restrictions, Bruno said. For instance, a 5 percent increase in retention between last year and the upcoming academic year has put an additional $1.8 million in the budget.

There is room for improvement, Bruno said. The graduation rate in 2017 was 42.5 percent, the same as the year before. “Retention fluctuates year to year, but we can’t let our guards down,” he said. He challenged all in the room to mentor and guide students, so that in six years, ULM can see an increase of 400 graduates.

Bruno also outlined continuing improvements on campus. Among them:

- The opening of the renovated Sandel Hall, which Bruno said now allows students “to get all their business done in one spot.”

- Renovations to the University House, used to house guests, are completed.

- A new fountain has been installed in Scott Plaza outside the library.

- Construction continues on a Student Events Center which will give ULM a larger space “for gatherings for activities we can’t handle now,” Bruno said.

- Renovations to Brown Stadium and Groseclose Track into a state-of-the-art facility for the track and field team and soccer team.

- The installation of some 1,000 security cameras, outdoor LED lighting and the paving of some parking lots.

Bruno gave a tip of the hat to the athletic department, whose student-athletes boast a 70 percent graduation rate. He praised ULM’s ski team for its 27th national title and the women’s tennis team for winning the Sunbelt Championship.

Football fans should be encouraged by ULM’s recruiting efforts, with the incoming class being among the Sunbelt’s strongest.

Bruno, in recognizing some of legislators and city officials in the crowd, reminded all in the room that ULM’s reach goes beyond campus.

The university’s health sciences program provides $19 million in services to the community, serving 44,649 clients; $1.4 million in business services to 308 clients; and 3,119 internships valued at $20.6 million. More than 126,000 people attended sporting events and 84,161 people attended arts and cultural events on campus.



“We have to remember we are a citizen of this community. We are a landing site for the community. And we have to remind the community what our impact is,” Bruno said.
16 2017-06-29
Monroe

Safe: ULM natural history collections go to universities from Mississippi to Texas


Millions of scientific specimens housed at the University of Louisiana at Monroe will be moved to four universities across the South.

In March, news that the collections might be destroyed if new homes couldn't be found, spread rapidly throughout the scientific community. The university then clarified that the collections would be sent to other institutions, and destruction was a last-ditch solution.

"In April, we made a call to the broad scientific community in an effort to preserve those collections. We reached out to representatives from 32 Louisiana and out-of-state institutions who had expressed an interest in them," said Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael A. Camille.

Color-coded folders containing pressed and dried plantBuy Photo
Color-coded folders containing pressed and dried plant specimens sit on shelves in a cabinet in Brown Stadium at the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Specimens in yellow folders were collected in North America. Specimens in green folders were collected in the 50 states. Specimens in blue folders were collected in other countries. The university has traded plant specimens with more than 200 herbaria around the world. Herbaria are essentially archives of plant specimens. (Photo: Hannah Baldwin/The News-Star)
"Eighteen institutions submitted proposals to receive one or more of the collections. A review team consisting of museum curators and administrators from the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences evaluated the proposals and recommended making the following transfers:

The fish collection to a consortium of institutions headed by Tulane University
The reptile and amphibian collection to the University of Texas at Arlington
The insect collection to Mississippi State University
The herbarium to the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Ft. Worth"
Camille said that ULM has been working with the receiving institutions to arrange the transfer, which could be completed in August.

"We had hoped to complete our work by mid-July but we will likely need an extra month due to the enormity of the project," he said.

"Please note that the specimens will remain available to researchers nationwide as they will be housed in institutions that can preserve their scientific worth. None of the specimens will be destroyed," Camille said.

Dennis Bell, Collections Manager of the Herbarium atBuy Photo
Dennis Bell, Collections Manager of the Herbarium at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, displays a pressed Tragopogon, or oyster plant, stored in Brown Stadium on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Plant taxonomist Dale Thomas, who retired from the university in 2003, collected approximately 170,000 plant specimens throughout his career, Bell said. The university has exchanged specimens with more than 200 herbaria all over the world. (Photo: Hannah Baldwin/The News-Star)
About the collection

The Museum of Natural History at ULM's holdings consist of:

a fish collection (approximately 70,000 jars of specimens),
a reptile and amphibian collection (10,000 jars of specimens),
an insect collection (a few hundred jars of specimens),
a herbarium (approximately 450,000 pressed plant specimens).
Thomas Sasek, a biology professor at the university and the curator of the ULM Natural History Museum, said in March that the collections are the product of two men's 40- to 50-year careers.

Neil Douglas compiled the fish collection, which consists of at least 3 million to 6 million specimens in jars, including multiples of some species.

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Dale Thomas created the herbarium, which has about 500,000 items and is the biggest in the state. It's larger than all the other collections in Louisiana combined and is estimated to be the fifth largest in the South. Bell said Thomas collected about 170,00 specimens himself, and the university has traded samples with more than 200 institutions worldwide, giving the collection global relevance. The collection is kept in 330 cabinets.

"Also, our community will be relieved to know that the transfer of the research collections will not affect the displays in our wonderful Museum of Natural History exhibit area in Hanna Hall. ULM faculty and staff will continue to welcome the public, including local school children and their teachers, to tour Museum of Natural History exhibits," Camille said.

Follow Bonnie Bolden on Twitter @Bonnie_Bolden_ and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1RtsEEP. Hannah Baldwin contributed to this report.

Want to go?

ULM Museum of Natural History: http://www.ulm.edu/mnh/

Call: 342-1868

Hours: During University semesters

Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to noon
First Saturday of the month: 10 a.m. to noon
16 2017-06-29
Monroe

ULM interviews two candidates for AD post


East Carolina executive associate athletics director Nick Floyd is among the candidates to be the next athletic director at ULM.

Floyd and Alcorn State athletic director Derek Horne, the leading candidate for the job, interviewed at ULM on Wednesday. ULM President Nick Bruno, special assistant to the president Ron Hogan and Southern Miss athletic director Richard Giannini are running the search alongside an appointed search committee.

Alcorn's Horne leading candidate in ULM AD search
Floyd has been at ECU since June 2001, first as senior associate athletics director, and was promoted to his current role in 2006. His duties include overseeing ECU’s Olympic sports.

Prior to ECU, Floyd worked for Conference USA as an associate commissioner. While serving as chief financial officer for three years, Floyd helped negotiate C-USA’s television agreement, four bowl tie-ins and was the director of the conference’s men’s basketball tournament.

Floyd spent 12 years at Southern Miss, with the last five as senior associate athletic director, before moving on to the C-USA office. He coordinated football scheduling, helped direct the construction of a new baseball stadium and was the athletic department’s chief financial and administrative officer while at USM.

Horne, who arrived in Monroe on Tuesday, has been the athletic director at Alcorn since 2014. He was the athletic director at Florida A&M and spent 15 years working in the athletic department at Ole Miss, his alma mater.

Outgoing athletic director Brian Wickstrom’s last day at ULM is June 30.

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker


16 2017-05-12
Monroe

860 to graduate Saturday at ULM spring commencement


Maxine Moreau to deliver address at her alma mater

The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Spring 2017 Commencement Ceremony is 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

President Dr. Nick J. Bruno will confer 863 degrees to 860 students. Three students are each receiving two degrees.

There are 193 students graduating with honors, 34 summa cum laude (3.900-4.000), 45 magna cum laude (3.750-3.899) and 114 cum laude (3.500-3.749). The 14 summa students with 4.0 cumulative GPAs will be recognized individually as the top graduates.

This semester 36 student-athletes are graduating with GPAs of 3.0 or higher.

Maxine Moreau, President of Consumer Markets for CenturyLink, will be the commencement speaker. Moreau is a 1983 graduate of ULM with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Services. Moreau was instrumental in the integration of acquired companies into CenturyLink to create the third largest telecommunications provider in the U.S. and a Fortune 150 company. Today she oversees CenturyLink’s traditional telephone service in 37 states, directing the company’s focus on providing digital seervices. She leads sales, customer service, marketing, service and regional field operations.

For those who cannot attend, the live webcast can be found at ulm.edu/commencement/. A full recording of the event will be archived for viewing.

For seating and guest information, visit ulm.edu/commencement-info.

What: ULM Spring 2017 Commencement

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, 2017; doors open at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Fant-Ewing Coliseum

Info: ulm.edu/commencement-info

MORE NEWS: Accused DWI driver said he's 'blessed to be alive'​


16 2017-05-01
Monroe

UPDATE: ULM still moving forward with possible medical program ULM MED SCHOOL


MONROE, LA Robyn Keoehavong said she's wanted to go to medical school her entire life.
And she will, after she graduates with a medical laboratory degree at The University of Louisiana at Monroe.


But that means she'd have to leave. But, she doesn't want to.

"It's kind of hard to go to a four year school and then you have the pressure of applying to another school. Right now i have the security of staying right here in my professional program," Keoehavong said.

But, she might be able to stay.

Tuesday ULM's president, Nick Bruno, signed a non-binding agreement with another university to bring a private college of osteopathic medicine to the Monroe campus.

"To have a medical school provides students additional opportunities," Bruno said.

Physicians in this field take a full body approach in healing patients. While MD's focus more on specific human diseases to reach a diagnoses.

Students in the new program would get exposure to both MD and osteopathic fields of medicine.

Bruno says students aren't the only benefactors.


"The big winner is the region and the community. The economic impact that the school locating here on this region is significant," Bruno said.

The program will bring in more than 400 students,and more than 100 jobs.

Bruno says ULM and the private institute are still working out a lot of details like tuition and location.

"There's no facility that currently exist that can meet their needs," he said.

Bruno said ULM is giving the private institution options on where it can house the program. Bruno said that includes a building near its off-main campus Pharmacy building.

"Questions come up everyday because this is new for us so we're learning as we go and fortunately we're fast learners and we're getting where we need to be," he said.

Keoehavong said she hopes it doesn't take too long.

According to Bruno, the program will start enrolling students in the fall of 2019.

No word yet on what school ULM is partnering with.
16 2017-05-01
Monroe

Update: ULM reportedly getting College of Osteopathic Medicine


MONROE, La - We have new developments about the University of Louisiana Monroe reportedly getting a medical school. This is a story we first broke on Tuesday.
And now, according to area reports, we've learned the school has signed with a New York based institution. The College of Osteopathic medicine would start accepting up to 110 students for the 2019 fall semester.
It also says since no state money would be available, ULM began searching for a private nonprofit to partner with two years ago.
A definitive answer is expected this summer, but it says, everything is looking positive. And it's expected to provide primary care physicians to the local area while boosting the economy.
16 2017-05-01
New Orleans

ULM political science professor looks at President Trump's first 100 days


President Donald Trump has reached 100 days in office, but what does that mean for Louisiana? ULM political science professor Dr. Joshua Stockley says Mr. Trump’s first 100 days in office have been turbulent and unorthodox. He says there’s been very little direct policy change at the federal level under the new administration.

“I don’t think any particular state is better off or worse at this point in time in his first 100 days,” Stockley said.

But Mr. Trump has won the support of Louisiana’s congressional delegation, business leaders, and officials from the oil and gas industry. Stockley says the president hasn’t really done anything at this point to help or hurt them one way or the other.

“Their support is largely symbolic. He is a conservative Republican, and they will support him for being a conservative Republican until he gives evidence or a reason not to,” Stockley said.

Stockley says it’s not surprising policy changes have not yet been made because the federal process takes a while.

“He hasn’t accomplished much, but let’s not condemn his presidency yet for lacking any one significant policy. It’s going to take time,” Stockley said.
16 2017-04-27
Monroe

Medical School Partnership Could Boost ULM and Monroe Economy


A discussion is underway between The University of Louisiana Monroe and an unnamed non-profit medical school to locate a campus in Monroe. ULM and the partner signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding between the two institutions on April 25.

Listen Listening...6:11 ULM is exploring a partnership that could bring 400 medical students to Monroe.

Dr. Nick Bruno, President of ULM says "A lot of work still has to be put into this project."

The medical school would host 100 to 115 students per class and after 2 years have 200 students on campus and another 200 doing clinical rotations in the community. The schools would have a total of 400 medical students earning degrees to become Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine.

"We are exploring the possibility of 3 year undergraduate students earning their degrees at ULM and moving right into medical school" says Bruno.

Bruno says if a partnership is reached the school could open for the Fall 2019 semester.
16 2017-04-24
Monroe

Monroe joins over 600 locations in global March for Science



16 2017-04-21
Monroe

ULM’s Brown Stadium set for $5 million renovation


MONROE, La. (Press Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe’s storied Brown Stadium will soon receive some long-awaited loving care.

The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors on Thursday gave approval for ULM to renovate Brown Stadium, including construction of a new track and soccer field at 340 Warhawk Way.

“Improvements to Brown Stadium and Groseclose Track are long overdue,” ULM President Dr. Nick Bruno said. “These improvements will provide multiple benefits to our teams, the community and the region.”

ULM Facilities, Inc., will administer the project, with its anticipated cost of approximately $5 million.

“We’ll have revenues that come from a couple of different sources,” ULMFI president Scott McDonald said. “It comes from some auxiliary money, primarily some student money we have available to us and we bonded out and paid for it over a period of time.
The Monroe/West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau made a very sizable and generous contribution.
“Obviously that track serves as a community asset. You see people running, jogging and walking out there all the time. It will continue to serve the community as well as the athletic teams.”


Bruno said, “Contributions by the Convention and Visitors Bureau confirm the potential impact as is experienced by the softball complex.”

New offices for track and soccer coaches, locker rooms, equipment storage areas and public restrooms will all be part of the planned first-floor improvements. The press box will be renovated and overall exterior aesthetics and the parking lot will see improvements too.

ULM is aiming to complete the project by the spring of 2018.

“We’ll start almost immediately on the track surface because we want to have it ready as quickly as we can,’’ McDonald said. “Then it will go in phases from there.”

Originally erected as a Works Progress Administration project for $45,000 in 1938, Brown Stadium stood across the bayou as home to the football team for nearly three decades. As the campus expanded, the university relocated the steel-frame structure to its current location in 1967. The relocation contract of March 15, 1966 included building a new track.

“It’s good to be able to have some buildings that have some history and were built right where you can go in and renovate them and bring them back to their original glory, as opposed to knocking things down and building something new,” McDonald said. “That’s the old lion of the whole complex. It’s the last facility on that side of the bayou that we haven’t addressed from an improvement standpoint. I’m probably as excited about this as I have been anything in a long time.”

The football program continued to utilize Brown until Malone Stadium opened in 1978. Although the men’s and women’s track teams have called the facility home for 50 years, there have been no major renovations to the building since its relocation.

“When (athletic director) Brian Wickstrom came in, one of his priorities was getting us a track,” ULM track and field coach J.D. Malone said. “I’m very excited. It’s going to be a game-changer for us.”

Malone said it had been four years since ULM played host to a home meet at Groseclose Track.

“I remember when we had home meets and it always seemed like we had a lot of personal records and good performances,” Malone said. “It just makes sense. Kids want to perform well on their home track. That’s another thing I’m looking forward to.”

The women’s soccer program made its debut in 1999 at Brown Stadium and played seven seasons there. The team moved to the ULM Soccer Complex next to The Grove in 2006 but will regain a lighted field and other improved amenities.

“I am very excited about the direction this program is heading and the facility upgrades we are receiving,” ULM soccer coach Keyton Wheelock said. “The possibility of playing night matches will give us an opportunity to increase attendance and involvement of the community.”

The defunct ULM’s men’s soccer team also played on the field at Brown Stadium from 1979-85.

Through time, Brown Stadium served as the primary stage for a rich array of legendary performers.

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame track coach Bob Groseclose and former football coach and Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow called the venue home. Joe Profit, the first African-American to play football for a predominantly white university in Louisiana, played his career there. Later on, future Olympian Breaux Greer threw the javelin for ULM on the same grounds.

Even the visitors list is notable. Opposing football teams brought future NFL quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw to Brown Stadium.

“There were some great players for then-Northeast and the teams that came in,” McDonald said. “Our own Joe Profit, our only first-round draft pick, played there. Obviously Coach Groseclose and that track program, with people like John Pennel and the Styron twins from track and field. All those great track teams trained out there and used that dressing room.
“When I got to ULM in the fall of 1978, Brown Stadium served as the baseball team’s dressing room. It has served as a facility for a lot of teams and a lot of great players. It hosted a lot of great moments out there for football and track. Even men’s soccer played on that field.”

ULM’s commitment to preserving the facility means that student-athletes will continue adding chapters to Brown’s lore for years to come.

“I am excited for our student-athletes, coaches and community about this project,” ULM Athletic Director Brian Wickstrom said. “We have been working on making this project a reality the last four years. I want to thank the donors who have made commitments to the project, the students, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and a special thanks to Dr. Bruno for working with us to help get this facility approved and underway. “
16 2017-04-13
Monroe

Strutting In Heels To Promote Sexual Assault Awareness


Monroe, La.-- - The streets of University of Louisiana at Monroe transformed into a runway Wednesday afternoon as women and men of all ages donned high heels for the annual 'Walk A Mile In Her Shoes' event.

Organizers said the walk isn't all fun and games. It also supports a very important cause-- shedding light on sexual assault and gender violence in the community.

"The purpose here is to bring awareness to our students and our community members that these are real issues and they are happening, as you saw today, to people you know and people you come in contact with every single day," Organizer Jaleesa Harris said.

The agony of walking in heels is supposed to be symbolic the pain of victims, or those affected by these issues, can face.

"I have had family that have been victims of domestic violence and things like that so it was just important for me to come out and get a taste of the physical aspect of what it takes to be a woman and what kind of pain that could be," participant Clarence Nash said.

"The balls of my feet may be on fire, but they make my calves look good," participant Dustin Hickman added.

Students, community members and local leaders came together to offer their support and in some cases, share their personal stories.

"As long as one person needs this, we will continue to do it every single year," Harris added.

It's an event that at first might seem silly, but in reality is a reminder that this issue can impact anyone, at any time.


16 2017-04-13
Monroe

Community Easter Celebration Sunday at ULM


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - North Monroe Baptist Church will be having a community-wide Easter service Sunday at ULM.

Church leaders say they are looking forward to having all of their church family together in one service, plus allowing space for the community to worship with them.

The service will be held at Fant- Ewing Coliseum on the campus of ULM. The event will begin at 10 am on Sunday, April 16th.

Pastor Bill Dye will be preaching. A blend of contemporary and traditional music will be part of the service. They are expecting more than 3,000 people to attend.

If you know of a special Easter service or celebration in your community, send the information to us at news@knoe.com so we can announce it to the public.
16 2017-04-12
Monroe

254 scholars honored at annual banquet


As the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" filled the Monroe Civic Center, 254 of the brightest students Ouachita Parish has to offer marched into the arena filled with proud family members.

Cellphones and cameras captured the moment Monday night at the 33rd annual Scholars' Banquet.

This year, the event highlighted 254 scholars who live in Ouachita Parish and have earned an average at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA for seven semesters and an ACT composite score of 25 or higher before Jan. 1.

The Scholars' Banquet began in 1984 when University of Louisiana at Monroe professors Ed Biersmith and Richard Hood and the late The News-Star editor and publisher Bodie McCrory organized the event. Since then, it has served as a showcase of the parish's best and brightest seniors.

The scholars process in to the strains of "Pomp andBuy Photo
The scholars process in to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance." (Photo: Mark Henderson/The News-Star)
The keynote speaker, Jasmine Gipson, was a former Neville High School valedictorian who was unable to attend her banquet because she was on a recruitment trip to Harvard University, where she ultimately went to school.

Gipson's advice to the scholars: Get to know yourself in the next few years, then make a difference with work that matters.

"Get to know yourself. Who are you and how can you be helpful," Gipson said. She encouraged the students to use college as a time to explore what they are good at, what they are not so good at, what makes them laugh and what they are passionate about.

"Then help those in need," she said. "Make your work matter."

The Scholars' Banquet is sponsored by a foundation comprised of the Junior League of Monroe, Monroe Chamber of Commerce, The News-Star, Chase and the West Monroe–West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce.


16 2017-04-11
Monroe

ULM International Student Association annual food fair Wednesday


The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s International Student Association presents the annual International Food Fair, Wednesday, April 12, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The fair is in Student Union Ballroom A on the second floor of the SUB. The community, students, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

ULM students will serve samples of cuisines from around the world. Beverages are free and food samples are 50 cents to $1, per item (bring cash).
This event allows international students to share part of their cultures and food with the campus and the community. Music, presentations, and flags from different countries will be featured.
For more information, contact Therese Filhiol at 342-3002 or filhiol@ulm.edu

MORE NEWS: Meet the new Miss Louisiana's Outstanding Teen​


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16 2017-04-11
Monroe

ULM professors test olive oil to treat cancer, Alzheimer's


MONROE, La. (KNOE) - ULM professors Amal Kaddoumi, Khalid Elsayed and pharmacy students are testing the effects of a component found in extra virgin olive oil to prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

"We felt that finally our baby is kind of growing," says Kaddoumi. "So this is why we felt so excited about that, and we are looking forward."

Extra virgin olive oil contains a component called oleocanthal, which Kaddoumi and Elsayed say could be the cure so many have been looking for.

So far, the component has been tested on mice.

"It is effective, but of course, we need to test it on humans," says Kaddoumi.

The Louisiana Board of Regents has granted them more than $200k for the study, and Kaddoumi and Elsayed hope to eventually commercialize their product in capsule or drink forms.

"We were almost dreaming of having a ULM food product," says Elsayed. "We believe we can do that. We know we are capable."

First, more pseud-clinical trials on more mice will have to be done this summer, and then the study can move to clinical trials.


16 2017-04-11
Monroe

ULM International Student Association annual food fair Wednesday


The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s International Student Association presents the annual International Food Fair, Wednesday, April 12, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The fair is in Student Union Ballroom A on the second floor of the SUB. The community, students, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

ULM students will serve samples of cuisines from around the world. Beverages are free and food samples are 50 cents to $1, per item (bring cash).
This event allows international students to share part of their cultures and food with the campus and the community. Music, presentations, and flags from different countries will be featured.
For more information, contact Therese Filhiol at 342-3002 or filhiol@ulm.edu


16 2017-04-06
Monroe

Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant this weekend at ULM The News Star


Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant

This weekend 27 young ladies will travel from all over the Bayou state to the University of Louisiana at Monroe to compete for the title of Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen 2017 and the chance to compete the national title in Orlando in July. Over $12,000 in scholarships will be awarded over the weekend. Sarah Katherine McCallum of Farmerville was crowned last year and will pass the crown onto her successor. Contestants will compete in private interview, talent, fitness, evening gown and on stage question. These ladies are some of the brightest and most community involved teens in our state.

Below is a schedule of events where you could get photographs, video footage and interviews:

Saturday, April 8

8:30-11 a.m. General Rehearsal

12-2 p.m. Rehearsal

6 p.m. Preliminary Competition

Sunday, April 9

2 p.m.Final Competition

Miss Louisiana Organization State Meeting

The 33 young women who will compete for the title of Miss Louisiana 2017 will converge on the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Northeast Louisiana for meetings, orientation, community events and service projects in Monroe. Justine Ker will crown her successor on Saturday, June 24 at the Monroe Civic Center. This marks the 54th year for the Miss Louisiana Pageant to be held in Monroe.

The 2017 contestants will be available for interviews, photos and video at the following times and locations:

Friday, April 7

2-3 p.m.: Antique Alley in West Monroe (Commercial shoot for Monroe/West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau.)

5-7 p.m.: Registration at the University of Louisiana at Monroe SUB (Student Union Building.)

Saturday, April 8

9-10 a.m.: Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana - Miss America Serves Day Event

11 am – 2 p.m.: Orientation and Meeting at ULM Student Union Building

MORE NEWS: Who will be crowned Miss Teen Louisiana?​
16 2017-04-06
Monroe

'Walk a Mile in Her Shoes' April 12 at ULM


Event to raise awareness of sexual assault

“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” an event to raise awareness of sexual assault and gender violence, is 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 12 at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Sponsored for the second year by the ULM Femhawks, other sponsors are The WellSpring and the Sexual Assault Response Team of Ouachita Parish. The walk is presented by the College of Arts, Education and Science.

Registration starts at 3:30 p.m. at the quad. The walk begins there at 4 p.m. and crosses the Bayou DeSiard Bridge, then crosses back over the bayou on the walking bridge.

The walk ends at Bayou Park where at 4:30 p.m. will be a candlelight vigil for survivors of domestic violence. There will be speakers from the sponsors and a discussion on sexual violence.

Jaleesa Harris, English instructor in ULM’s School of Humanities, said the purpose of the event is to encourage gender solidarity.

“It's literally asking for others to walk in the shoes of a person who has been effected by domestic violence and/or sexual abuse,” Harris said. “By walking in that person's shoes, we began to empathize and understand just a fraction of what they have endured and see the strength that it takes to pull through. We invite both the campus community and the local community to participate in this walk.”

Ansell Jordan, ULM student and participant in last year’s walk, said the walk helped him have a better understanding and compassion for victims of sexual assault.

“I believe that you never know what someone is going through or has experienced. It is good to be involved and be able to be empathetic towards others,” Jordan said.
All are invited to participate, with or without heels.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes April 12 at ULM
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes April 12 at ULM (Photo: Jaleesa Harris)
What: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Why: To raise awareness of sexual assault and gender violence

When: 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 12; registration 3:30 p.m.

Where: Begins at the ULM quad and ends at Bayou Park with candlelight vigil at 4:30 p.m.

Who: Contact Jaleesa Harris at jharris@ulm.edu or Melanie Clark at mclark@wellspringalliance.org

For registration details or more information, contact Jaleesa Harris at jharris@ulm.edu or Melanie Clark at mclark@wellspringalliance.org.
16 2017-04-02
Associated Press

New track field at Louisiana-Monroe booting 2 of state's largest research collections off campus


Athletic renovations, budget cuts and limited use have given the death knell to the thousands of fish and plant research specimens housed at the University of Louisiana at Monroe's Museum of Natural History.

Eric Pani, vice president for academic affairs, said Thursday that the university is finding a new home for two of the state's largest research collections — 6 million fish specimens and 500,000 plant specimens. Two Louisiana institutions have expressed interest as well as some institutes outside the state, he said.

"I'm confident we will find a location for these collections at other institutions that are better suited to take care of them," he said.

News of the looming move from the ULM-based museum came in a Facebook post Tuesday by the museum's director, who said the collections were being forced out to make way for a new track field and could be destroyed if not relocated.

Pani said there's no way the collections will be destroyed.

"That's not the case at all," he said.

A telephone message left for Thomas Sasek, a biology professor and curator of the museum, who initially posted details about the planned relocation, was not immediately returned Thursday.

Pani said the collections, currently housed at Brown Stadium, have not been used by students and faculty much over the past few years, except for instructional purposes.

"Changes in biology and a shift more toward the biomedical areas have decreased use of those specimens," Pani said. "Research use has largely been confined to people outside ULM from loans we have made to them and visits they have made here. However, we have still had to maintain the collections."

Pani said renovations and improvements to the track at Brown Stadium are scheduled to begin in the summer. The work will raise the track to sanctioned status, allowing meets to be held there and other schools to host track and field competitions.

Pani acknowledges the decision is not ideal but "makes the most sense for preserving this important resource." He said the intention was to move the collections elsewhere on campus, but because of the space needed and possible fire hazards, special facilities were required.

"Unfortunately, the fiscal situation facing the university over the years requires us to make choices like this. We can no longer afford to store the collections and provide all of the public services we have in the past."

Limits on where the state can cut to fill budget gaps frequently mean hits to areas that have fewer protected dollars, mainly public colleges and health services. Late last year, lawmakers reached a compromise with the governor to close a $313 million deficit left from the financial year that ended June 30. Louisiana's colleges took one of the bigger hits, a $12 million cut.

Sasek told The News-Star the collections are the product of two men's decades-long careers.

Neil Douglas compiled the fish collection, considered the third largest university-based collection in the world, while Dale Thomas created the herbarium that is estimated to be the fifth largest in the South.

"It's the heritage of the university. There are 15,000 biology majors who collected this stuff," said Dennis Bell, collection manager for the herbarium.
16 2017-03-30
Monroe

ULM to divest millions of fish, plant specimens


The University of Louisiana at Monroe announced Tuesday that it plans to rehome two of the largest collections of fish and plant specimens in the state.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Eric Pani said the collections are an important resource to the university, and they take finding someone to house them seriously. Because most of the collections are from this region, the university wants to find someone in Louisiana who will take on the specimens. Several offers have been made, including some by in-state institutions.

Thomas Sasek, a biology professor at the university and the curator of the ULM Natural History Museum, said the collections are the product of two men's 40- to 50-year careers.

“It’s the heritage of the university. There are 15,000 biology majors who collected this stuff," Dennis Bell, collection manager for the herbarium, said. He elaborated that more than 15,000 students have probably contributed to the collection at this point. The names of each student is included with the specimens he or she collected.

Neil Douglas compiled the fish collection, which consists of at 3 million to 6 million specimens in jars, including multiples of some species.

“This is a history from 1962 until today of what fish were found where," Bell said, referring to the millions of specimens collected by Douglas and his students starting in the early 1960s. Most of the fish were collected in the South.

Dale Thomas created the herbarium, which has about 500,000 items and is the biggest in the state. It's larger than all the other collections in Louisiana combined and is estimated to be the fifth largest in the South. Bell said Thomas collected about 170,00 specimens himself, and the university has traded samples with more than 200 institutions worldwide, giving the collection global relevance. The collection is kept in 330 cabinets.

Research collections were placed at Brown Stadium three or four years ago, Sasek said, with long-term plans to move them back to the main part of the campus.

"The problem is they're so big that it requires a lot of space," Sasek said. "Because the fish are in alcohol, they have to have a sprinkler system. And then the plants aren't in alcohol, but they need to be in air-conditioning and all that. It can't be humid. ... That space was adequate, it just, you know, was inconvenient and kind of cramped to squeeze everything in there. But eventually it was supposed to come back, and so now, they're not able to bring them back onto the main campus. ... With the renovation at Brown for the track team, they have no place to put it, so they decided to give it away rather than keep it."

Dennis Bell, collections manager for the herbarium,Buy Photo
Dennis Bell, collections manager for the herbarium, reads the label on a jar of fish specimens in storage in Brown Stadium at the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. The specimens were collected by Neil Douglas, an ichthyologist, and his students starting in the early 1960s. Each specimen jar is labeled with the name of the student who collected it, along with information about the species and where it was found. "It's the heritage of the university. There are 15,000 biology majors who collected this stuff," Bell said. He estimated that the number of students who contributed to the collection was probably higher than 15,000. (Photo: Hannah Baldwin/The News-Star)
In a statement released Tuesday, Pani said the university plans to rehome the collections by mid-July, when construction will need to begin on Brown Stadium.

"The research collections of plants, fish, amphibian and reptiles have not been used by our students and faculty much in the last few years, except for instructional purposes. Research use has largely been confined to people outside ULM from loans we have made to them and visits they have made here. However, we have still had to maintain the collection. I have concluded that the scientific integrity of the museum’s research collection will be better preserved at another institution that has the resources needed to house and care for it adequately. While this decision in not my ideal, it makes the most sense for preserving this important resource. The ULM administration will do everything in its power to find the right fit for the collection which we hope will be in Louisiana or at least in the southeastern United States," Pani said Wednesday.

Sasek had a $500,000 grant to digitize the herbarium and put it online through the National Science Foundation.

Dennis Bell, Collections Manager of the Herbarium atBuy Photo
Dennis Bell, Collections Manager of the Herbarium at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, displays a pressed Tragopogon, or oyster plant, stored in Brown Stadium on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Plant taxonomist Dale Thomas, who retired from the university in 2003, collected approximately 170,000 plant specimens throughout his career, Bell said. The university has exchanged specimens with more than 200 herbaria all over the world. (Photo: Hannah Baldwin/The News-Star)
"So they appreciate the importance of the herbarium. To our university, I guess that's not considered research, but the tremendous value to make it available to the whole world, you know, by being online and so I guess they don't see as much value in that. I don't know," he said.

His work to digitize the collection spanned all 1 million specimens in the state, starting in 2009. That part of the work took four years. For the past three years, he's worked with a smaller grant to complete the computerization of the digital files, which is ongoing. The project has not yet been published because the work is incomplete.

Sasek is concerned that he could lose the last 1.5 years of funding if the money moves with the collection. He's working with the data, not specimens, at this point, but he's concerned that there will be a technical reason for the grant to be canceled.

Color-coded folders containing pressed and dried plantBuy Photo
Color-coded folders containing pressed and dried plant specimens sit on shelves in a cabinet in Brown Stadium at the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Specimens in yellow folders were collected in North America. Specimens in green folders were collected in the 50 states. Specimens in blue folders were collected in other countries. The university has traded plant specimens with more than 200 herbaria around the world. Herbaria are essentially archives of plant specimens. (Photo: Hannah Baldwin/The News-Star)
"I've never had to cancel a grant, so I just don't know," he said. "I'm in a panic, besides the other news, not to lose that funding."

Ultimately, the lack of staff to work with natural history or similar research collections is widespread.

Bell said maintaining the collections requires diligent effort. Jars have to be checked for evaporation and topped off with fluids, and if insects get into plant specimens, the materials have to be frozen and the cabinet fumigated.

"We haven't been very active, as it was in the past, because we don't have faculty that are working on the collection as much. So it's kind of a circular thing that if it doesn't get used then we can't hire anyone to work in that area, and so then it doesn't get used. And it looks like it's not important. That's just the reality all around the country. Many places have switched emphasis and so natural history collections don't have a lot of faculty working on them, but we have been active," Sasek said.

Sasek said they've had dozens and dozens of offers from some of the most prestigious organizations in the country to take the collections.

"Our plan, if we have to donate it, is to try to keep it intact. ... and hopefully go in state so it's not lost to the state," he said.

Pani met with leaders of the College of Arts, Education and Sciences last week. The CAES manages the research collections, which are under the university's Museum of Natural History. He met with them again this week and asked that the specimens, except for a teaching collection, be donated and relocated. A 48-hour deadline was set for CAES staff to find a place on campus in hopes of retaining the collections.

Pani said the 48-hour goal was only to find a place on campus for long-term storage of the collection. If that cannot be accomplished or another organization won't take the specimens, he said, destroying them seemed like the only alternative. Several offers to take on the collections have been made since that discussion.

Thomas Sasek, Associate Professor of Biology and headBuy Photo
Thomas Sasek, Associate Professor of Biology and head of the Museum of Natural History at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, looks into a tank of saltwater fish at the museum, which is located in Hanna Hall, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. The university announced Tuesday that it will divest from a research collection containing between 3 million and 6 million specimens of fish, plants and insects that are stored on the ground floor of Brown Stadium. The Museum of Natural History, which is open to the public, will not be affected. (Photo: Hannah Baldwin/The News-Star)
Support for keeping the collection, and the museum, has boomed since Sasek posted about needing to find a home for the collections on the University of Louisiana Monroe Museum of Natural History Facebook page on Tuesday. The original post stated that ULM faculty were told if they couldn't find someone to take the collection, it would be destroyed in July.

Before the original post, about 375 people liked the museum's page. Since then, the page has been liked by about 300 more people, that number keeps climbing, and the message has gained national recognition.

The threat of destroying the collection is what has caused the biggest uproar. Without that, Sasek said, very few people would have paid attention. Sasek said he and other staff members heard about the meeting second hand through their boss. They would have clarified the issue if provided a chance.

"There would have been a lot of outrage at, you know, closing the collections, but it wouldn't have blown up to 100,000 views on Facebook. ... in my opinion," Sasek said.

The professor said several people can post on behalf of the page and because administrators can see each others' names, they can forget it's effectively anonymous when it's posted. Because that page is considered part of the university, he said he was told to take down the original post and rewrite it Tuesday night.

Taxidermied animals are reflected in a glass windowBuy Photo
Taxidermied animals are reflected in a glass window of a display case containing fossils at the University of Louisiana at Monroe's Museum of Natural History on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. The university announced Tuesday that it would divest its collection of nearly 6 million plant and animal specimens that are stored in Brown Stadium in order to renovate the track. The collection in the Museum of Natural History is located in Hanna Hall and open to the public. (Photo: Hannah Baldwin/The News-Star)
Pani said some posts on social media seemed to imply the collection would be destroyed soon, which is not the case, or that the entire museum would be eliminated. A proposed museum expansion, he said, has been delayed for two years while another project is completed.

"It would be an honor for the university to donate the collection to an organization with the space to preserve and display it, and we fully expect to find such a facility as soon as possible," Pani said Tuesday.

Sasek said the news that the expansion is delayed, not canceled, was new.

Follow Bonnie Bolden on Twitter @Bonnie_Bolden_ and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1RtsEEP. Hannah Baldwin contributed to this report.

Want to go?

ULM Museum of Natural History: http://www.ulm.edu/mnh/

Call: 342-1868

Hours: During University semesters

Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to noon
First Saturday of the month: 10 a.m. to noon
Closed for major holidays and during university vacations.

On Facebook: http://bit.ly/2nwvP51
16 2017-03-30
Regional/National

A university is eliminating its science collection — to expand a running track


The curators of the Museum of Natural History at the University of Louisiana-Monroe got grim news last week from the school's director: The museum's research collection had to be moved out of its current home. The reason? The space was needed for expanded track facilities.

The curators were given 48 hours to find a new place on campus to store the collection — something they weren't able to do. Now they must get another institution to take their several million specimens. Their hard deadline is July, when the track renovations are slated to begin. And if the collection isn't moved by then, curators said, it will be destroyed.

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John Overholt @john_overholt
A public university, @ULM_Official, is preparing to throw a massive natural history collection away to make more room for the track team.
7:56 PM - 28 Mar 2017
1,344 1,344 Retweets 588 588 likes
The ULM collection includes some 6 million fish collected by ULM ichthyologist Neil Douglas, one of the leading experts on the fish of Louisiana, as well as half a million native plants. It is an important record of biodiversity in northern Louisiana — a region that stands to see significant environmental impacts as a result of climate change.

Robert Gropp, co-executive director of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and policy director for the Natural Science Collections Alliance, said that smaller collections like this one offer unmatched insight into the history and fate of specific ecosystems.

“Sometimes those collections might be the world-class collection for that specific geographic area because that’s where those researchers spent their careers collecting specimens,” he said. “They’re snapshots of the history, of the genetics and biodiversity, and what lived where and how they interacted. You can't go back and collect those again.”

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“To see an institution seemingly walking away from a research enterprise or even an educational enterprise, when these are in fact really informing modern research questions around climate, public health and life in general,” Gropp continued. “It's disappointing.”

[This lion shot by Teddy Roosevelt carries a lesson about conservation]

ULM Vice President for Academic Affairs Eric Pani told a local paper, the News Star, that the university can no longer afford to keep the collection, which is not open to the public but used for faculty and student research. The collection includes specimens stored in flammable alcohol, so it has to be housed in a building with a sprinkler system. But now that running facilities are being updated to meet national track and field standards, there's nowhere else for the specimens to go, he said.

“Unfortunately, the fiscal situation facing the university over the years requires us to make choices like this,” Pani said.

The museum itself will remain on campus and open to the public, the News Star reported, but its planned expansion has been postponed. The university did not respond Tuesday to The Washington Post's request for comment.

The situation has sparked anger from the scientific community, which has seen this sort of thing happen before.

Follow
Jacquelyn Gill ✔ @JacquelynGill
This is awful. Museum collections are an invaluable and irreplaceable resource to study life on our planet. Shame on @ULM_Official. https://twitter.com/hormiga/status/846811346939260928 …
4:21 PM - 28 Mar 2017
258 258 Retweets 170 170 likes
28 Mar
Prosanta Chakrabarty ✔ @PREAUX_FISH
Neil has been collecting and studying these fishes for more than 50 years. This is his life's work. Thousands and thousands of hours of work
Follow
Prosanta Chakrabarty ✔ @PREAUX_FISH
Not to mention the 3.3 million specimens who were sacrificed for science. These were meant to be studied in perpetuity, not to be thrown out
6:34 PM - 28 Mar 2017
22 22 Retweets 77 77 likes
Most of the 1,800 or so natural history collections in the United States are smaller, highly specific collections like the one at ULM. Faced with budget cuts and competing priorities, institutions have been forced to pare back.

“The great majority of these are hanging by a thread,” Michael Mares, director of the Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, told Nature in 2015. “They have nobody to care for them.”

Last year, the National Science Foundation temporarily suspended its Collections in Support of Biological Research program, which helps pay to organize, maintain and catalogue biological collections. The program has since restarted and is accepting new funding applications. But the NSF's future is unclear — the $7.7 billion agency wasn't even mentioned in the fiscal 2018 budget proposal that the White House released this month.

[This is how you photograph a million dead plants without losing your mind]

When budgets are cut, research specimens and staff are often the hardest hit. These collections are not on display, and much of the public wouldn't notice their disappearance. But they house about 99 percent of natural history specimens nationwide. They are where most museum science happens.

More than 100 U.S. herbaria — research collections of dried and labeled plants — have been lost since 1977, according to a 2015 report in Nature. The number of curators at several major museums has declined significantly in the same period. When the Field Museum in Chicago fell into debt several years ago, it slashed millions of dollars from its research budget. In 2013, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden laid off several researchers, suspended its science program and donated its 330,000-specimen herbarium elsewhere.

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These research specimens — and the curators who study them — have immense scientific value, said Larry Page, a curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History. They are the basis for almost all taxonomic research and are vital to understanding changes in the health and distribution of species. Collections-based research has resulted in the discovery of new species and has helped save creatures on the brink of extinction.

“In a period of rapid changes in the environment and climate, specimens in natural history collections serve as the benchmark for gauging the impact,” Page wrote in an email. “The loss of such large and valuable collections as those at the University of Louisiana at Monroe would be a tremendous tragedy to science.”

It's rare for a collection to be thrown out entirely; another institution usually steps in to save it. Already, several institutions have offered the ULM museum help in relocating its collection.

But Gropp, the American Institute of Biological Sciences co-director, noted that consolidation of collections means more and more specimens are being studied and cared for by fewer people with fewer resources.

“The system as a whole is being stressed,” he said.
16 2017-03-29
Monroe

ULM to donate two collections from Museum of Natural History


By mid-July the fish and plant collections of the University of Louisiana Monroe Museum of Natural History will hopefully have a new home, according to Dr. Eric Pani, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Several factors led to the decision to donate the collections, which have been stored in Brown Stadium since the museum was moved to Hanna Hall last year. Many of the specimens are preserved in flammable liquid and must be kept in a facility with a fire sprinkler system.

"Unfortunately, the fiscal situation facing the university over the years requires us to make choices like this. We can no longer afford to store the collections and provide all of the public services we have in the past," Pani said.

Last week Pani told leaders of the College of Arts, Education and Sciences, which manages the museum, of the decision. He met with them again this week. He said the collections, except for some of the teaching specimens, will be donated and relocated by mid-July. The CAES people asked for 48 hours to determine if space on campus could be found and the entire collection retained.

Tuesday posts on social media could have been interpreted that the collection would be destroyed in a few hours.

Pani addressed other statements on social media, including that there would be no expansion of the museum. He clarified that expansion will be postponed for about two years while another project is underway.

The collections in Hanna Hall are open for public viewing; the specimens in Brown Stadium are for research.

Pani said renovations and improvements to the track at Brown Stadium are slated to begin in the summer. The work will raise the track to sanctioned status, allowing meets to be held there and other schools to host track and field competitions. Thus, it will provide an economic development boost for the region.

"It would be an honor for the university to donate the collection to an organization with the space to preserve and display it, and we fully expect to find such a facility as soon as possible," Pani said.
16 2017-03-23
Monroe

ULM SOAR Campaign officially reaches seventy percent threshold


On Tuesday, March 21, the ULM Foundation, ULM Athletic Foundation, and ULM Alumni Association announced that the SOAR Campaign had reached its 70% threshold.

The goal was announced at a celebration in Scott Plaza featuring faculty, students, and staff with ULM’s Sound of Today and Cheerleaders.

The campaign reached $38.8 million of its $55.4 million goal. This milestone was projected to be reached in 2018, but according to President Nick Bruno, the supporters should be thanked for reaching this milestone early, “Supporters of this University who believe in our mission and who have been impacted by the University in some way have helped us progress in the campaign and helped us achieve this.”

The 70% donation threshold is important because it means that the campaign can move from the leadership phase mainly consisting of corporate and non-profit donations to a broader phase of individual donors. Anne Lockhart, Senior Development Officer at the ULM Foundation, said “the next phase is exciting because it encourages individual supporters of ULM to help the university reach new heights.”

The SOAR campaign was formally launched in 2013 as a capital generating campaign that supports students, faculty, athletics, and renovations and construction around campus.

The SOAR campaign funds the President’s Distinguished Scholarship program, endowed faculty positions and research funding, student athlete scholarships and renovations and construction such as the new fieldhouse.

For more information on the ULM SOAR Campaign, please visit http://www.ulm.edu/foundation/soar.html
16 2017-03-21
Monroe

ULM to host Women’s Symposium March 29


As part of ULM's celebration of Women's History Month, the university will host a Women's Symposium on Wednesday, March 29 from 8 until 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union Building (SUB) ballrooms, located on the second floor of the SUB.

The Women’s Symposium will feature discussions about issues women face every day in a panelist/moderator and round-table format.

“It is my pleasure to invite anyone interested in learning more about women’s topics to attend the Women’s Symposium,” said Kristin Chandler, chair of the Women’s Symposium. “Women now earn over half of all higher education degrees, and demographically, comprise nearly two-thirds of ULM’s student body. Women make up nearly half of the workforce, while increasingly seeking leadership positions into historically male-dominated fields.”

Chandler said the mission of the Women’s Symposium is to support and empower women towards their education and career goals.

“Our goal is that participants will gain a sense of comradery with the Women’s Symposium presenters and Keynote Speaker, Susan Banowsky. I believe in the positive power of supporting each other towards personal, social, and economic good, which is what the Women’s Symposium encompasses,” Chandler said.

Three main discussion tracks, covering eleven essential women's issues, are on the Symposium agenda: Education and Transition, Professional Development and Interactions, and Wealth and Health.

The panelists are a mix of community and ULM women who exemplify professionalism and leadership.

The Women's Symposium will feature Susan Banowsky, business owner, attorney, and former TV news producer as its keynote speaker during a continental breakfast.

The afternoon will conclude with the prestigious Women’s Symposium Awards, presented to honor three women from northeast Louisiana.

Registration is $20 for the general public, which includes lunch and admission to three sessions. Seating is limited. Registration is free for ULM students.

Sponsorships are available for businesses, organizations, and individuals. Contact Kristin Chandler at 318-342-1144 or morris@ulm.edu for more information.

Complete information about the Women's Symposium, including registration, discussion topics, panelists, and more are available at ulm.edu/womens-symposium.
16 2017-03-21
Monroe

Living a life of dreams: A student’s journey from ULM to Yale


A video that recently went viral of CNN contributor and best-selling author, Mel Robbins, argues that, at some point, people bought into the lie that they need to feel ready in order to change their lives. She advised instead, that “your life comes down to your decisions, and if you change your decisions, you will change everything.”

Siddhartha Dhakal, a University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) international student from Kathmandu, Nepal, lives by this philosophy. He believes that to achieve your dreams in life you must be motivated, take action and find opportunities rather than waiting for them to find you.

His dream of coming to ULM in the spring of 2013 was to excel as a student and achieve his lifetime goal: to enroll in a graduate program at an Ivy league school. This year, that dream has been realized with his acceptance into the Ph.D. program in Biomedical research at Yale University upon completion of his Bachelor’s in Biology this May at ULM.

Not only has he been accepted, but he has earned a full-tuition scholarship with a very generous stipend to cover living expenses.

When Dhakal went to Yale for his on-campus interview, he said the candidates came from some of the world’s finest schools, including Harvard University, University of California Berkeley, King’s College London, United Kingdom, and more. This, however, didn’t discourage him, but only made him prouder. “I could not be more excited because making it there was a reflection of my passion, hard work, and self-discipline, which I practiced diligently since the day I stepped on campus at ULM,” Dhakal said.

His journey from ULM to Yale wasn’t easy as Dhakal had financial challenges and rigorous admission standards he had to meet. Although tough at times, his burning passion and determination motivated him to overcome those challenges and succeed. “A great GRE score along with a 4.0 GPA doesn’t guarantee placement into a great school. I knew I had to do more,” said Dhakal. “The search committee wants to see a well-rounded candidate; someone who was involved in organizations, held leadership positions, has teaching experience, and most importantly, someone who knows how to conduct great independent research.”

He engaged in academic research as a freshman at ULM through the Emerging Scholar’s program, a program that joins students and professors in cooperative research and other professional activities. It was this very program that helped him realize that medical research is something he wanted to pursue for the rest of his life. In the next three years, he conducted several additional research studies with different professors at ULM.

In pursuit of his dream of attending an Ivy league school, Dhakal held several leadership positions at ULM, including Vice-President of the Nepalese Student Association during his freshman year, and President of the same organization during his sophomore year. During his junior year, he became President of the International Student Association at ULM.

Dhakal also managed to find time to work as a tutor and eventually as a chemistry instructor. Both positions helped him gain much-needed teaching experience, while also providing funds to cover living expenses. “Since my parents couldn’t financially support my studies, I had to work and go to school,” Dhakal said. “While this was a challenge, it also led to other opportunities.”

The opportunities materialized through acceptance into many different summer research programs. “These programs provide the needed experience in research, but they also pay,” Dhakal said. He spent each day of his winter break writing and submitting summer research applications.

“I was never afraid to apply because if you don’t apply, you are automatically rejected,” Dhakal said. “I was formally rejected over 80 times in the past three years of applying, but I never lost hope. I was sad, but being sad and losing hope are two completely different things.”

He managed to secure summer research internships at three universities, including the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse in the summer of 2016. He was also waitlisted at both Harvard and Princeton.

Dhakal never went home during his time in the United States. His summer breaks were spent in labs, not on beaches. While his friends used their phones for Facebook, he explored applications that would help him excel in the classroom. His time off was often spent in the pharmacy lab where he would learn from his fellow Nepali friends, Ph.D. students, or study in a lab environment, which he found inspirational.

Dr. Timothy Foster, Associate Professor at the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology at LSU School of Medicine, with whom Dhakal worked in the summer of 2015, best describes Dhakal’s fearlessness and thirst for knowledge. “Nothing stood in his way,” Foster said. “His dedication to the lab was such that he found ways of overcoming locked security doors after-hours on the evenings and weekends in order to ensure experiments were completed on time.”

Dhakal’s journey from ULM to Yale is one of hard work and dedication on his part, but also wouldn’t have been possible without the mentors who guided him along the way. He believes that inspiration is a very positive force, and would be the first to acknowledge that the learning environment he was in, along with his mentors and ULM biology program helped him find the inspiration needed to fulfill his goals.

“I’ve always had positive experiences from my first day at ULM. At larger universities, professors don’t have time to focus much on students, but here at ULM, if you really want to focus and learn more, professors will work with you and they really care about you,” Dhakal said. Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, Associate Professor of Biology at ULM, is the first person Dhakal asked for additional research work. Their collaboration started immediately, and they are currently working on a scientific paper to be published. Bhattacharjee said Dhakal’s passion for learning and not being deterred by anything to keep him from reaching his goal is something he could relate to from his own college days. “I put him [Dhakal] in charge of the Carbon Tower data,” Bhattacharjee said. “Analyzing data is not easy and what is more difficult is making sense of it. This is done by Masters or Ph.D. students at other universities, but Dhakal surprised me by being able to not only work on it, but also explore it further.”

Dhakal presented this very data at a conference and won an award, among many others he received for his excellence in academics and research.

Dr. Srinivas Garlapati, Associate Professor of Biology at ULM and one of Dhakal’s mentors said Dhakal’s acceptance to Yale University is a big achievement for the ULM biology program. Garlapati’s and Dhakal’s collaboration began in December of 2014 when Dhakal helped the newly-hired at the time, Garlapati, set his molecular biology lab, and the two have also been working on a project Dhakal will present as his Honor’s thesis. “Even though he had a challenging course-load and a part-time job, he was able to find time to do experiments in a research laboratory with enthusiasm and pride,” Garlapati said. “I have been impressed with his passion for science and motivation for doing research.”

After Yale, Dhakal plans on pursuing his medical degree, which will allow him to conduct experiments at the patient level. His passion is science, and he hopes to devote his life to answering some of the most fundamental scientific questions that have not been answered yet. He wants to help his home country of Nepal one day through research, and hopes to stay humble, believing that humbleness is a mark of good education and deeper knowledge.

While reminiscing on his campus visit to Yale, Dhakal said, “although being experts and world leaders in their fields, the professors I interacted with were some of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met, but what really sold me on their program was when they said, ‘we can teach you anything if you come to Yale, but what we can’t teach you is motivation because that comes from you.’”
16 2017-03-10
Monroe

Gold medalists address ULM Lyceum


Two women who have earned a total of seven Olympic medals talked about their experiences as top-performing athletes Thursday at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Soccer player Mia Hamm and gymnast Shawn Johnson discussed how high-level competition shaped their lives.

Johnson, 25, won four medals at the 2009 Olympics. She has published three books and has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list. She launched TheBodyDepartment.com in 2014 and continues to be a health and wellness advocate.

Hamm, who retired from professional soccer in 2004, was the youngest woman to play for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team at 15. She won three Olympic gold medals and two FIFA Women's World Cups. She earned various accolades throughout her career and became a marketing icon. She launched the Mia Hamm Foundation in 1997 and is still active in soccer. She advocates for gender equality in sports.

When Hamm started playing soccer and ultimately made the U.S. national team, women's soccer wasn't an Olympic sport. She was on the first U.S. team to win a gold medal in soccer in 1996 in Atlanta.

She said before women's soccer became an Olympic sport, it was though the field lacked credibility. She talked about unequal pay and standards between genders in soccer and said though her daughters will have more opportunities, she hopes they don't have to continue fighting the battles being played out for equity today.

Johnson said she'd tell young girls they can do anything they put their minds to. She said they should try a variety of sports and other hobbies to see what they like.

Hamm said it's important that children be allowed to pursue their passions. People aren't born with notions about what skills belong to a certain gender — older people embed those ideas. The ability to participate and find what you love is key to finding your niche.

It's also important, Hamm said, to set realistic goals. She talked about her children, who are learning to play basketball. She said kids will try to shoot a 3-pointer when they haven't developed the skills or strength to reach the basket. The ultimate goal is reachable, but they'll have to work on developing their talents before it's reachable. She said she almost quit soccer because she was focused on the end goal, a win, not the process of getting there. An assistant coach told her she should focus on the ability to be an asset to the team each day, which might not be a matter of the scorecard.

Johnson talked about travelling for gymnastics meets without her parents when she was still young. Being required to be responsible at such an early age, she said required a lot of mental strength. She said her parents and coach worked with her. When she was discouraged, they made sure she wasn't reacting to one bad day and took her concerns seriously. She also explored other sports and interests.

Johnson advised the college students in the crowd to make sure they have fun and enjoy life while working toward their goals. Hamm advised them to go to class and work proactively to reach their goals.

ULM Lyceum Series is sponsored by the ULM Student Government Association, Hamm and Johnson are the first athletes to speak as part of the series.

Previous notable speakers include author Nicholas Sparks, political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin, ice cream entrepreneurs Ben and Jerry Greenfield, journalist and TV host Lisa Ling, lawyer and social activist Robert Kennedy Jr., and three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Friedman.

Follow Bonnie Bolden on Twitter @Bonnie_Bolden_ and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1RtsEEP. Information from a news release contributed to this report.


16 2017-03-07
Monroe

ULM’s VAPA set to present 'Pippin'


ULM’s School of Visual and Performing Arts presents their Spring Musical, “Pippin,” March 23-26 in Brown Auditorium. Night performances begin Thursday through Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday is a matinee at 2 p.m.

“Pippin” is directed and choreographed by Robin Stephens and musically directed by Julian Jones. It features a cast of 17 students and nonstudents, original sets and costumes, and an orchestra. Stephen’s own spin adds an eclectic element that features a 1950’s playground set.

“The musical is comical, allegorical, and realistic with themes of love, relationships and experimentation,” said Robin Stephens, Associate Professor of Dance at ULM and Director/Choreographer of “Pippin”.

The musical is a wondrous, magical featurette with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson.

“Pippin” tells the mystical and colorful story of the young prince Pippin’s quest to discover passion and the meaning of life. The story ventures through Pippin’s trials and tribulations from childhood to adulthood.

The young prince is performed by Matt Stewart, while Demetrius Williams and Dwendol Nelson Jr, the double leads, tell the story. Pippin’s father will be Gray Hall, while his step-mother will be Morgan Rowland. Pippin’s half-brother, Lewis, is portrayed by Ethan Dennis, while his grandmother is played by Allison Friloux. The leading lady is played by Abigail Thomas and her son is Benjamin Rhodes.

Guest tickets are $15. All ULM students get one free ticket with their valid ULM ID. Group rates and discount rates are available.

In addition, a pre-party begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 with the KEDM Director’s Gala in ULM's Sculpture Garden.

Tickets for the Gala are $45, and includes VIP preferred seating and tickets to the musical.

Tickets are available for purchase now in the VAPA office, Biedenharn Hall, Room 105 during regular business hours – Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. – and on Friday, 7:30-11:30 a.m. Or online, http://www.ulm.edu/vapa/tickets.html

For more information, contact the VAPA Box Office at 318-342-1414. Gala tickets are available by calling 318-342-5556.
16 2017-02-23
Monroe

ULM helps St. Joseph in water crisis


ST. JOSEPH, La. - Students at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) are coming together to help the town of St. Joseph, which is drowning in water issues.

ULM's Trio program is holding a water drive to help residents of St. Joseph where a state of emergency has been declared after water tests run by the state revealed high levels of lead and copper in the drinking water.

Students and members of the community have been dropping off bottled water, and even baby wipes, to help those in need.

"We can go longer without food than we can without water, so this was definitely something that was placed on my heart to do as well as my students and we came together and we figured it out, and we just wanted to get the community involved as much as possible," says Mystee Burrell, Assistant Director of Student Support Services, Trio Program.

There's still time to donate! Drop off your items at the ULM quad between 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2017.

Items can also be brought to room 206 in Strauss Hall until 5:00 p.m. Thursday.

The Trio Program is delivering the water to St. Joseph on Friday.
16 2017-02-20
Monroe

ULM University Park Receives New Look


MONROE, La. (Press Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe revealed the new artificial turf installed at its University Park outdoor recreational complex at a ceremony held Thursday morning.

The project was secured through a collaborative effort between ULM and the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), while Geo-Surfaces, a Baton Rouge engineering firm specializing in sports facilities, was responsible for the installation.

The $775,000 project concludes a seven-year renovation of University Park.

When the park opened in 1993 it only had two fields. Now, it has expanded to four fields, new lighting, backstops, fencing, dugouts, batting cages and pavilion covers for the bleachers. The artificial turf is the latest addition.

“The interior of the park is now complete, and this is a good indication of where we were and what we have become,” said Camile Currier, interim VP for Student Affairs.

Hosting over 100,000 games to date, University Park not only serves students participating in intramurals, but it has also hosted local, state, regional and national tournaments.

Currier said the park will continue to serve the students and the community while stimulating economic development of the region.

“Hotels from Delhi to Ruston fill their capacity a lot of weekends while restaurants are overflowing, and our tourist attractions are seeing increased numbers of visitors due to tournaments held at University Park,” Currier said.

Camille expressed his gratitude to the management of local Taco Bell, McDonalds, and Raising Cane’s who donated first-class scoreboards for University Park, but also to Monroe-West Monroe CVB for following the vision for new University Park.

“We bought into this vision from the very beginning,” said Scott Bruscato, Senior Vice President of Sales at Monroe-West Monroe CVB. “We could see the future and the impact this would have not only on ULM and the cities of Monroe and West Monroe, but also the entire parish.”

Bruscato said he looks forward to many more years of partnership with ULM, and believes University Park will persist in attracting thousands of young athletes for tournaments.

“To me, ULM is just a beautiful place to be,” Bruscato said. “I love ULM and I hope that when people come here, they see the same thing that I see – the beauty of it.”

Tim Whitman, Ouachita High School Softball coach, said University Park is one of the only state-of-the-art facilities in the state that will now host some of the best High School tournaments.

“We have over 50 teams that come in on a weekend, and we will probably have every state champion from last year playing this year in one of our tournaments,” Whitman said. “Teams in our area benefit because we are able to play good teams and not have to travel.”

ULM President, Dr. Nick J. Bruno, said the new look to University Park is a continuation of the renovations at ULM.



“As we build the brand, the university stands for several things – excellence, hard work and beauty. The new facility encompasses all of it,” Bruno said. “I thank Monroe-West Monroe CVB as well as Monroe Major, Jamie Mayo, for their vision years ago to build this facility and to see how it not only benefits our students and the university, but how it helps this community and this region attract young people to participate in athletics here on these fields.”
16 2017-02-16
Monroe

Getting in range: bringing a radar closer Getting in range: bringing a radar closer


LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - Weeks after a tornado struck Lauderdale County, officials are looking to the future: how to quickly detect storms to make sure there is plenty of warning.


"To lose a life and know that we didn't talk to people and seek a solution to the problem we're having with the radar, I think that would just be a bad thing," District 1 supervisor Jonathan Wells says.

With a lack of sufficient radar in the area, supervisors like Wells came to the governor for answers.

"It's just part of the mitigation that we will have to do," Gov. Phil Bryant says. "We have to have radar systems that will be able to cover this East Mississippi, Lauderdale and Meridian, and that will be part of the request."

Officials would have to determine the best location for the radar. It's important to have it close, but not too close.

"For radar to be able to see Meridian effectively, it would have to be between 10-15 miles outside of the city," WTOK-TV chief meteorologist Brian Hutton Jr. says. "If you put it in the city, it's in the cone of silence, and it can't see anything. So you want to move it away between 10 and 15 miles for the best coverage."


And perhaps the biggest hurdle: the cost. Officials at Baron Services estimate it would cost upwards of a million dollars for a private operation to purchase a radar in this area. That's not including maintenance, which can cost over $10,000 a year, the cost to power the radar and the construction of a possible tower. The numbers quickly add up.

"Many, many millions of dollars," National Weather Service senior meteorologist Eric Carpenter says. "That are site restrictions and a lot of things that go into it, setting up a radar. Plus, you have to maintain the radar, you have to have manpower to make sure it's up and running correctly because bad radar data can be worse than no radar data."

Even with a hefty price tag, Wells says this problem is not something that can be ignored.

"We can't be short-sighted and easily forget how lucky we were that we didn't lose anybody and God forbid, next time it could be worse," he says.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe recently purchased a $3million radar with the help of a FEMA grant. Newscenter11 spoke to an atmospheric science professor there, who says they have an agreement to transmit data to the National Weather Service in real time at no cost.
16 2017-02-16
Monroe

Olympians Mia Hamm and Shawn Johnson To Speak at ULM


Soccer player, Mia Hamm, and artistic gymnast, Shawn Johnson, will share their unique stories at the University of Louisiana Monroe as part of this year’s Lyceum Series held on Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m. in ULM’s Brown Auditorium. Hamm and Johnson are both retired after outstanding professional careers, with seven Olympic medals between the two of them.

ULM Lyceum Series promotes intellectual exchange among ULM students, faculty and staff, as well as the community. The ULM Lyceum Series has hosted many authors, political pundits, journalists, captains of industry, movie and TV celebrities, as well as other notable personalities.

Laura Jennings, Director of Student Life and Leadership, said since March is Women’s History Month, the Lyceum Committee wanted to focus on finding a strong female speaker to honor. “We ended up finding two speakers who worked well together and created an interesting dynamic,” Jennings said. “Hamm and Johnson will discuss several topics during a moderated interview-style event, including the determination and dedication it takes to win Olympic gold. We could not be more excited!"

ULM students may purchase one ticket at a discounted price of $5. ULM faculty and staff may purchase one ticket at a discounted price of $15. General admission tickets are $25; and Patron Party tickets are $50 and are limited.

The Patron Party will precede the event at 5:30 p.m. in the ULM Library Conference Center, located on the seventh floor of the ULM Library.

Tickets may be purchased online at ulm.edu/lyceum/tickets.html
16 2017-02-08
Monroe

UNITED WAY HELPS STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT MONEY


United Way of Northeast Louisiana recently hosted the Dollars & $ense Reality Fair Jan. 26 at the Rayville Civic Center for more than 150 Delhi, Mangham, Rayville and Tensas Parish high school students.
Sponsored by Cross Keys Bank, the Dollars & $ense Reality Fair is a financial education simulation during which high school students actively learn how to make better financial decisions and gain knowledge of budgeting, saving, and spending.
This marks the third consecutive year United Way of Northeast Louisiana has hosted this event for Richland and Tensas Parish students.
A total of 35 community volunteers from AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana, Bancorp South, Capital One, Chase, Citizens Progressive Bank, CLAHEC, Cross Keys Bank, Delta Sigma Theta-Monroe Alumnae Chapter, Richland Parish School Board, and Richland State Bank participated in the simulation. Cross Keys Bank Vice President of Lending Bradley Bridges lead a financial counseling session following the exercise.
United Way of Northeast Louisiana is committed to helping hard-working individuals and families become more financially stable. The Dollars & $ense Reality Fair education simulation gives students a real-life look into developing a budget and spending plan while teaching them how to make sound financial decisions that will help them take control of their finances and their future.
Upon completion of the Dollars & $ense Reality Fair, students will have increased their understanding of the source and uses of their income, while beginning to develop responsible attitudes towards budgeting, spending and saving.
A follow-up curriculum developed by the University of Louisiana at Monroe is also offered upon completion of the simulation to further enrich students’ learning.
United Way of Northeast Louisiana works with volunteers, donors, and other organizations locally create lasting change in the areas of Education, Financial Stability, Health, and Basic & Emergency Needs—the building blocks for a good quality of life.
For more information about United Way of Northeast Louisiana, dial 2-1-1 on any landline or mobile phone, a free call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit www.unitedwaynela.org.

16 2017-02-08
Monroe

FOUR PARISH STUDENTS EARN HONORS AT NSU


Four Richland Parish students earned academic honors this semester at Northwestern State University.
Emily Rawls of Rayville was one of 1,117 students named to the Fall 2016 Honor Roll at Northwestern State University.
Students on the Honor Roll earned a grade point average of between 3.0 and 3.49.
Leslie Sharbono of Rayville was one of 1,135 students named to the Fall 2016 Dean’s List at Northwestern State University. Students on the list earned a grade point average of between 3.5 and 3.99.
Shelley Godard of Delhi and Mary Rogers of Rayville were among 653 students named to the Fall 2016 President’s List at Northwestern State University. Students on the list earned a grade point average of 4.0.

16 2017-02-08
Monroe

Louisiana Tech professor receives Nurse’s Touch Award from national organization


RUSTON, La. – (KNOE 8 News) Patti McFadden, associate professor of nursing at Louisiana Tech University, has been named a recipient of the 2017 Nurse’s Touch Award from Assessment Technologies Institute Nursing Education.

ATI Nursing Education’s Nurse’s Touch Award honors outstanding educators for advancing professionalism, leadership and communication skills in nursing education programs. McFadden was selected as one of four recipients from a group of over 800 nominations representing the best nursing educators in the nation.

“I am honored to receive this award and it means even more that a student nominated me,” said McFadden. “Louisiana Tech creates a supportive environment that allows educators to thrive and focus on teaching strategies that motivate students to be their very best. Nursing education is a very rewarding profession. When you see the future generation of nurses be so successful and know you are a small part of the reason, there is no better feeling.”

According to the ATI Nursing Education’s award announcement, McFadden impressed judges with her integration of professional and interpersonal skills as a nurse and her education of students. These skills include teaching nursing students how to stay healthy, manage work-related stress, be a patient advocate, convey professional behaviors and attitudes, use nursing information and technology, and function as a leader of the healthcare team.


“We are thrilled with this excellent recognition for Patti McFadden,” said Dr. Donna Hood, professor and director of Louisiana Tech’s nursing program. “Our students and employers consistently recognize the excellence of the nursing faculty at Louisiana Tech University, and this national recognition of Mrs. McFadden speaks to the quality and commitment of our faculty. This student-focused commitment is what makes this program and our nursing graduates truly exceptional.”

Shelby Yarbrough, a recent Louisiana Tech nursing graduate, nominated McFadden for the Nurse’s Touch Award and was in attendance for the presentation. Yarbrough said McFadden told the students that it is important to be the nurse you would want taking care of your loved one and treat them like you would your family.

“Patti taught us to ask questions if we are not sure about something and that no question is a dumb question,” said Yarbrough. “She never sugar coated anything when I was her student. She was honest about how some days a nurse, it is going to be extremely tough, but so rewarding. And for that I am grateful. Patti didn’t just teach us how to pass boards in 75 questions, she opened our eyes and showed us that being a nurse is such an awesome and honorable profession.”

McFadden earned her associate’s degree in nursing from Louisiana Tech and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Grambling State University.

Her research interests focus on sexual heath awareness and she is a certified sexual assault nurse examiner.

McFadden is a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, the Louisiana Student Nurses Association, and is a past president of the Louisiana Association of Forensic Nurses.


16 2017-02-07
Monroe

ULM to screen documentary ‘Run Carlos Run’ on Thursday


“Run Carlos Run,” a documentary about Carlos Ibarra who ran 3,000 miles from Brooklyn, New York to his hometown Costa Mesa, California will be screening on Thursday, February 9 at 6 p.m., in Stubbs 100 on ULM’s campus.

Ibarra, along with a team of filmmakers, produced a series of episodes that documented his story as well as the stories of the people he met along his expedition. His website, runcarlosrun.org, claims that this isn’t just his story, “but the story of everyone who calls America their home.”

Currently, Ibarra is traveling all across the country, bringing his film to different businesses, festivals, philanthropic organizations, and universities. The Run Carlos Run team says they hope to inspire other individuals to chase their dream just as Ibarra has.

Following the screening there will be a meet and greet with the filmmakers and a short question and answer segment.

This event is open to students, faculty, and the community and admission is free.

For more information, contact Dr. Lesli Pace at 342-1165 or pace@ulm.edu or Arely Castillo at castillo@ulm.edu.
16 2017-02-06
Monroe

ULM students gather for 'Monroe Unity' march to show support for refugees


MONROE, La. - Dozens of students gathered at ULM Saturday afternoon to show their support for refugees following President Trump's controversial immigration ban.

Trump's ban was put in place last week, and temporarily blocked citizens of seven countries from entering the United States for a minimum of 90 days.

Students at the march say they disagree with the ban-- and are only coming together to peacefully demonstrate their belief in unity.

"This not pro or anti Trump, it's not conservative, it's not liberal, it's not moderate. We're not here to be divisive.", says Christopher Wade.

Students created signs and posters to show their support for refugees.

They say they want one message to resonate through the community: "love has no borders."


16 2017-02-06
Monroe

ULM pharmacy professor receives $10,000 donation for breast cancer research


MONROE, La. (Press Release) - The Louisiana Cancer Foundation (LCF) presented ULM College of Pharmacy Professor Dr. Paul Sylvester with a check for $10,000 in continued support of his breast cancer research on Jan. 26.

Sylvester has received funding from the LCF to support his cancer research for more than a decade, for a combined total of $107,500.

“Once again, I am honored and humbled by the generosity of the Louisiana Cancer Foundation and their continued support of our breast cancer research conducted in the ULM School of Pharmacy,” said Sylvester. “Gifts such as this are extremely important in maintaining our efforts and progress, and provide a means by which we can obtain important equipment and supplies required to advance our studies. I recently had the opportunity to meet and talk with the Foundation Board members and they are an extraordinary group of people that I cannot thank enough for everything they do in the fight against cancer and support of cancer patient care in our community.”

Sylvester, the Pfizer Endowed Professor of Pharmacology and ULM Director of Graduate Studies and Research, has taught at ULM for over 18 years. He has spent many years researching the relationship between nutrition and breast cancer growth and development, and the effects of tocotrienols—a rare form of Vitamin E that displays potent anticancer activity.

In November of 2016, he was named the recipient of a $600,000 estate gift from Mildred Maurer, a breast cancer survivor who had developed a keen interest in the breast cancer research of Dr. Paul Sylvester before her passing.

About the Louisiana Cancer Foundation

The Louisiana Cancer Foundation was founded in 1999 by the Northeast Louisiana Cancer Institute for the purpose of increasing public awareness, early detection, treatment, and research for cancer in the state.

The LCF is a 501C3 organization, which receives funding through personal donations, grants, and fund raising by the Cancer Foundation League.

For more information about the LCF, visit lacancerfoundation.org.


16 2017-02-02
Monroe

ULM student selected for aviation internship at United Airlines


MONROE, La. ­­- Michelle Mulhearn, a senior aviation major at the University of Louisiana Monroe from Kingwood, Texas, has accepted an internship at United Airlines over the 2017 spring semester.

While at United, she will be working in the Quality Assurance Department – Technical Services at United’s Corporate Support Center located inside the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago, Ill.

Mulhearn’s roles will include helping United maintain the safety requirements for the Federal Aviation Administration, and also United Airlines quality standards and requirements.

ULM’s Aviation program director Dr. Paul Karlowitz said, “[Mulhearn] is an excellent student and most deserving of this internship. She comes from an aviation family: Her father is an airline captain and ULM alumnus, [Mulhearn] has her private pilot's license, and her younger sister, Carlee, is here at ULM in the aviation program as well.”

Mulhearn will return in Fall of 2017 to finish her bachelor’s degree. She is a member of 31 Ambassadors and Phi Mu sorority.


“The aviation program is thrilled that the program has been able to prepare students like Michelle to be competitive for, and to get these fantastic internship opportunities,” Karlowitz continued.

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,055 flights a day to 373 airports across six continents. United has the world's most comprehensive route network with more than 700 mainline aircraft.

For more information about ULM’s Aviation program, please visit http://www.ulm.edu/cbss/aviation/.
16 2017-02-02
Monroe

ULM receives grant from Community Foundation of North Louisiana


MONROE, La. — The University of Louisiana Monroe announced their selection as an Annie Lowe Stiles grant recipient from the Community Foundation of North Louisiana at a press conference Tuesday.

Through the grant funds, along with matching funds, the College of Business and Social Sciences has been able to create twenty $2,000 scholarships for students enrolled in the bachelor’s degree programs in Computer Information Systems and Computer Science, as well as the students enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program in Computer Information Systems.

Dr. Ronald Berry, Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences, said the funding will help increase the pipeline of the students needed to fill the in-demand jobs in the region, as well as to recruit those high-caliber students that the region desperately needs to move forward.

“We work very closely with our industry partners to ensure our programs are producing graduates ready for the workforce,” said Berry. “We have modified programs and created new ones to meet the changing needs of industry and continue to recruit the best and brightest students to those programs. Because of the particular importance related to the growth and success of CenturyLink and IBM, we are very excited about this gift today because it allows us to grow our student population in our technology programs.


“Funds for these scholarships in Computer Information Systems and Computer Science have allowed us to grow our enrollment to support the growth in the technology sector along the I20 corridor. We very much appreciate the support of the Annie Lowe Stiles Fund and the Community Foundation of North Louisiana for their support,” Berry continued.

Susan Chappell, Executive Director of the ULM Foundation and Alumni Relations, said one of the grant stipulations is that matching funds and internship programs be provided for the students.

“We received letters of support from CenturyLink and IBM, both of which provide internships for students in Computer Information Systems and Computer Science,” Chappell said. “We doubled the amount of the funds that the Community Foundation gave for the student scholarships with approval from Strauss Interests to match the scholarship grant with earnings from the Clifford M. Strauss fund, an endowment established in the College of Business and Social Sciences.”

Dr. Jose Cordova, ULM Computer Science Program Coordinator, said one of the most common questions students ask is whether there is any scholarship specific to Computer Science students.

“I would tell [students] to go to the ULM Foundation’s website for all sorts of scholarships and apply, but of course, that’s not the answer we would want to give,” Cordova said. “And, up to this point, even though we’ve had partnerships with CenturyLink and IBM, the scholarship money was the missing piece. Well, now, the answer will change. We will definitely have that.”

To qualify for the Annie Lowe Stiles grant, a student must have a minimum ACT score of 24, a high school or college GPA of 3.2, and be enrolled in a Computer Information Systems, Computer Science or Math program.
16 2017-02-01
Monroe

Travel Ban not so controversial for Exchange Students at ULM


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Only one Libyan student at ULM is directly affected by Donald Trump's Travel Ban, but with no plans of traveling anytime soon, the ban is just something temporary.


The ban only prevents seven countries from leaving and entering the U.S., but even though the ban is for limited time (90 days), some departments at ULM could feel the burn.

More than 95 percent of ULM"s Pharmaceutical Science's program is made up of international students, and professors say the ban could damage the department in the long run.

"It might actually limit our ability to recruit students," says Khalid Elsayed, professor of medicinal chemistry. "Some of these students are self-funded...bringing in their own budgets...payouts...and unfortunately it would limit our ability to recruit too."

Meanwhile, other students fear this ban could potentially expand to their country.

Some students who are not under the ban want to travel home this summer, but are reconsidering, for fear that they will not be able to re-enter the country.


"Now for example, in the summer, it will be time for us to come home and see our family after so long," says Vladimir Jakovijevic, a graduate student at ULM."So now the question is, will I go home and spend time with my family or do i stay here, because if i go home and can't get back, I've wasted all this time on my education."

ULM issued the following statement Monday night:

"At this time, ULM has no current students who are directly affected by President Trump's Travel Ban. Our office of International Student Programs and Services will work closely with our international students and the office of human resources to make them aware of the situation and any complications that may arise due to international travel."


16 2017-01-31
Monroe

Supreme Court Candidate Ties to Monroe


MONROE, La.-- - President Trump plans to announce his pick for the Supreme Court Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.

Judge William Pryor is one of those candidates who met with Trump on January 14th in New York, and his name is recognized locally.

He's a Northeast Louisiana University alumni, now the University of Louisiana Monroe.

He also has a sister and brother -in -law who still live in Ouachita Parish.

We spoke to Bob Noel, a law professor and attorney who took a walk down memory lane to discuss the success of Judge Pryor.

Pryor is an Alabama native who spent his undergraduate years in Monroe on a band scholaraship.

"For someone to come from a small school like ULM is almost unheard of, most of the people who've been appointed in the last 150 years have always come from ivy league schools or something very similar," says Noel.

Right now, Pryor is a Federal Appeals Court Judge in Arkansas.

Many conservatives believe he's a dream candidate.

"What you are going to see is you are going to see a very contencious set of confirmation hearings it's going to be centered primarily on reproductive rights I believe more than anything," says Noel.

Pryor's been outspoken when it comes to abortion rights, calling Roe v. Wade, "The worst abomination of constitutional law in our history."

With nien Supreme Court Justices, Pryor is expected to add a conservative edge.

"We'll be looking at pretty much the same 5 to 4 split in the supreme court, and that is going to make Justice Anthony Kennedy who tends to be the man in the middle the swing vote or the most important person on the U.S. Supreme Court," says Noel.

In 2004, Pryor was appointed to the Federal Bench by President George W. Bush, and previously served as Alabama's Attorney General for seven years.

If chosen, he will be the first justice with strong ties to Louisiana since 1921.

16 2017-01-30
Monroe

ULM’s School of Construction Management ranked no. 6 in nation




The University of Louisiana Monroe’s School of Construction Management was recently ranked No. 6 in the “50 Best Value Schools for Construction Management 2016” list by BestValueSchools.com.

ULM’s program ranked higher than institutions such as Clemson University (No. 8), Indiana State University (no. 13), Appalachian State University (no. 15), and Louisiana State University (No. 19).

The methodology used by the polling agency focused on factors an average student looks for, such as affordability, high-quality curriculum, and opportunities for student involvement, as well as the program’s accreditations, degree popularity, enrollment, and graduate rate.

BestValueSchools.com described ULM as an intimate educational environment that provides enormous opportunity, focusing on three major areas within the program: benefits that come with the small programs, scholarship opportunities of more than $10,000, and the program’s 100 percent job placement rate and top starting salaries for recent graduates.


Dr. Edward Brayton, Director of the School of Construction Management, said that ULM’s Construction Management graduates continue to be placed in positions throughout the globe.

“It is an honor that our program has been ranked number six in the United States,” said Brayton. “Most people don’t know that we were the first Construction Management Program in the United States to be accredited by the American Council for Construction Education. Our Construction Management graduates continue to be placed in positions throughout the globe.”

Founded in 1966, the program that celebrated its 50th anniversary in April 2016 is committed to being the premier institution of construction in the State of Louisiana.

The construction management program at ULM trains its students in the fields of commercial, residential, highway/bridge, heavy industrial, utility and civil works construction.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points to a big upswing in the demand for experienced, qualified constructors over the next decade. In fact, the numbers indicate that there will not be enough Construction Management graduates to meet expected growth. Through the year of 2024, the predictions are that 1,028 positions will go unfilled each year.

“We will strive to be the best construction management program for our students, their employers and the construction industry,” said Brayton.

16 2017-01-27
Monroe

ULM ‘Top Hawks’ thank AT&T for scholarships at press conference


MONROE, La. (ULM & Dr. Brice Jones) — A group of University of Louisiana Monroe “Top Hawks” publicly thanked AT&T for scholarships at a press conference on ULM’s campus Tuesday.

In late 2015, AT&T announced a $25,000 contribution to the ULM Foundation to contribute to the Top Hawks Fund for Fall 2016/Spring 2017. The fund provides scholarship dollars to students who have achieved academic excellence during high school and continue to maintain high performance during college.

The scholarship recipients, who have all now been named, gathered to express their appreciation to the Fortune 500 telecommunications company.

Kylen Smith, a senior Speech Language and Pathology major from Center, Texas, spoke about how the ULM scholarship has allowed her to focus on her academics without the financial burden.

“Ever since I’ve been here I’ve just been so blessed with this opportunity because instead of like actually wondering, ‘How am I going to pay for this experience?,’ I get to focus on the things that matter,” Smith said. “The scholarship has allowed me to study abroad, to travel—something I’ve always wanted to do but I’ve just wondered, ‘How am I going to do this? Is this possible for someone like me?’”


Connor Dixon, a senior computer science major from Angola, La., also expressed his appreciation to the company for their generosity.

“What [the scholarship] meant to me was peace of mind,” said Dixon. “I don’t have to work, I don’t have to take on two, three jobs trying to make ends meet trying to pay for college because the scholarship has helped me so much instead. I can instead put 100% of myself into this university.”

Dixon also indicated he has a job lined up for after graduation, thanks to an internship through ULM.

Susan Chappell, Executive Director of the ULM Foundation and Alumni Relations, thanked the students for choosing ULM as well as AT&T for making it possible to further the ULM Foundation’s mission of providing support for students and the university.

ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno, who met with AT&T representatives two years ago about the potential contribution, discussed the importance of scholarships like this for the recruitment and retention of students and ultimately for the economy.

“We recruit the better-prepared students, we challenge them when they are here, and then they move on to take their place and become the economic drivers of the future,” Bruno said.

David Aubrey, State Director of External Affairs for AT&T, remarked that although AT&T represents one of the largest companies in corporate America, it is part of their fabric to give back to the community.

“We continue to reach out to outstanding organizations like the University of Louisiana Monroe and we believe that we can be a great partner to build a stronger workforce,” said Aubrey. “We love our students in the state of Louisiana and we would like for you to stay here and be a part of our growing economy that’s going to take place. So, on behalf of our state president Sonia Perez and all of our members of our team, we are very proud to be a partner. We’re very proud to know that our contribution made a difference in your lives. And you make it very hard for me to leave here and not come back again with something bigger in my hand.”


16 2017-01-24
Monroe

Trump met with ULM grad as possible Supreme Court pick


A federal judge with deep Louisiana roots who is considered on Donald Trump's short list for a Supreme Court nomination met with the president the weekend before his inauguration, according to a news report.

William H. Pryor, a University of Louisiana at Monroe and Tulane University graduate, is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Alabama. One of his daughters graduated from LSU last spring. Pryor is the brother-in-law of hotel developer James Moore Jr. of Monroe.

The Associated Press reported Pryor met with Trump Jan. 14 in New York.


Last year Trump, compiled a list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees, but he hinted then that Pryor and another federal Judge Diane Sykes of Wisconsin were his two favorites, according to the Associated Press.

The president said he will announce a nominee within the first two weeks of his presidency.

Pryor, 54, is a Birmingham native, but came to ULM on a band scholarship.

"It's a great reflection on ULM to have a graduate considered for such a high honor," ULM President Nick Bruno said.

Moore played host to Pryor during last fall's LSU-Alabama game in Baton Rouge. Pryor's wife Kris and Moore's wife Lynn are sisters who grew up in West Monroe.

"We're all pretty excited," Moore said of his family. "His attitude is that if he's called to serve by (Trump) it will be an honor. It's really an honor just to be mentioned on the short list."

Pryor is considered a conservative with views Trump has said are important to him when he chooses a nominee. Among them: calling the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion the “worst abomination of constitutional law in our history”; voting against the Obamacare contraceptive mandate; and voting to uphold a strict voter ID law.

Pryor was appointed to the federal bench in 2004 by George W. Bush. Before that he served as Alabama's attorney general from 1997 to 2004.

President Obama also appointed Pryor to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1

16 2017-01-20
Baton Rouge

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16 2017-01-13
Monroe

ULM’s online MBA program ranked 59 by U.S. News & World Report


MONROE, La. (ULM, Dr. Brice Jones) - U.S. News and World Report has ranked ULM’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) 59th in the nation.

ULM’s online program has risen in ranks since its creation in 2009. The program features a completely online alternative to the traditional, in-person MBA experience.

The online program is geared for students who are employed full-time or require more flexible class scheduling. The traditional and online programs mirror each other in courses, content, and instructors, allowing an online student to have the same educational experience as the traditional student.

The program has received awards for its affordability and academic standing. The program is accredited by AACSB-International, the premier standard for business accreditation.

The ranking list combines multiple factors within weighted categories to achieve a composite ranking score. Individually, ULM’s MBA program ranked highest (6th place) in student services and technology.

The student services and technology subcategory analyzed access to student services online, library services, career services and strength of available technology resources, but it also factored in student debt levels at graduation.


“Not only is our faculty committed to providing a high-caliber experience and education, we are exceptionally proud that our students are graduating as successful members of the workforce without the added burden of significant student debt,” said Dr. Ronald Berry, Dean of ULM’s College of Business and Social Sciences.

To view the complete list of U.S. News and Report’s best online MBA programs, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings.


16 2017-01-12
Natchitoches

MLK observances part of Spring Welcome Week events


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University will incorporate several activities to honor the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into the university’s spring welcome week schedule.

University Greek organizations and student-athletes will join the Natchitoches Black Heritage Committee for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration beginning at noon Monday, Jan. 16 at the MLK Center. Community leaders will also participate at the event, which is open to the public. A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the MLK Memorial Triangle at the corner of MLK Drive and Texas Street.

“Remembering the Dream” will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 in the Student Union Lobby in which students and others can watch a rolling videos of King’s speeches. On Wednesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. students can participate in NSpired at the Rock, where participants are invited to leave a thumbprint on the NSU rock with a pledge to inspire others.

A panel discussion, “Campus and Community: Hand in Hand,” will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 in the Student Union Ballroom.

Other spring semester welcome events include the Miss Northwestern-Lady of the Bracelet pageant at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, Get Loud @ the Library on Jan. 23, S’mores and Winter Stuff on Jan. 24, Polar Splash for Cash charity fund raiser on Jan. 26, a Headphone Disco Party on Jan. 27, a two-day leadership seminar Jan. 27-28, Macchiatos and Music at Café DeMon on Jan. 30 and and special attractions at athletic events through the end of January.

Northwestern State residence halls open Saturday, Jan. 14. The university will be closed Monday, Jan. 16 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Classes will begin Tuesday, Jan. 17. Spring registration is available through Jan. 16. Late registration will be held Jan. 17-25. For more information on spring registration at Northwestern State, go to nsula.edu/registrar.


16 2017-01-10
Monroe

ULM's Kitty DeGree School of Nursing announces new nursing program


In Dec. 2016, the ULM Kitty DeGree School of Nursing received approval from the Louisiana State Board of Nursing to move forward with admissions to the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) program. Program completers will be awarded the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

In 2016, Kitty DeGree initiated their first graduate nursing program which prepares graduates as Gerontological Clinical Nurse Leaders. Students are actively engaged in this program already.

The new AGPCNP program will share many of the same courses as the Clinical Nurse Leader program, including courses in advanced physical assessment, advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, and health policy. Students in both programs also complete six hours of gerontology courses as a part of their requirements. The Adult-Gerontology program requires 40 credit hours for completion of the degree. In addition, students in this program of study will complete over 600 clinical practice hours in primary care clinics that are supervised by approved clinical site preceptors.

The new program offers four specific health management courses to prepare graduates to provide primary care services for adults and geriatric patients in primary care settings. These nurse practitioner students will be qualified to take a national certification examination upon receipt of their MSN degree and then seek advanced practice registered nurse licensure (APRN). As an APRN, these graduates will be able to conduct physical assessments, order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic testing, write prescriptions for appropriate drug therapy and provide ongoing care management for their patients, with a strong focus on health promotion and disease prevention.

“With the aging of the nation’s Baby Boomers, there is an increased need for health care providers to provide the primary health care needs of this expanding population group,” said Dr. Rhonda Hensley, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the ULM Graduate Nursing Program. “Graduates of ULM’s newest graduate nursing program will be equipped to provide high quality care that is both patient centered and cost effective.”

To apply for this program, applicants must first apply to the School of Graduate Studies and then also the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing. Applicants must have an earned Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minimum GPA of 2.8, and have completed at least two years of RN experience. Applicants are also required to complete the GRE exam.

For additional information on the program, go to our web page www.ulm.edu/nursing and click on Graduate Nursing. You can also contact the Graduate Nursing Program at 318-342-1642 or by email to hensley@ulm.edu


16 2017-01-06
Monroe

ULM’s Top 16 achievements in '16


The University of Louisiana at Monroe is celebrating a year of significant achievement. Here is the top 16 success in 2016.

1. Doctoral University

ULM became a Doctoral University: Moderate Research Activity (R3) in the Carnegie Classification, the leading method for recognizing and describing colleges and universities in the USA. We are one of only six doctoral universities in the state.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (CCIHE), “the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past four and a half decades,” has classified ULM as an “R3” doctoral university; the university joins the ranks of 109 other universities across the U.S and only 5 other universities within the state.

2. National University ranking

For the first time, ULM ranks as a “National University” by the U.S. News & World Report. For the last two years, U.S. News ranked the university among the "Best Regional Universities,” so the new ranking is a significant upgrade in status.

U.S. News defines a national university as an institution which offers a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.

In total, 298 schools were included in the 2017 ranking for Best National Universities. "Schools were ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence," according to the ranking site.

3. Construction

Among the construction work on campus:

• Completed renovation of Scott Plaza Fountain and Starbucks

• Grand opening of a completely renovated Sandel Hall — a one-stop shop for students

• ULM partners with Barnes & Noble to serve the campus and community as the official bookstore

• Ground was broken on a new state-of-the-art Student Event Center

ULM running back Coach Alan Ricard and Lisa VarytimidisBuy Photo
(Photo: Hannah Baldwin/The News-Star, 2016)
4. Athletic Construction

Additional con

struction was completed among athletic facitlities:

• The ULM Athletic Department unveiled the new Football Fieldhouse.

• University Park received a new artificial turf for the outdoor recreational complex.

5. Enrollment growth

Fall 2016 enrollment topped 9,100 for the first time since selective admissions was implemented 10 years ago.

A large amount of growth was evident in higher student retention rates with an increase of 58 percent to 66 percent in the first to third years.

6. Record grant

Karen Briski, professor of Pharmacology, secured a $1.7 million NIH grant — the largest grant awarded to a faculty member in the history of the the university

Briski’s research will focus on a novel way of protecting nerve cells from injury due to hypoglycemia by investigating how estrogen can increase energy stored in the brain.

Hypoglycemia is a recurring side effect of strict insulin therapy to stabilize blood glucose (sugar) levels in Type-1 diabetes patients. It poses a significant risk for nerve cell damage and neurological dysfunction.

7. School of Construction golden anniversary

School of Construction Management celebratee 50 Years — five decades as the premier institution of construction education in Louisiana.

The school was founded in 1966 and within 10 years the school became the first institution in the country to be accredited by the American Council for Construction Education — accreditation that the program continues to maintain today.

8. ACT scores

The number of students who scored above 30 on the ACT tripled in six years.

9. Waterski team's 27th championship

The ULM waterski team won its 27th national championship.

The tournament at Imperial Lakes at El Centro, California, consisted of all the three events of competitive water skiing: slalom, trick and jump. Each team consisted of five men and five women per event. Typically, not all skiers are required to compete in all events, but because of the team size this year, every skier competed in all three.

10. Growing honors program

ULM’s Honors Program reached 200 students, the largest in program history. The program has grown from 24 to 200 in six years.

11. Online MPA program

ULM implemented a new 36-hour, online-only Master in Public Administration program. In its first year, the program enrolled more than 60 students.

12. Honors for eULM

eULM attained national attention:

• It was ecognized for offering top occupational therapy program in the nation.

• The Master’s in History program ranked fourth in the nation by CollegeValuesOnline.com.

• The Master’s in C

ounseling program ranked seventh in the nation for affordability by CollegeChoice.net

• The online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program was ranked tops in the nation by CollegeStart.org.

13. Weather research grants

Todd Murphy, assistant professor of atmospheric science, received three grants totaling more than $250,000 for severe weather research.

Murphy’s funding will allow him to pursue two main goals: to improve severe weather research in the southeastern region and to update ULM’s weather instrumentation, software and technology.

New computers p

urchased with portions of the grant money will be used to operate the AWIPS–II software, which is the same software used by the National Weather Service, where many students in the program hope to find a career.

14. New endowments

ULM announced $4.7 million in new endowments for faculty and student support.

15, NCAA academic performance

ULM was tops in the NCAA’s Academic Performance Rate (APR) in the Sun Belt Conference in three sports and beat the national average in four sports.

Three sports posted perfect single year APR scores. Men’s golf, women’s cross country and women’s golf each posted 1,000 single-year rates. Volleyball beat the NCAA national average with a 985 multi-year rate.

Football posted a multi-year rate of 967 to beat all other Sun Belt schools and the APR national average of 959 (964 FBS).

Men’s basketball posted a multi-year APR of 984 to best all other men’s basketball programs in the SBC and beat the NCAA national average by 20 points. Warhawk hoops has seen a whopping 127 point jump since the 2011-12 academic year.

IMG_8862
(Photo: Courtesy photo)
16. Autism Center

ULM opens a new Autism Center, whose mission is to serve as a comprehensive resource that will enhance the quality of life for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families.


16 2017-01-05
Monroe

LDCC, ULM partner for annual service day


It’s a new year and ULM and LDCC are gearing up for a new day, a new MLK Day, that is. The schools’ annual MLK Day of Service is fast approaching, and they are urging the community to come together in the spirit of giving.

This year’s MLK Day of Service will be Monday, January 16, and will benefit The Children Coalition for Northeast Louisiana Family Resource Center. Donations of children’s books, small stuffed animals, large puzzles, coloring books, crayons, socks, toiletries, and other essentials are being accepted at Strauss Hall 208 on ULM’s campus, and at the Student Services Suite 144 at LDCC’s campus until January 16.

On the day of the event, donations can be dropped off at LDCC’s main campus on Millhaven Road, in the first floor Conference Center, from 9-11 a.m. Additionally, volunteers are welcome and encouraged to attend to assist with packaging items for delivery to the Family Resource Center.

Alvina Thomas, Dean of Student Services at LDCC, encourages the community to get involved in the event in the spirit of MLK Day.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said ‘life’s most persistent and urgent question is What are we doing for others?’. The ULM/LDCC MLK Day of service partnership is an opportunity to bring community, faculty, staff, and students together to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to use this day to work towards a common goal of strengthening our community,” she said.

Dr. Pamela Higgins Saulsberry, ULM’s Director of the School of Behavioral & Social Sciences and Social Work Program Coordinator, said the Day of Service is a unique opportunity for students to experience education outside the classroom.

“No matter what field of study a student undertakes, he or she needs to understand the importance of making the world a better place one community at a time,” Saulsberry said. “The MLK Day of Service affords every ULM and LDCC student, no matter the major, the opportunity to experience education outside of the classroom through the act of benevolence.”

For more information, please contact Dr. Pamela Saulsberry at ULM: 318-342-1445 or Dean Alvina C. Thomas at Louisiana Delta Community College: 318-345-9145.


16 2017-01-05
Monroe

ULM announces fall 2016 President’s and Dean’s lists


University of Louisiana Monroe President Dr. Nick J. Bruno has announced the President's List and Dean’s List for the fall 2016 semester at ULM.

To be eligible for the President’s List, a student is required to earn at least a 3.9 grade point average on a minimum of 12 semester hours completed.

To be eligible for the Deans’ List, a student is required to earn at least a 3.5 grade point average on a minimum of 12 semester hours completed.

To view the list, visit http://www.ulm.edu/news/2016fall-presidents-deans-list.pdf.

For all questions about this list, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 318-342-5262.


16 2017-01-04
Monroe

Two ULM English instructors awarded grants for humanities projects


Two faculty members in the School of Humanities in ULM's College of Arts, Education, and Sciences were awarded grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) worth $4,527.

Ms. Vanelis Rivera, English Instructor, was awarded the 2016 LEH Rebirth Grant worth $1,789 for her project entitled, "The Write to Word: ULM Storytelling Initiative." The project strives to host creative writing workshop for women in local shelters. Shelters including Project 41, The Wellspring, and Rays of Sonshine will all be approached to participate in the effort.

This initiative will be conducted through a series of 75-minute workshops held once a month starting in February and ending in May of 2017. Sessions will include short lectures and discussions, small group activities, as well as writing time, and ongoing feedback.

An emphasis will be placed on the purpose of storytelling, writing with story structure, engaging descriptive language and dialogue, and using tone, voice, and style appropriate to writing situations. During the workshops, Rivera hopes that through storytelling participants can all have a better understanding of the human experience.

“One of the goals of this project is to build bridges, understand and be compassionate towards one another," said Rivera. "It is beneficial to know that everyone has a story, and that we are closer to the human experience than we give us credit for.”

Also involved in the project are Meredith McKinnie, School of Humanities Instructor, Jaleesa Harris, School of Humanities Instructor, and Dr. Jack Heflin, School of Humanities Instructor.

Ramblin, Lesli
Ramblin, Lesli (Photo: University of Louisiana at Monroe)
The second grant from the Louisiana Endowment was awarded to English Instructor Mrs. Lesli Rambin. The project entitled, "Byway Blues: A Guide to Northeast Louisiana's Blues History," was awarded the 2016 Rebirth Grant worth $2,738.

The grant funds will be used to continue field research trips for production of the radio segment, "Byway Blues," which airs on 90.3 KEDM, Public Radio.

In addition, Rambin will coordinate the production of a specialized brochure of the Northeast Louisiana's blues history that includes driving tours through Northeast Louisiana's blues history and GPS coordinates marking historically and culturally significant sites. The material will be distributed at rest stops and welcome centers across the state, as well as in select locations in Mississippi and Arkansas.

“I’m hopeful that these brochures will serve as a precursor to an actual physical Louisiana Blues Trail, commemorated with regional art,” said Rambin.

Dr. Ruth Smith, ULM Director of the School of Humanities, said that these grants from the LEH are significant.

“The LEH grants are highly competitive, and for two of our Humanities professors to have received them is a significant accomplishment.”

MORE NEWS: Woman made up claim of 10 men holding her for $200​


16 2017-01-04
Monroe

Two ULM English instructors awarded grants for humanities projects


Two faculty members in the School of Humanities in ULM's College of Arts, Education, and Sciences were awarded grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) worth $4,527.

Ms. Vanelis Rivera, English Instructor, was awarded the 2016 LEH Rebirth Grant worth $1,789 for her project entitled, "The Write to Word: ULM Storytelling Initiative." The project strives to host creative writing workshop for women in local shelters. Shelters including Project 41, The Wellspring, and Rays of Sonshine will all be approached to participate in the effort.

This initiative will be conducted through a series of 75-minute workshops held once a month starting in February and ending in May of 2017. Sessions will include short lectures and discussions, small group activities, as well as writing time, and ongoing feedback.

An emphasis will be placed on the purpose of storytelling, writing with story structure, engaging descriptive language and dialogue, and using tone, voice, and style appropriate to writing situations. During the workshops, Rivera hopes that through storytelling participants can all have a better understanding of the human experience.

“One of the goals of this project is to build bridges, understand and be compassionate towards one another," said Rivera. "It is beneficial to know that everyone has a story, and that we are closer to the human experience than we give us credit for.”

Also involved in the project are Meredith McKinnie, School of Humanities Instructor, Jaleesa Harris, School of Humanities Instructor, and Dr. Jack Heflin, School of Humanities Instructor.

Ramblin, Lesli
Ramblin, Lesli (Photo: University of Louisiana at Monroe)
The second grant from the Louisiana Endowment was awarded to English Instructor Mrs. Lesli Rambin. The project entitled, "Byway Blues: A Guide to Northeast Louisiana's Blues History," was awarded the 2016 Rebirth Grant worth $2,738.

The grant funds will be used to continue field research trips for production of the radio segment, "Byway Blues," which airs on 90.3 KEDM, Public Radio.

In addition, Rambin will coordinate the production of a specialized brochure of the Northeast Louisiana's blues history that includes driving tours through Northeast Louisiana's blues history and GPS coordinates marking historically and culturally significant sites. The material will be distributed at rest stops and welcome centers across the state, as well as in select locations in Mississippi and Arkansas.

“I’m hopeful that these brochures will serve as a precursor to an actual physical Louisiana Blues Trail, commemorated with regional art,” said Rambin.

Dr. Ruth Smith, ULM Director of the School of Humanities, said that these grants from the LEH are significant.

“The LEH grants are highly competitive, and for two of our Humanities professors to have received them is a significant accomplishment.”

MORE NEWS: Woman made up claim of 10 men holding her for $200​


16 2017-01-03
Monroe

Hunsucker: What did ULM learn in 2016? Not much


This column space was reserved to discuss the positive gains ULM made over the past year.

Fans had a few things to feel good about; the opening of a long-awaited football facility, the men’s basketball team’s first back-to-back postseason appearances in more than two decades and the unprecedented recruiting class football coach Matt Viator and staff are working on.

That was before the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office bookended 2016 with a report detailing the latest tomfoolery within ULM’s athletic department.

Instead we’re left with two embarrassing audits, the departure of a top athletic department official in a year-long bungling of epic proportions and the university president’s decision to all but proclaim UL Lafayette the “University of Louisiana.”

Remember that promise of a “new day” in ULM athletics? It’s looking more like the hollow, bloviated rambling of desperate people in a desperate situation.

Audit: ULM's Hawaii trip broke law, system policy
No tangible improvement, at least any of consequence, was made in the day-to-day operation of the athletic department in 2016. While most responsible for the improprieties found by the auditor’s office are no longer at ULM, the man that has overseen the operation for the last three years is.

Brian Wickstrom has accomplished more — granted that bar was pretty low — than any ULM athletic director since Benny Hollis, but inattention as the smallest of issues incubate into unnecessary messes has left blemishes on an otherwise noteworthy resume.

That’s the crux here. If Wickstrom would just take the five minutes needed to complete the most modest of tasks correctly, ULM wouldn’t get burned by calamity every few months.

It never made any sense for ULM to outsource its ticketing operations to the Aspire Group given the relative smallness of the operation, but that was one of Wickstrom’s first moves when he was hired in July 2013. It made even less sense for both parties to base projected revenue on ticket sales from the 2012 season; the outlier in ULM’s 22 years in FBS.

ULM’s working relationship with Aspire did not end well, leading to ongoing litigation and discrepancies between cash deposits and the number of tickets sold that was cited in the first audit report in February.

This year ended the same way it started; with an audit report that recounted the misadventures of ULM’s trip to Hawaii last season that weren’t limited to violations of state travel law regarding what can be spent on meals and UL System policy requiring the university president approve the final travel manifest.

Wickstrom isn’t alone in presiding over the mess of the last 12 months. Reaching this apex of dysfunction required two people.

It wasn’t Wickstrom’s decision to bring Josh Brooks back to ULM as deputy athletic director. Nor did Wickstrom undermine ULM’s brand by conceding the “Louisiana” name to UL Lafayette.

Those were ULM President Nick Bruno’s contributions to the overall predicament.

Bruno cedes 'Louisiana' name to Cajuns
Bruno created the awkward dynamic that characterized the last year in the athletic department by hiring Brooks — who was a finalist for the same athletic director job that went to Wickstrom — in November 2015, first as a special assistant to the president and later deputy AD.

Brooks was the heir apparent — despite Bruno’s tone deaf denials to the contrary — at least until Wickstrom received a 12-month extension hours before his contract expired in July. The two worked well together despite less-than-ideal circumstances, with Wickstrom supervising the overall department and Brooks handling game-day operations, marketing and other promotions.

Brooks departed ULM for the University of Georgia in November — his list of accomplishments limited to a concert at Fant-Ewing Coliseum that broke even and a few game-day promotions, half of which never happened.

Hunsucker: Brooks resignation caps bizarre year at ULM
Longtime ULM supporters frustrated that UL Lafayette is now “Louisiana” in the eyes of the Sun Belt Conference need look no further than Bruno, who raised no objections when the Ragin’ Cajuns’ naming preference was presented to all conference chancellors and presidents.

Why Bruno opted to give up the decades-long fight over the name is unknown after he declined to offer any adequate explanation and left Wickstrom to deal with the repercussions.

It’s always a good idea to end any year asking what we learned from the experience. So what did we learn from ULM in 2016?

We learned that if Wickstrom is anything, he’s a survivor. The man outlasted one coup, we’ll see what he has in store for 2017.

We learned that the promise of change was an illusion. While facilities, budgets and salaries have all improved, the inner workings of the athletic department — and its relationship with ULM’s administration across the bayou — is the same as it ever was.

And finally, for the optimist in us all, we learned that the right people can succeed even in this environment. ULM has rekindled its rich hoops history and is riding one of the nation’s longest home-court winning streaks under Keith Richard.

Warhawk football seems to finally have the right coach and has a healthy buzz about it for the first time since an improbable run to the Independence Bowl in 2012.

If all this is possible despite the mismanagement of others, imagine what could be done if those in charge learned to get out of their own way?

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker


16 2016-12-27
Monroe

Two ULM pharmacy students awarded prestigious grants


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - Two University of Louisiana Monroe pharmacy students were recently awarded grants by EPIC Pharmacies, Inc., a national network of over 1,400 independently owned pharmacies.

The 2016 Student Grant Awards were awarded to outstanding students who plan to practice in an independent pharmacy after graduation. Twelve students nationwide were awarded in total, including brother and sister Elee and Torrence Barber, both students in ULM’s School of Pharmacy.

Elee Barber was awarded a $1,000 grant for a year period that she plans to use for tuition during pharmacy school.

“I have received this grant for the last three years,” Barber said. “This grant has helped me fund my education so that I am able to graduate with a doctorate of pharmacy degree.”

Torrence Barber has received the grant for the first time. He was also awarded a $1,000 grant for a year period that he plans to use for tuition.

“I am excited to receive this grant so that I may focus on my journey to become a doctor of pharmacy,” Barber said.


EPIC Pharmacies Chief Executive Officer, Jay Romero, R.Ph., said the company is excited to support the next generation of independent pharmacists.

“In recognizing these pharmacy students, EPIC Pharmacies is acknowledging their dedication to independent pharmacy, patient care, and their community,” Romero said.

Applications for the 2017 program will be available on January 1, 2017.


16 2016-12-22
Monroe

Audit: ULM's Hawaii trip broke law, system policy


The ULM football team’s trip to Hawaii violated state law and University of Louisiana System policy, according to a Louisiana legislative auditor’s report released this week.

The report found that, despite perceived assurances from the UL System, the ULM athletic department did not follow system policy that required University President Nick Bruno to approve the scheduling of the Hawaii game and the team charter’s final travel manifest.

According to the report, the athletic department spent more money on meals than permitted by state travel law and system policy, allowed seven donors to fly on the team charter without charge and used a commercial aircraft for certain travelers that was deemed unnecessary.

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In addition, ULM failed to collect $622,165 from the ULM Athletic Foundation in athletic ticket sales and multimedia sponsorships and could not reconcile $1,408 in baseball ticket sales.

“We tried to follow all the policies and guidelines in place,” ULM athletic director Brian Wickstrom said. “I thought all of the travelers fell within the travel categories approved by the UL System. None of the travelers who went increased the cost of the charter or the hotel rooms.”

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ULM Athletic Foundation sues ticketing firm for $500K
In a statement released late Monday, Bruno said ULM has addressed the violations with travel policy revisions and the ULM Athletic Foundation will pay the remaining expenses from the Hawaii trip, ticket sales and multimedia sponsorships to the university.

Wickstrom said the president’s office has deferred all football scheduling to the athletic director since former AD Bobby Staub and Bruno’s predecessor, James Cofer, agreed to a memorandum of understanding during their tenures at ULM.

Staub served as ULM’s athletic director under Cofer and Bruno from 2004-13.

“I reviewed all game contracts when I arrived at ULM, and Bobby had executed them all the way up until his departure,” Wickstrom said. “Dr. Bruno gives flexibility to the athletic director and head football coach on scheduling because he wants all programs to be successful and schedule accordingly.”

ULM added Hawaii to its 2015 football schedule three months after Wickstrom was hired as athletic director in July 2013. ULM’s team charter and hotel accommodations were paid by the University of Hawaii, per the agreement between the two schools.

Emails obtained by The News-Star revealed that in the opinion of UL System auditor Bruce Janet, an initial travel manifest sent by former ULM associate athletic director for internal operations Phil Shaw fell within the system guidelines.

According to a statement released to The News-Star by the UL System, Janet reviewed whether the manifest met system policy, not the matters cited in the audit report.

The final travel manifest was not approved by Bruno before the team’s departure.

“Most of the confusion came from details changing at the last minute due to the short turnaround from a coaching change,” Wickstrom said. “Every person on the trip fell into the four categories listed in the travel policy which was approved.”

Then-ULM football coach Todd Berry planned to take the entire team to Hawaii, but he was fired two weeks before the game. Interim coach John Mumford only wanted to take members of the team who were going to play and cut the travel roster to 66.

Wickstrom said the original travel party consisted of 179 people and required the athletic department to purchase 13 seats on a commercial flight; an expenditure that was approved by the ULM Athletic Foundation.

The athletic department spent just over $13,000 total on round-trip airfare for the additional 13 travelers.

The athletic department and ULM Athletic Foundation worked in tandem to sell the open spots, which followed system policy by not increasing costs for the trip.

ULM exceeded the $51,320 allowed for meals by the state and UL System by $9,433. Of that amount, $7,214 were meals for student-athletes, football employees and bus drivers, while $2,219 were incurred by non-ULM personnel, including employee family members, donors and other guests.

The excess in meal expenses and the $7,350 cost incurred by the seven donors who flew on the team charter were paid to ULM by the ULM Athletic Foundation.

The Hawaii trip occurred under the terms of former foundation President Kevin Woods.

“There were some accounting issues related to that trip, but there wasn’t any misappropriation of funds or anything of that effect,” current ULM Athletic Foundation President David Moore said. “Everyone that was on that trip paid what they were asked according to the university accountants.

“The finances in the foundation are the best they’ve been in years, and we had taken steps to handle the problem when the auditor’s office came.”

ULM Athletic Foundation personnel working within the athletic department consisted of one full-time employee and a graduate assistant at the time of the Hawaii trip.

The $622,165 in ticket sales and multimedia sponsorships ULM is owed by the athletic foundation was not paid by the end of the 2015 fiscal year in June, per the report.

Ongoing litigation between the ULM Athletic Foundation and former ticket vendor the Aspire Group caused the delay in payment, according to a written response sent to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office by ULM chief business officer Bill Graves.

“The ULM Athletic Foundation has not received about $477,000 due, per the third party agreement, which has forced them to look at other sources to meet the obligation to ULM,” Graves wrote.

Audit shows financial discrepancy with ULM ticket sales
According to Graves, the foundation has paid ULM more than $400,000 and will have the full debt paid by June 2017.

The ULM Athletic Foundation filed suit on December 23, 2015, claiming that Aspire refused to pay $500,000 owed to the foundation per the contract between the two parties. Aspire handled all ULM athletic ticketing from July 2013 to July 2015.

The athletic department was cited in another legislative auditor report in February related to discrepancies in ticket sales during the time of the foundation’s contract with Aspire.

The foundation handled all ticketing responsibilities through an affiliation agreement with ULM until October 2015.


16 2016-12-22
Monroe

Arrest made in ULM ski facilty arson


A Mississippi man has been charged with simple arson. Investigators say he was identified from security footage taken just before the University of Louisiana at Monroe's ski team facility was torched.

Michael Brad Daquilla, 36, of 517 Macedonia Road, Centreville, Mississippi, was arrested Tuesday.

Around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, the ULM Police Department was notified of a fire at the ski team facility at 4408 Bon Aire Drive, Monroe. Officers used water from Bayou DeSiard and nearby water hose to contain the fire until the Monroe Fire Department arrived and quenched the flames.

Read more: ULM police investigate ski facility arson

ULM Police Detective Jeremy Kent reviewed security footage of the scene and found images of a man sitting on dock near the building, then pouring the contents of a red gas can along the structure wall, striking a match and lighting fire to the building. He then fled.

The man was wearing a cammo jacket, blue jeans and an LSU baseball cap.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, Daquilla, who was identified based on the security images of his face and the clothing he was wearing, was later located. He was advised of his Miranda rights and reportedly refused to cooperate with the arresting officers.

Daquilla was booked into Ouachita Correctional Center. Bond information has not yet been set.

The building, which was built in 2015 and opened for use in spring 2016, includes storage, bathrooms and showers. The ULM Student Activity Fee funded the project, which cost approximately $355,000. It stands on the banks of Bayou DeSiard next door to the ULM president’s home.

The fire is still under investigation by ULM Police, Monroe Fire Department and the Louisiana State Fire Marshall. Motive for the crime has yet to be determined. Daquilla has no known connections to ULM.

ULM Police will forward their investigation to the district attorney’s office for review and prosecution.

“I would like to commend ULM Police for their action in containing the fire until fire crews could put it out," said Camile Currier, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs. "ULM Police’s collaboration with the Monroe Police Department, Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office, and other local and state agencies was important in this incident as in others and so we thank them as well for their assistance.”

Follow Bonnie Bolden on Twitter @Bonnie_Bolden_ and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1RtsEEP
16 2016-12-21
Monroe

ULM police investigate ski facility arson


The University of Louisiana at Monroe Police Department needs help identifying a suspect in an arson at the ULM water ski team's facility.

University police Lt. Jeremy Kent said a fire broke out around 5 p.m. Tuesday, and Monroe Fire Department investigators are still working at the property. The structure is still standing, but the extent of the damage has not yet been determined.

Investigators have images of a man carrying a gas can near the facility. They are attempting to identify him as a person of interest.

Anyone who knows the identity of this person or has information that could help identify him should call the ULM Police Department at 342-5350 or Crime Stoppers of Ouachita Parish at 388-2274.

The building, which was built in 2015, includes storage, bathrooms and showers. The ULM Student Activity Fee funded the project, which cost approximately $355,000. It stands on the banks of Bayou DeSiard next door to the ULM president’s home.

Follow Bonnie Bolden on Twitter @Bonnie_Bolden_ and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1RtsEEP


16 2016-12-21
Monroe

ULM hosts annual math competition for regional high schools


The Mathematics Program in the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences hosted the 2016 ULM High School Mathematics Competition on December 5.

More than 400 students from regional high schools gathered to connect with other participants as they explored and shared various math activities and challenges. “I am so excited to be a part of ULM's mathematics challenge for high school students. It allows students in our area high schools to come together at ULM and have fun with mathematics as they participate in group competitions and individual competitions,” said Kathy Smart, Mathematic instructor in ULM’s School of Sciences.

There is a lot of interest in this academic competition, as participation has grown exponentially over the past three years. This year’s activities took place in the SUB ballroom from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Award presentations took place after the competitions.

“We hope to generate students who can get excited about mathematics and learn to be good problem solvers as they compete,” Smart commented.

The competition was open to all Louisiana high school students (grade 9-12).

Awards were presented in three different categories. Third place overall students in each grade level received a certificate and a bronze medal. Second place overall students received a certificate, a silver medal and a $50 award. First place overall students received a certificate, a gold medal and a $100 award. Additionally, the top three 12th graders received a scholarship from ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place.

The following students were presented with awards:

Highest scoring students

Wes Whitaker from Briarfield Academy

Nyla Greely from Carroll High School

Jared Schwindling from Delhi High School

Kay Miller from Downsville Community Charter School

Huanyi Zhang from Jonesboro-Hodge High School

Darium Clark from Mangham High School

Darius Washington from Neville High School

Terral Davis from Oak Grove High School

Andrew Cooper from Quitman High School

Alina Mozhenkova from Rayville High School

Michael Hollman from River Oak School

Sarah Martel from West Ouachita High School

Thomasia Jones from Wossman High School

Top 3 overall students – 9th grade

First place: Andrew Cooper from Quitman High School

Second place: Darium Clark from Mangham High School

Third place: Tarandass Anand from Neville High School

Top 3 overall students – 10th grade

First place: Amanda Shelby from Neville High School

Second place: Randolf Brockman from Neville High School

Third place: Terence Tugwell from Neville High School

Top 3 overall students – 11th grade

First place: Miffy Cheng from Mangham High School

Second place: Alina Mozhenkova from Rayville High School

Third place: Michael Hollman from River Oaks High School

Top 3 overall students – 12th grade

First place: Huanyi Zhang from Jonesboro-Hodge High School

Second place: Talia Teplitzky from Neville High School

Third place: Darius Washington from Neville High School


16 2016-12-20
Monroe

Lauren Lang Memorial Scholarship Fund established at ULM


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The dental hygiene program at the University of Louisiana Monroe was awarded a $10,000 donation from the Morehouse Community Medical Centers’ (MCMC) board of directors, administrators, and staff to establish the Lauren Lang Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund will establish a scholarship fund to support future dental hygiene students.

Lauren Lang of Bastrop tragically took her own life in January of 2016. Lang was a senior in the ULM dental hygiene program and completed an educational rotation with MCMC’s dental clinic in West Monroe’s Riser Middle School.

She is survived by her parents Lisa and Lamar Lang.

“We want to honor Lauren in a way that will keep her memory alive and assist other students with fulfilling their dreams,” stated Lindsey Murry, a board member at MCMC.

“MCMC prides itself on giving back to the community and providing a learning environment for students in a variety of fields in health sciences. This is why providing a donation to establish a scholarship fund in Lauren’s memory is important to our organization,” said Katie Parnell, MCMC’s CEO.


The donation was presented at an event hosted on Dec. 15th, 2016. Morgan Patrick, a representative of the ULM Foundation, and Jordan Anderson, assistant professor of dental hygiene, accepted the gift on behalf of ULM.


16 2016-12-16
Monroe

ULM to hold seminar discussing scholarships and financial aid Saturday


The Offices of Scholarships and Financial Aid at the University of Louisiana Monroe will hold a seminar Saturday titled “Money Talks” to discuss scholarships, financial aid opportunities, and the cost of attendance at ULM.

All prospective and college bound students, parents, and other concerned members of the community are invited to attend.

The seminar will take place in the newly renovated Sandel Hall room 132 on Northeast Drive at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17.

To register, please visit ulm.edu/RSVP.


16 2016-12-15
Monroe

ULM recognized for offering top occupational therapy program


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s program for occupational therapy has been recognized as one of the best in the nation by The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org). As a leading resource for higher education and college accreditation information, the site released its annual ranking for the 2016-2017 school year, honoring ULM as the 24th Best Occupational Therapy Program in the Nation.

“We wanted to highlight schools like the University of Louisiana Monroe, who are striving for excellence in education,” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “These colleges offer an exceptional educational experience, upholding rigorous accreditation standards and showing an overall commitment to maximizing student success.”

In order for universities to qualify for this ranking, they must hold public or private not-for-profit status and carry institutional accreditation. Top schools are determined by using a value-based methodology that analyzes more than a dozen qualitative and quantitative data points.

For a complete list of occupational therapy programs for 2016-2017 and more information on the methodology used to rank each school, visit the following page:

http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/vocational-trade-school/occupational-therapy/.

About Accredited Schools Online: AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Their community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources.


16 2016-12-13
Monroe

704 students earn diplomas at ULM


A total 704 students from the University of Louisiana Monroe’s fall 2016 graduating class earned degrees Saturday in ULM’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Degrees were conferred to 207 summer graduates, and 497 fall graduates. Louisiana Sen. Ronnie Johns served as the commencement speaker.

Johns talked about the importance of continuing to acquire new knowledge, the inevitability of adversity in life, integrity and believing in one’s self.

“It is your duty to not only continue developing the ideas and principles you learned in these halls but to acquire new knowledge and to use that knowledge to shape your future,” Johns said. “Use every opportunity to share what you know and listen to others, even if they have a different perspective than you do.

“Go for it! Reach for your dreams! Do not let fear of a mistake disguised as sensibility dictate the terms of your life. If there is something you want in this life, the only person to make that happen for you is you,” Johns said.

ULM President Nick J. Bruno gave special recognition to students who have interesting or inspiring graduation stories. Those recognized were: Alberto Sebastian Moncayo, master of business administration; Shaterica Wilson, associate of science in occupational therapy assistant; Vladimir Jakovljevic, bachelor of arts in communication; and Halie Fryday, bachelor of science in elementary education.

Several honor graduates also were recognized during the ceremony. They are designated as summa cum laude (3.900–4.000), magna cum laude (3.750–3.899) and cum laude (3.500–3.749).

For the complete list of summer and fall 2016 graduates, click here.
16 2016-12-09
Monroe

ULM, Children’s Coalition partner to host conference Friday


ULM’s School of Education, in partnership with the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, will host the “What Works Conference: Breaking the Cycle,” at the ULM Student Union Building from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

This year, the conference welcomes as keynote speaker Kathleen Budge along with local experts to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty in northeastern Louisiana.

Budge is the co-author of the award-winning book "Turning High-Poverty Schools into High-Performing Schools." She speaks nationally for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development on how schools can work with community partners to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

The conference will cover the adverse effects poverty can have on children’s lives and learning abilities.

“Local folks have to decide: ‘We’re not going to let the noise detract us, and we are going to move forward with what we can do in our sphere of influence.’ They will be amazed at what they can do. It often ends up being about the basic things, such as helping teachers to build relationships with every single student and their family,” Budge said. “I’m hopeful, but it’s a matter of people deciding that it is possible.”

“All have a right to quality care and education, but poverty imposes social, cognitive, health-related, and stress-related challenges on students every day, and all these factors affect students’ ability to learn.” said Lynn Clark, Instructor in the ULM School of Education and Executive Director of the Children’s Coalition.

Conference discounts are available for teachers, students and Children’s Coalition members.

In addition to the conference, a meet-and-greet event with Budge will be 4-5 p.m. Thursday at Walker Hall 2-101. The public is invited to attend and light refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact Arely Castillo at castillo@ulm.edu or 816-2278 or The Children’s Coalition at 323-8775.


16 2016-12-08
Monroe

ULM to award nearly 740 degrees Saturday


MONROE, La (ULM Release) - On Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m., the University of Louisiana Monroe’s Fall 2016 Commencement Ceremony will take place in ULM’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Degrees will be conferred by ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno to students in ULM’s three colleges and graduate school. Those students who finished their degrees during the summer sessions will also receive their degrees.

Louisiana State Senator Ronnie Johns will serve as the Commencement speaker.

Senator Johns is a 1972 graduate of ULM’s (formerly Northeast Louisiana University) School of Pharmacy and practiced retail pharmacy for 10 years in his hometown of Bunkie, La. In 1982, he made a career change and was appointed as an agent with State Farm Insurance Co. in Sulphur, La. where he lives today and still manages his State Farm Agency.

Senator Johns has devoted his legislative career to many business-related issues, health care issues, is a strong advocate for domestic violence victims, for adoption and foster care of children, and victims of human trafficking.


Several honor graduates will also be recognized during the ceremony. They are designated as summa cum laude (3.900-4.000), magna cum laude (3.750-3.899) and cum laude (3.500-3.749).


16 2016-12-06
Monroe

Louisiana State Senator Ronnie Johns named ULM's fall commencement speaker


MONROE, La. (ULM Press Release) —

Louisiana State Senator Ronnie Johns will serve as the Commencement speaker for ULM’s fall ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Senator Johns has represented District 27 in the Louisiana State Senate since 2012. Previously, he served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1996 until 2008 where he served three consecutive terms.

Senator Johns is a 1972 graduate of ULM’s (formerly Northeast Louisiana University) School of Pharmacy and practiced retail pharmacy for 10 years in his hometown of Bunkie, La. In 1982, he made a career change and was appointed as an agent with State Farm Insurance Co. in Sulphur, La. where he lives today and still manages his State Farm Agency.

Senator Johns has devoted his legislative career to many business-related issues, health care issues, is a strong advocate for domestic violence victims, for adoption and foster care of children, and victims of human trafficking.

He has received numerous awards during his legislative career in his local community, statewide, and nationally for his efforts on a wide variety of issues. In September of this year, he was recognized in Washington, D.C. by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute as an Angel in Adoption for his tireless work on the behalf of foster children and adoptive parents. He was also recognized by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana as a Legislative Champion for Public Policy for his extensive work on the tragedy of human trafficking

Senator Johns sits on the Senate Finance Committee, Insurance Committee, Labor Committee and is Vice Chairman of the Judiciary B Committee. He also sits on the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, Joint Committee on Capital Outlay and is the Senate Chairman of the Select Committee for Disaster Recovery. He is a member of the Board of CHRISTUS Hospitals and the Board of the Metanoia Foundation, which is dedicated to helping the victims of human trafficking.

He is married to the former Michelle Servat of Rayne, La. and they have one child, Claire, married to Alex Broussard, and two grandsons, Lawston and Locke.


16 2016-12-05
Monroe

ULM names new associate vice president for academic affairs


Dr. Michael Camille, former associate dean of the College of Arts, Education and Sciences, has been named the new associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Among his many responsibilities, Camille will serve as liaison to ULM’s accreditation body (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) and oversee the 2019 decennial reaffirmation with that accrediting body. He will also assume responsibility for developing and monitoring academic policies and will assist Dr. Eric Pani, VP of Academic Affairs, in leading academics at ULM.

“The pool of applicants for this job was very strong, so the decision was not an easy one to make,” said Pani. “An important factor, however, was Mike’s administrative experience as a department head, associate dean, and interim dean. Each of the groups that interviewed the candidates remarked that the vision, skills, abilities, and judgement he developed while serving the university in these positions of increasingly academic leadership responsibility have prepared him quite well to assume the duties of this position. I feel the same way and look forward to working with Mike.”

Camille served as associate dean of the College of Arts, Education and Sciences for the past three years. He has been a faculty member at ULM since 1996 and holds the academic rank of tenured professor of geography. He received a Ph.D. in Geography from Texas A&M University in 1994.
16 2016-12-02
Monroe

Athletes from ULM and Louisiana Tech Come Together for a Good Cause


Christmas came 24 days early for a dozen area families.

Andrew Whitworth's "Big Whit 77 Foundation" was out in full force on Thursday night at Pecanland Mall.

Children received $500 to shop at Toys R' Us, and grab toys of their choice.

Each of the families were provided by United Way of Northeast Louisiana, and Wellspring.

With the help of several athletes from ULM and Louisiana Tech, kids left the store with big smiles on their faces.

16 2016-12-01
Monroe

Bruno cedes 'Louisiana' name to Cajuns


The Sun Belt Conference’s decision to refer to UL Lafayette as “Louisiana” met with no protest from ULM President Nick Bruno.

The revised media reference guide released by the Sun Belt last week lists “Louisiana” as UL Lafayette’s name on first reference and “LA” as its short abbreviation.

All presidents and chancellors of Sun Belt-member institutions were aware of each school’s naming preferences before the guide was given final approval by the conference.

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No objections were raised regarding UL Lafayette’s naming preferences.

“We asked what their preference was, completed the chart and sent it to each university for final approval,” Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson told The News-Star on Wednesday.

“Once each university signed off on the chart, that’s when we distributed it to the media.”


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Bruno declined to speak on the matter and referred all comment to ULM athletic director Brian Wickstrom.

Wickstrom said his focus remains on ULM and not the brand of another school.

“The use of ‘Louisiana’ is something that needs to be discussed above the institutional level within the University of Louisiana System,” Wickstrom said. “What we have to do is strengthen our brand through the continued improvements ULM has made in athletics and academics.”

UL Lafayette has attempted to brand its athletic department as “Louisiana” and “UL” over the last several years by semantically dancing around Act 45 of the Louisiana State Legislature, which prohibits by law any UL System institution from using the “UL” acronym or the name “University of Louisiana” for “academic, public relations, athletic, as well as other purposes not specified.”

ULM has countered similar undertakings by UL Lafayette in the past by also submitting “Louisiana” as its preferred name on first reference. The Sun Belt reached a compromise with both schools in January 2014 and assigned “UL Lafayette” and “UL Monroe” as the first-reference name for each institution.

To counter the move, UL Lafayette officially modified its mascot to the “Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.” The changes to the Sun Belt reference guide now makes UL Lafayette’s name the “Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns” when first reference and mascot is combined.

ULM declined to employ a similar tactic this time around and instead listed its preferred name as “ULM.”

When asked what happened to make ULM change its mind, UL Lafayette President Joseph Savoie told the Lafayette Daily-Advertiser it was an “ongoing conversation.”

Benson said that it’s not up to the Sun Belt to dictate what a member institution wishes to call itself.

“The conference doesn’t have any jurisdiction over how a school wishes to be referred. The only thing we have to manage is to make sure there’s a distinct difference between our membership so there’s not any confusion in our standings and reports as we send out our communications,” Benson said.

“If there’s a problem, then that’s an issue that universities need to resolve within the state system.”

UL Lafayette waged unsuccessful litigious battles to change its name to the “University of Louisiana” twice in 1984 and 1995. The latter attempt led to the state adopting Act 45 that same year.

Former ULM President Lawson Swearingen’s decision to change the name of then-Northeast Louisiana University to its current iteration in 1998 allowed the University of Southwestern Louisiana to change its name to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

State law required that two universities must agree to a name change and use the “University of Louisiana” moniker followed by its geographic location before such a move could be made.

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker


16 2016-11-30
Monroe

ULM announces new endowments for faculty and student support


MONROE, La. —

The University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation (ULM Foundation) announced that is has established new endowments for faculty and students.

The endowments created will amount to $4.4 million, with $2.64 million coming from private donations and $1.76 million coming from the State. These endowments are permanent and will continue to generate revenue to support faculty and students forever.

“Support for research becomes increasingly important as ULM matures further as a doctoral university,” said Susan Chappell, Executive Director of the ULM Foundation and Alumni Relations. “With state funding for higher education decreasing, the ULM Foundation has been contributing to this support by seeking private donations that establish endowments for faculty chairs, faculty professorships, and graduate student scholarships. We have also been working to make sure that higher education remains broadly accessible by seeking private donations for endowed first-generation undergraduate scholarships.”

The Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund (BoRSF) has several programs whose purpose is to “improve the quality of education…[and] enhance economic development.” These programs add state funds to private donations, creating greater endowments. This year’s submissions of requests and proposals to these programs consists of two endowed chairs, five endowed professorships (added to eight others submitted in prior years and pending matches), seven first-generation scholarships, and eight superior graduate student scholarships.

Dr. Eric Pani, Vice President of Academic Affairs, credits Chappell, Joe Jacobs, President of the ULM Foundation Board of Trustees, and ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno for establishing and maintaining effective communications so that the fund-raising efforts of the ULM Foundation are coordinated with the needs of the University.

“We are very grateful for the ULM Foundation development officers and Trustees who made the requests that resulted in these donations and the Foundation staff who supported those efforts,” said Pani. “We also thank the generous donors who make possible greater endowments supporting faculty and students at ULM.”

Deans Sandra Lemoine (Arts, Education and Sciences), Ron Berry (Business and Social Sciences), and Benny Blaylock (Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences) were instrumental in identifying the programs supported by the endowments and many faculty members wrote proposals for the chairs and graduate student scholarships.

ULM thanks the following donors–most of them alumni–whose generosity has underwritten these funds:

Doll and Henry Biedenharn Family

Linda and Nick Bruno

Ernest and Sophia Holloway

Regions Bank

Linda and Joe Holyfield

T. and Dollie John

Iberia Bank

Jan and Gary Luffey

Anna Meyer

David and Sharon Turrentine

Toby Bancroft

Paul and Mary Fink

Progressive Bank

Carol Christopher

Kitty DeGree Foundation

Clark G. Boyce

Milton and Bertha Gorn

R. D. Castles

Oscar Cahn & Kurt & Irmgard Fisher

Elsie Webb

Ted D. Price

James Thom, IV

Ken and Mary Renwick

Sal Scaccia

The ULM Foundation


16 2016-11-29
Monroe

ULM welcomes new alumni director Sarah Mouton


he University of Louisiana Monroe announced Monday the appointment of Sarah Mouton of Duson, La. as its new director of alumni affairs.

Mouton, who takes up the position Monday, will oversee, coordinate, develop, implement, evaluate and manage all aspects of alumni services and growth.

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“I am honored to be the newest member of the ULM family. This exciting opportunity will allow me to interact and engage a wonderful alumni base as well as educate current students about the services we offer,” said Mouton.

Mouton is a lifelong supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and recently served as a Senior Regional Development Representative for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. During her employment, she raised over $5.25 million through events in the Greater New Orleans area.

She received her Bachelor of Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing from Louisiana State University in 2013. During her time at LSU, Sarah served as the Executive Director of St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn at LSU, and was awarded the Most Outstanding Event in 2012. Sarah worked at the Athletic Ticket Office and played on the Club Volleyball team.

Growing up in South Louisiana, Sarah competed in many pageants. She was crowned the 2012 International Rice Festival Queen and traveled to countless events representing the oldest agricultural celebration in Louisiana. She attended the annual Rice Miller’s Convention in Quebec City, Quebec and addressed a crowd of 500 industry representatives. She also represented the festival during the Mystic Krewe of Louisianians Mardi Gras Ball in Washington, D.C. Sarah now serves on the Visiting Queens Committee for the International Rice Festival.

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys running and has completed two half marathons. She is engaged to Jarod Floyd, Chief Meteorologist at KTVE NBC 10/KARD FOX 14, a ULM graduate. The two met during the annual Monroe St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in 2015 and were engaged in Chicago, making her an eternal Cubs fan. Sarah and Jarod enjoy traveling and completing puzzles.

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“We are overjoyed to welcome Sarah into our ULM Family! She is eager to engage with ULM Students, Faculty, and Community, gathering ideas to enrich the relationship between the University and its constituents,” said Susan Chappell, Executive Director of the ULM Foundation and Alumni Relations. “All are invited to embrace the opportunity to get to know Sarah, your new alumni leader and prime ambassador for ULM.”
16 2016-11-29
Monroe

ULM to host 14th annual Holidays at ULM Celebration event


The University of Louisiana Monroe welcomes the community to the 14th annual Holidays at ULM Celebration, beginning at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 29, in ULM’s Brown auditorium. The festivities begin with a holiday concert, followed by the popular tree lighting ceremony.

This event is free and open to the public.

For the fourth year, the “lighting of the campus” will be held in front of Brown Hall, facing DeSiard Street. Ace the Warhawk and Santa will be in attendance to visit with children. Hot cider, cocoa and snacks will also be served.

Weather permitting, a synthetic ice rink will be set up by the tree in front of Brown Hall from 2:30 – 7:30 p.m. Skates will be provided.

The event is sponsored by ULM’s Student Government Association (SGA).

Laura Knotts Jennings, SGA adviser, and director of Student Life and Leadership said, “This has always been one of the most beloved events on campus each year. We are so excited to have the community come out and join us in one of our favorite Warhawk traditions.”

The indoor concert will feature the ULM Wind Ensemble directed by Dr. Derle Long and Steven Pederson. There will also be performances by the ULM Concert Choir, the ULM Chamber Singers and the University Chorale conducted by Dr. Deborah Chandler and accompanied by Julian Jones.

The event follows the annual Employee Holiday Reception in the ULM Conference Center from 3–5 p.m., hosted by ULM President Nick and First Lady Linda Bruno.

For questions or more information, please call ULM Student Life at 318-342-5287.


16 2016-11-28
Gannett

Colleges tapping into Millennials as future donor base


Universities are learning that Millennials — the current generation of traditional-age college students — give differently than previous generations. So universities, which rely on alumni donations, are finding different ways to reach them.

While the generation of people born after 1980 often is called selfish, the reality shows otherwise. Some go so far as to say they give more than any other generation. It just looks differently.

"There's this idea that they (Millennials) are really narcissistic and into just themselves and they're selfish. That's really not true. They give more than any generation," said Roxanne Smith, associate director of alumni affairs for the University of Louisiana at Monroe. "They're just savvier about it and they physically give differently."

A "Millennial Impact Report" by research group Achieve and the Case Foundation surveyed more than 2,500 millennial employees and managers and found 84 percent of the generation made a charitable donation in 2014 and 70 percent spent at least an hour volunteering, CNBC reported last year.

While they may not be giving tons of money to causes — on average Millennials give an annual gift of $481, according to Blackbaud's Next Generation of American Giving report — they are giving. And universities are working to capture that with "easier" ways to give, like a user-friendly online portal at ULM because "they're not walking around with a lot of cash," Smith said.

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But it's not just about the payment method. ULM and other schools are getting "young alumni" — those who graduated in the last five or six years — and upperclassmen involved even before they graduate.

One way to reach them is by finding a connection, something studies have shown matters to Millennials. They want to know specific details about who and what they're giving to and to know their contribution will make a difference in someone's life.

It's evident when you look at where Millennials are giving. People of this generation make up about 33 percent of cause-based crowdfunding sites like YouCaring, according to an article in Entrepreneur magazine in March. These sites also fit in with their lifestyle, allowing them to give easily through mobile or social media sites.

"With the younger generation, and with Millennials in particular, so much of what they consume is online and through social media," said Lisa Capone, executive director of development at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. "(So) we’ve beefed up our online giving pages."

That was step one. Shifting gears from traditional phone-a-thons, which the school still does, to a stronger reliance on email and social media communication was a necessity. As most Millennials only have cell phones, "it’s actually really hard to find their phone numbers. That has been a real challenge for our industry," Capone said.

"We’re having to rethink what we do moving forward," she said.

UL Lafayette also added more full-time fundraisers to staff and are developing more crowdfunding campaigns that resonate more with students and young alumni. An upcoming campaign will be run by students within the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration for renovations within the college.

Capone used this as an example of how fundraising is not just about promoting the university anymore. It's no longer enough to remind graduates of their alma mater and ask or even expect them to give.

"One challenge with Millennials is I think they really give to causes they love but not to institutions," she said. "... We have to identify the causes and the initiatives they love and talk about that specifically."

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Officials with Northwestern State University's Foundation also are seeing this Millennial giving trend play out with endowed scholarships from multiple recent graduates. These are 25-year-olds (or younger) — not your typical target for soliciting donations. And because of that they still are strongly connected to their alma mater.

"A lot of young alumni are giving," said Kimberly Gallow, assistant director of alumni affairs with the NSU Foundation. "... The hype of college graduation is still in their head."

Along with a "strong push" to educate alumni on why it's important to give back, Gallow and other foundation employees use that hype to remind graduates of the clubs they were a part of and the students still at NSU who need financial help to finish their degrees.

Recent Northwestern State University graduate Chastasia
Recent Northwestern State University graduate Chastasia Grasty started a scholarship for international students at her alma mater. (Photo: Leah Jackson/Northwestern State)
"We really tell stories and create relationships," Gallow said. "... It makes a difference when they know they're helping a group or program they were once part of."

"A lot of younger alumni are giving for their sorority or crew or in memory of someone they went to school with," she continued. "Each scholarship or donation is different. We try to cater it to their experience and keep them connected."

It worked for her. She started a scholarship for minority students in business because she was a minority in business at NSU.

For Chantasia Grasty, 22, that connection came from her experiences studying abroad. They led her to establish NSU's first scholarship for international students this fall.

The recent Northwestern grad established the Grasty International Scholarship through the school's foundation. It is to be awarded to an undergraduate international student with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Application is open to any major and applicants must submit a one-page essay with at least one letter of recommendation.

During her time at NSU she traveled to Cartagena, Colombia, and Havana, Cuba, and she spent time with international students.

“This sparked my interest in international student affairs and made me want to understand their culture even more to help international students who want to attend Northwestern," she said in a release. "Interacting with this group of individuals allowed me to see their passion to learn and made me want to give back to these students and help them further their education at Northwestern."

Grasty is one of several recent graduates to create new scholarships for specific groups, from Alpha Kappa Alpha to ROTC, which falls in line with research. Achieve's Millennial Alumni Study, released in 2014 in partnership with the Chronicle of Philanthropy, found that when it comes to giving to their alma maters 51 percent preferred giving current students financial aid or scholarships.

The study also showed that connection isn't the only key to getting Millennials to donate. They also need options, and Gallow confirmed it.

"Many people think when we talk about giving, 'I don't have $500 to give today,'" Gallow said.

So part of her job is show alumni the "many different ways to give back."

"You can give money, volunteer, set up a scholarship," she said. "And to set up a scholarship you don't have to pay up front. You can do $5 a month."

Donations to specific groups are popular, but donors do still give to school's unrestricted fund that helps support the university as a whole, Gallow pointed out. Again, there are options.

In Monroe, students are becoming part of a "network" before they officially become alumni. Smith advises a new group on campus, 31 Ambassadors, that is creating a network of future alumni.

"Its purpose is to get our students in the habit of giving, whether money or time," Smith said. "If we instill a habit of philanthropy it will start a lifetime of giving."

That focus on time as well as money is important to both the university and Millennials, who tend to have less discretionary income during and right after college.

"Millennials’ definition of giving back is monetary but it’s also time and volunteering, which is not something we really didn't see in previous generations," Capone said.

Time is what Millennials and current students have more of right now. One day that likely will shift. One thought is when graduates have more money than time to give away, their way of giving might shift, too.

One way 31 Ambassadors is doing that is through "GratiTuesdays." Each Tuesday students show their gratitude in different ways — thanking alumni for giving to the university, writing "get well" cards for someone in the university family or volunteer for causes around the campus and community.

They also have raised funds, like the $200 raised in just a few hours during Homecoming Week for a student in the midst of a severe medical battle, Smith gave as an example.
16 2016-11-28
Monroe

Hunsucker: Brooks resignation caps bizarre year at ULM


ULM and Josh Brooks hardly had time to get reacquainted over the past year.

Brooks wasn’t the first to come to ULM fueled by ambition and positivity. Nor will he be the last to leave town at the first sign of a better opportunity elsewhere.

When Brooks ended his second stint at ULM this week to return to Georgia as executive associate athletic director, it ended an arrangement that was peculiar at best, even for an athletic department that has few peers when it comes to bizarre and perplexing behavior.

Context is a beautiful thing, so let’s consider these events.

Brooks left a comfortable gig as the athletic director at Millsaps College last November to serve as a special assistant to ULM President Nick Bruno. Former football coach Todd Berry had spent the better part of the year doing everything possible to get himself fired by waging a public war of words with Bruno over admission standards, budgets and even summer meal plans.

Berry ultimately succeeded after ULM started the year 1-9. Brooks arrived days later and assumed what would become a frequently awkward position between Bruno and athletic director Brian Wickstrom, who by that time had sniffed around openings at Akron and Tulane.

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Brooks emerged from January’s mass exodus from the athletic department — all personnel hired by Wickstrom — as the new deputy athletic director. And thus began the modus operandi that carried ULM into November.

Did Bruno, a longtime friend of the Brooks family, hire Josh to ultimately replace Wickstrom?

Did this mean the end of Wickstrom’s mercurial but financially beneficial tenure at ULM?

And how exactly were these two supposed to work together?

ULM answered these questions in its own special way by coming to terms with Wickstrom on a 12-month extension hours before his contract was set to expire on June 29.

Bruno’s denial that Brooks was brought in to take over the athletic department exists only to insult the intelligence of anyone with the capacity for logic.

A sitting athletic director was hired by a university president that already had one, where the relationship between said president and his current AD is acrimonious at best because of the antics of the then-embattled football coach.

The same university president spends the months leading up to the expiration of the athletic director’s contract showering him with endorsements like, “Brian is our athletic director until he isn’t,” only to come through at the 11th hour with an extension.

All’s well that ends well, I guess.

Brooks and Wickstrom deserve credit for making the best of the situation. Wickstrom’s fundraising efforts over the last year saw the opening of ULM’s long-awaited end zone football facility and the installation of field turf at the Warhawk softball complex.

Brooks’ attempts to enhance the ULM fan experience on the marketing side with new game-day promotions did little to boost attendance. The current shape of the program didn’t do Brooks any favors, nor did ULM’s decision to raise ticket prices and charge for parking following a 2-11 season.

Bruno believes that ULM athletics is better off now than it was one year ago, but let’s once again lean on history.

Given the turnover in the department over that span, and the fact the people who filled those vacant positions all have ties to Brooks, what’s to keep this from happening again?

ULM supporters, who long ago learned to cope with such behavior at the top, were promised that 2016 would be the start of a new day.

But so far the more things change, the more they stay the same.


16 2016-11-28
Monroe

ULM Exchange Students Get A Taste Of Thanksgiving


Monroe, La.--

Students at the University of Louisiana at Monroe got to celebrate Thanksgiving—particularly those who are thousands of miles away from home.

Catholic Campus Ministries hosted a celebration for the school’s students.

It included lessons about the holiday, singing, praying and we can’t forget—food.

Many exchange students were eager to learn about the American culture.

“This is the first time,” exchange student from Portugal, Joao Girao said. “It’s really fun to see all the people gather and speak. I don’t know anyone here, but they’re all really nice.”

Some attendees were from countries as far away as Poland, Nepal and Ghana.


16 2016-11-28
Monroe

ULM's Catholic Campus Ministry hosts Thanksgiving as a campus family ULM Catholic Campus Ministry thanksgiving


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - ULM's Catholic Campus Ministry hosted Thanksgiving for church members, volunteers, ULM faculty, and international students.

It was all done in the hopes of welcoming international students who were away from home for the holiday.

"It is important for us to have that for them and to extend our hospitality and to share our generosity, and show that Americans do have a kind heart," says Carl Thameling, a Communications professor at ULM and member of the Catholic Campus Ministry.

The Catholic Campus Ministry is currently celebrating its 50th year on campus.


16 2016-11-28
Monroe

Bruno: Brooks' departure from ULM 'bittersweet'


Nick Bruno understands the precarious tightrope of staffing at ULM better than anyone. It comes with the job title of University President.

The realities of ULM — both in prestige and compensation — make it hard to retain employees enticed by offers from larger universities, but even Bruno was a little surprised to see Josh Brooks go.

Brooks resigned as ULM’s deputy athletic director after one year to return to Georgia as executive associate athletic director.

“Was I taken a back? Somewhat, but this is a battle we fight every day,” said Bruno, who in addition to hiring Brooks last November is a longtime family friend.

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“I’m really happy for Josh but I’m sad that he’s leaving because he’s been a tremendous employee and enjoyable to be around. It’s bittersweet but differently more sweet than bitter.”


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UPDATED: Brooks leaves ULM with 'heavy heart'

Bruno hired Brooks as a special assistant in November 2015. ULM athletic director Brian Wickstrom was named a finalist for the same position at Tulane that same month after applying for the AD job at Akron in August.

Brooks’ appointment as deputy athletic director left many wondering if he was in line to take over as athletic director. ULM and Wickstrom agreed to a 12-month extension in July that runs through July 2017.

Bruno denied speculation that Brooks was brought in to replace Wickstrom.

“That was a possibility, but it wasn’t a certainty. Had Brian left, I think it would have given both of us an opportunity to sit back and ask if this was the right fit for Josh and for the university,” Bruno said.

“The reality was that Josh wasn’t brought in because of any relationship with me. He was brought in because of his talent and I think that was verified.”

Bruno said ULM will begin looking at plans for Brooks’ vacant spot in the athletic department after Thanksgiving.

“I guess if there’s a positive, you know you have good people when other people want them. Right now we’re better (in the athletic department) than a year ago and I think we’ll be even better next year,” Bruno said.

“We’ll move forward with athletics and do what’s best for the university while fulfilling the promise I made to this community to build this program.”


16 2016-11-23
Monroe

ULM Deputy Athletic Director Josh Brooks is Leaving for the University of Georgia


November 22, 2016

On Tuesday night, KTVE NBC 10 Sports learned that Deputy Athletic Director Josh Brooks has turned in his resignation and will leave for the University of Georgia.

Brooks will become the Executive Associate Athletic Director and Chief Operating Officer.

He came to ULM in December 2015 with the plan to eventually succeed current A.D. Brian Wickstrom.

His final day with the university is December 9.


16 2016-11-23
Monroe

ULM opens renovated Sandel Hall


The University of Louisiana at Monroe celebrated the opening of the recently renovated Sandel Hall on Tuesday.

The $17.4 million, 88,000-square-foot building is a “one-stop shop” for students, representing a major step forward in the revitalization of ULM’s facilities.

Lisa Miller, chief communications officer, said the project was added to the state's capital outlay list in 2002. It took 14 years since then with diligent efforts from the northeastern Louisiana legislative delegation to push the project through.

The building houses the university bookstore, the office of recruitment and admissions, the university registrar, financial aid, the scholarship office, campus radio stations, an innovation center, and other core administrative departments. Though primarily an office building, Sandel Hall also provides several multimedia classrooms and conference rooms with interactive features and a state-of-the art biology laboratory.

Opened in 1963, Sandel Hall first served as the university library. It was named after Monroe resident Percy M. Sandel, a judge of the 4th Judicial District Court. Initially built with two stories, a a third-floor addition was made in 1977. The building served as the university library until 1999 when the current library opened. Since then, the facility has housed the university’s natural history museum, its herbarium, testing center, bookstore, and the office of recruitment and admissions along with various departments that were displaced by construction.

The renovation of Sandel Hall began in 2014. The remodeling was designed by Bill Land of Land 3 Architect, whose family was influential in the development of ULM’s campus infrastructure. Land’s father was the original architect on Sandel Hall in 1961, and his grandfather was the original architect on the first building on ULM campus, Brown Hall, built in 1931.

Land said the brickwork of Sandel Hall mirrors that on Brown Hall.


16 2016-11-18
Monroe

ULM to unveil completely renovated Sandel Hall: modernization becomes a standard at ULM


The University of Louisiana Monroe welcomes the community to the grand opening ceremony for its completely renovated Sandel Hall and Barnes & Noble bookstore on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m.

The $17.4 million, 88,000-square-foot building is a “one-stop shop” for students, representing a major step forward in the revitalization of ULM’s facilities. The building houses the university bookstore, the office of recruitment and admissions, the university registrar, financial aid, the scholarship office, campus radio stations, an innovation center, and other core administrative departments.

Although primarily an office building, Sandel Hall now also provides several multimedia classrooms and conference rooms with cutting-edge interactive features as well as a state-of-the art biology laboratory.

Opened in 1963, Sandel Hall first served as the university library. It was named after Monroe resident Percy M. Sandel, a judge of the fourth judicial court. Initially built as a two-story building, Sandel Hall received a third floor addition in 1977. The building served as the university library until 1999 when the current library opened. Since the library’s departure from the building, the facility has housed the university’s natural history museum, its herbarium, testing center, bookstore, and the office of recruitment and admissions.

The renovation of Sandel Hall began in 2014. The remodeling was designed by Bill Land of Land 3 Architect, whose family was also very influential in the development of ULM’s campus infrastructure. Land’s father was the original architect on Sandel Hall in 1961, and his grandfather was the original architect on the first building on ULM campus, Brown Hall, built in 1931.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, attendees will be invited to tour Sandel Hall and the Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Barnes & Noble is the largest retail bookseller in the U.S. and a leading retailer of content, digital media, and educational products in the country. ULM partnered with the company earlier this year to serve the campus and community as the official bookstore.

The bookstore opened its doors to ULM students on Feb. 29 and has enjoyed record sales during its brief tenure on campus. Their plan is to be more involved with the students and community by hosting events at the bookstore.

Speakers on the agenda include ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno, ULM Chief Communications Officer Lisa Miller, ULM Executive Vice President Dr. Stephen Richters, Senator Neil Riser and Bill Land of Land 3 Architect.

Refreshments will be provided.

Parking will be available in the lot adjacent to the Liew Family International Student Center, located on Northeast Drive just past the main campus entrance.
16 2016-11-17
Monroe

ULM School of Pharmacy offers free flu shots


Flu shots were offered to students at ULM.

ULM pharmacy students held a flu shot clinic on campus.

The event offered free flu shots to the students as well as information on the importance of getting a flu shot.

ULM's school of pharmacy won an award through the American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacist.
16 2016-11-17
Monroe

ULM School of Pharmacy offers free flu shots


Flu shots were offered to students at ULM.

ULM pharmacy students held a flu shot clinic on campus.

The event offered free flu shots to the students as well as information on the importance of getting a flu shot.

ULM's school of pharmacy won an award through the American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacist.
16 2016-11-16
Monroe

TOPS funding cut down to 41.8% for spring 2017 semester TOPS cut down to 41.8% for Spring 2017 semester


TOPS funding for the spring 2017 semester has been cut down to only 41.8% due to Louisiana's budget crisis.


Courtesy: KNOE

Gov. John Bel Edwards says no further cuts will be made to the scholarship program.

Students and families are left to find the missing 68-69% of funds normally provided from TOPS elsewhere, and the ULM Admissions Department is encouraging families to stay positive.

"Keep on top of it with your students. It's still out there, it hasn't gone away completely, and we just never know what the changes will be. Everybody is still fighting for it," says Katelin Hubbard, Coordinator of ULM Admissions and Scholarships.

Hubbard also says she also encourages students in need of money for schooling to apply for extra scholarships and financial aid.

ULM students are reacting with uncertainty and disappointment.

"It's really disappointing mainly because this is going to be my third to last semester of my college career, and I've received my full TOPS for my first five semesters, and like I said, I'm close to being finished. Yet my scholarship is going to be less than half of what I've been receiving. I know my parents probably feel the same way I do," says ULM junior, Mckae Chaney.


Justace Keller, also a junior at ULM, says she doesn't believe funding for TOPS will ever reach its full potential again.

"Education is always the first to go. I don't think it will ever be back at 100%. I think they will try their best to get it as high as they can. Maybe back to 50-60%, but I don't think it will be back at 100%," says Keller.

Student Ethan Troth says he think the state will do everything they can to raise TOPS funding again.

"I think eventually they'll try to pick it back up. Obviously they make education is a real priority in the state. They know the workforce has to have good education. They don't want us to not have less funding to go to school," Troth says.

In a statement issued by Gov. Edwards, he says he does not wish to leave students to "shoulder the burden of our state's financial problems".

Edwards also says the upcoming regular legislative session in 2017 will give the state another chance to stabilize Louisiana's budget and invest in children's futures.
16 2016-11-16
Monroe

ULM alumna named executive director of Fulton Chamber of Commerce


After a five-month search, the Fulton Chamber of Commerce in Fulton, Miss. has named ULM alumna and Itawamba Community College (ICC) public speaking instructor Mary Sue Boggs its new executive director.

The announcement was made via email from chamber treasurer and interim director Danny Gaither to the chamber members Sunday.

“The chamber’s board of directors are very excited about the talent Mary Sue brings to the chamber,” Gaither wrote.

A 25-year employee at ICC, Boggs is set to begin her job as the public face of the chamber in January after retiring later this year.

Boggs received an Associate of Arts degree in broadcasting and a Bachelor of Arts in radio/ television/film management and a minor in journalism from ULM (formerly Northeast Louisiana University). She received a Master of Arts in teaching, with an emphasis on speech communication, from Mississippi State University.

In addition to her teaching career, Boggs served six years as director of Most Beautiful and Miss ICC Pageants, 10 years as director and coach of the school’s forensics team and 21 years as chair of ICC’s speech and theater department.


16 2016-11-16
Monroe

ULM announces freshman essay contest winners


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s English program hosted its annual Best Freshman Essay Awards Ceremony Monday, Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. in the media room on the sixth floor of the university library.

This essay contest is held each fall for English 1001 students to demonstrate their writing abilities and creativity.

Essay submissions are from the first essay that freshmen students write in Composition I. The essays are written based on a unit taught alongside Writing Today and the summer reader "This I Believe" (essay selections from NPR).

Students submit their narrative essays for judging by composition instructors. The judges look for creativity, a resounding message and writing level.

“We look for someone’s soul on paper. It’s essential for students to showcase their talents, to know they have a voice, to be recognized,” said Meredith McKinnie, Director of First Year Composition. The top three essays were awarded prizes.

The award ceremony provides appreciation and recognition for the students’ hard work. “This contest recognizes collegiate writing and the power of storytelling,” said Vanelis Rivera, English instructor in the School of Humanities.

Past winners have continued to succeed by becoming leaders for their peers and being active in other ULM groups on campus.

This year’s winners are as follows:

First place: Princess Ayika for her essay titled "The Color of My Skin is Not Me." Ayika recounts two isolated experiences involving two elderly white women that influenced her perspective on having dark skin.

Instructor: James Petit

Second place: Even Hebert for his essay titled "Blind Hysteria." Hebert narrates the struggles of engaging in domestic tasks as a blind man with eloquent humor and insight.

Instructor: Meredith McKinnie

Third place: Allison Jackson for her essay titled "Another Day Another Dog." Jackson playfully recounts a chance meeting with an Old English sheepdog, which exemplified her "whole life."

Instructor: Jaleesa Harris

This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over 100,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, are archived on the NPR website, heard on public radio, chronicled through NPR’s books, and featured in weekly podcasts.

For more information on This I Believe, visit thisibelieve.org.

For more information on ULM’s Summer Reading Program, visit ulm.edu/summerreading.
16 2016-11-15
Monroe

Higher Education Could Face Budget Cuts In Louisiana


Earlier this year thousands of students in Louisiana were left in the lurch-- forced to find a new way to pay for college when the state cut the scholarship program known as TOPS.

Now as the government tries to reduce a $313 million deficit, funding for higher education is again in jeopardy.

"From a TOPS standpoint, it won't impact them at all for what they'll be paying for tuition," Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said. "But obviously if there are reductions to college campuses, those impacts will impact the students as well depending on what the colleges, universities, technical colleges do to deal with their cuts."

Dardenne said the education budget could be cut by 10-percent.

Local university leaders said this could continue to create problems for state universities.

"Our students continue to pay a higher rate of tuition, we continue to lose faculty because of a lack of pay increases and it's difficult recruiting new faculty because salaries in many cases isn't as competitive," University of Louisiana at Monroe President Nick Bruno said.

Although Commissioner Dardenne said tops won't be cut again this year, some students fear for the financial burden they'll have to deal with if the program receives more cuts in the future.

"When you have to worry about getting a job to help pay for tuition and what not, it really does detract from being able to focus strictly on school," ULM Student Baxtor Flor said.

"Every time they keep on cutting TOPS, I have to keep taking out more loans and that builds up, so that's gonna keep on being a problem if they keep cutting it every semester," ULM Student Antoinette Leo added.

Bruno adds that some students may find it difficult to afford higher education, but he says ULM will continue to provide a quality education.




16 2016-11-14
Monroe

Trump's Supreme Court nominee could be ULM, Tulane grad


A federal appellate judge with deep Louisiana roots is on President-elect Donald Trump’s short list for a Supreme Court nomination.

University of Louisiana at Monroe and Tulane University graduate William H. Pryor was appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2004 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Alabama.

Trump first announced Pryor as one of 11 judges on his list last spring as we was locking up the Republican nomination.

Pryor is the brother-in-law of Monroe hotel developer James Moore Jr., who is also a member of the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Moore played host to Pryor during last week's LSU-Alabama game in Baton Rouge. Moore said Pryor is a huge Alabama fan, but one of he and wife Kris' daughters graduated from LSU last spring. Kris and Moore's wife Lynn are sisters who grew up in West Monroe.

Pryor, 54, is a Birmingham native, but came to ULM on a band scholarship. "It's a great reflection on ULM to have a graduate considered for such a high honor," ULM President Nick Bruno said.

"We're all pretty excited," Moore said of his family. "His attitude is that if he's called to serve by (Trump) it will be an honor. It's really an honor just to be mentioned on the short list."

Before his appointment to the federal court Pryor served as Alabama's attorney general.

President Obama also appointed Pryor to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1
16 2016-11-14
Monroe

ULM’s fountain in Scott Plaza receives major renovation


The University of Louisiana Monroe held a ribbon cutting Friday for the renovation of the fountain and grounds in the Mayme and Tom Scott Plaza.

The fountain underwent a major renovation over the summer. The now three-tier fountain is equipped with year-round lighting packages, and the ground area around the fountain has been improved with exposed aggregate with inscribed granite inlays, brick bench seating, new landscaping, lighting and more.

The old fountain had not been in operation for over a year due to mechanical problems.

READ MORE: 12 ULM students perform in the Intercollegiate Honor Choir concert

“The mechanical components for the old fountain was located underground, which caused a lot of issues. We’ve now moved the mechanical components, such as the pumps, to a more functional place above ground,” said Michael Davis, ULM Facilities Planning Officer.

The above-ground pump was placed within a fenced enclosure, which will be concealed by Japanese Yew vines and shrubbery.

Scott Plaza was dedicated on Nov. 12, 2001 in honor of Mayme and Tom Scott. Tom Scott was a founding member of the ULM Foundation and later a charter member of the Northeast Louisiana Land Corporation, an entity that played an integral role in the expansion of the university’s campus. Through their generosity over the period of four decades, the Scotts were instrumental in the growth and progress of ULM.

“This fountain is more than just a beautiful piece of architecture that graces our campus,” said ULM president Dr. Nick. J. Bruno. “It’s a permanent tribute to Mayme and Tom Scott who were so gracious and generous, not just to this university, but throughout the northeast Louisiana region. And while I didn’t have the opportunity to meet them, all the stories, no matter where I went, indicated how gracious, how loving, how generous, and how caring they were.”

The daughter of Mayme and Tom Scott, Betty Scott Cummins, expressed her appreciation of the renovation.

“I appreciate this opportunity to thank Dr. Bruno and all the staff out here that have pursued this for years now. We didn’t do the whole job. The students on this campus contributed a huge part of this restoration. I compliment them for buying into it and for wanting it…They matched what we did and that’s remarkable to me. We appreciate this and I’m so glad the fountain is running.”

Cummins also thanked the Scott Foundation and recognized members of the board who were in attendance.

The ULM Student Government Association president Kaitlin Neal Arnett spoke on behalf of the student body, expressing the students’ excitement over the renovations and its improvement of the campus’ beauty.
16 2016-11-14
Monroe

Monroe teen gets perfect ACT score


Darius Washington, 16, said he didn't think he'd done that well the last time the took the ACT. He was in for a shock.

The Neville High School student found that he had earned a rare perfect score on the ACT when he checked his results around midnight Monday. According to data from ACT, 1.9 million students took the test in the class of 2015 during their sophomore, junior or senior years. Of those, only less than 1,600 made a perfect score.

His parents, Marish and Sonia Washington, are very proud. Sonia Washington said she woke up to a text from Darius Washington first thing Tuesday morning, and she and her sister shared the news online.

Sonia Washington said her son took the ACT for the first time in seventh grade as part of Duke University's Gifted Identification Program. In ninth grade, he scored a 32. In 10th, he scored a 33. He skipped a grade and will graduate early. The final time, he was just trying to bring up his math score so he could CLEP out of math classes at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. They weren't expecting the perfect score, though that was a goal her son had set for himself.

She said he's always been very goal oriented, and she and his father have always expected him to try his best, a standard that Darius Washington works hard to attain. She said she thinks he's on the right track and hopes he carries the ability to set and achieve goals throughout his life.

Darius Washington said his classmates are excited that he got the perfect score.

"We are not surprised, but we are very proud," Neville Assistant Principal Whitney Martin.

Darius Washington said he had taken the test a few times before and had an idea of what to expect. He advises other students not to stress too much over the exam because that will burn them out before they take the test.

"Manage your time wisely because if you run out of time that directly affects your score. If you don't get to questions, then you can't answer them," he said.

Darius Washington is a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. He attends honors classes and is a member of the National Honor Society and the quiz bowl team, which recently earned a spot in nationals in Chicago. When he's not studying, Darius Washington said he's relaxing and watching a lot of Netflix.

He plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Monroe and major in computer science. The only child said he hopes to stay near home and work with CenturyLink or IBM, or he might move to Dallas because it's the nearest large city.

Sonia Washington said he's been getting offers from everywhere, but the only other college that had drawn his attention was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She feels safer that he plans to stay closer to home because of his age.

Sonia Washington advised other parents to be supportive of their children, be their biggest cheerleaders and allow them to pursue their own interests.

Follow Bonnie Bolden on Twitter @Bonnie_Bolden_ and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1RtsEEP.
16 2016-11-11
Monroe

ULM's 'Safe Now' Campaign 5am Driving Campaign


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A non-profit organization called Mindful Motorists are hosting a 3-day seminar on campus.


Courtesy: KNOE 8 News

It includes a panel discussion with psychologists, law enforcement officers and airplane pilots.

Professor Joe McGahan says the next few days is all about learning the risks and rewards of behavior behind the wheel.

He says it's a learning experience for the campus community and the community as a whole.

Here's the schedule:

1. A presentation about the consequences of bad driving is Thursday, Nov. 10 7p.m. to 9p.m. in Hemphill Hall on ULM's Campus.

2. Nascar simulator and drunk driving activities in Bayou Park on Friday, Nov. 11 at Bayou Park on ULM's campus from 11a.m. to 5p.m.

3. Mini-conference on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Strauss Hall on ULM's campus from 10a.m. to 2p.m.


16 2016-11-11
Monroe

ULM host veterans appreciation program


VIDEO
16 2016-11-11
Monroe

12 ULM students perform in the Intercollegiate Honor Choir concert


Twelve University of Louisiana Monroe students led by ULM Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Deborah Chandler, participated in the Louisiana Intercollegiate Honor Choir concert last Friday evening at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

The concert was part of the state convention of the American Choral Directors Association, which gathers hundreds of elementary, middle school, high school, and college singers who auditioned and made the “all-star choir.”

“Directors of choral programs at other universities choose or audition college singers to participate in the college all-state choir,” Chandler said.

The Intercollegiate Honor Choir was comprised of 102 members that came from 12 different Louisiana universities. Some of the universities participating in the event were Louisiana State University, Tulane University and University of New Orleans.

Chandler said that participation in intercollegiate choir is extremely beneficial to students, since they have an opportunity to build a strong network while working with different college directors.

“When they put things like this on their resume, it’s a big deal,” Chandler said. “It’s good and it’s great for their careers. It’s what they are supposed to be doing at this point in their career.”

The ULM Choir has several upcoming performances. Together with the ULM wind ensemble, they will sing in the ULM Holliday Concert to be held on November 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Brown Auditorium.

They will also travel to Oak Grove to sing in a Christmas Concert on December at 7 p.m. at Fiske theatre.

For more information on performances by the ULM Choir, call the ULM Department of Music at 318-342-3811.


16 2016-11-10
Monroe

Chennault, ULM plan Veterans Day events


Celebrations honoring local and national military veterans are scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Monroe.

On Thursday, ULM will welcome guest speaker Lt. Col. Steven M. Clark, vommander of the 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk.

Clark has served in the Army for more than 26 years of continuous active duty service, starting in 1990 when he enlisted as a Field Artillery cannon crew member and attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Veterans in attendance will be recognized for their service and presented with a ribbon of recognition.

The program will include ULM President Nick J. Bruno and Brian Sivils, master sergeant of the Air Force, who will perform the national anthem. Students from the ULM ROTC will serve as color guard.

Want to go?

What: ULM Veterans' Day

When: 10:30 a.m. Thursday

Where: University Conference Center, ULM Library seventh floor

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Info: 318-342-1144


16 2016-11-08
Monroe

Community invited to ULM Veterans Day event


The University of Louisiana Monroe will host its annual Veterans Appreciation Ceremony this Thursday, November 10 at 10:30 a.m. in the University Conference Center, located on the 7th floor of the ULM Library.

The event, organized to honor the military service of ULM faculty, staff, and students, is hosted by Career Connections and sponsored by Plunk's Wrecker Service.

“This is an opportunity for our campus and community to recognize those men and women who have given of themselves for our country and our freedom,” said Kristin Chandler, assistant director of ULM’s Office of Career Connections. “We hope that the ULM student and employee veterans participating in the ceremony feel a sense of comradery and honor."

The feature guest speaker for the event is Lieutenant Colonel Steven M. Clark, Commander of the 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.

ULM veterans in attendance will be recognized for their service and presented with a ribbon of recognition.

The program will include ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno and Brian Sivils, Master Sergeant of the Air Force, who will perform the National Anthem. Students from the ULM ROTC will serve as Color Guard.

Dr. Ruth Smith, director of the School of Humanities, will present on the historical significance of the occasion.

Community representatives will also be in attendance.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Office of Career Connections at 318-342-1144.


16 2016-11-08
Monroe

ULM Risk Management and Insurance students gain practical industry knowledge


Eight University of Louisiana Monroe Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) students, along with ULM associate professor Christine Berry, were invited to attend the 2016 Mid-Year Meeting of the Louisiana Surplus Lines Association (LSLA), held at the Metairie Country Club in Metairie, La. on October 6.

The theme of the meeting was “Creating Connections-Building Bridges Together.” Berry was asked to introduce the students and talk about the quality and growth of ULM’s RMI program, which now has over 130 majors. Other speakers were Chair of the House Insurance Committee Kirk Talbot, Patrick Talley of Lloyd’s America and Insurance Commissioner James Donelon.

A reception followed, where students networked with more than 80 industry professionals primarily representing the surplus lines insurance industry. The ULM RMI program has an emphasis on surplus lines and, as such, many of ULM RMI graduates go on to work in the surplus lines after graduation.

“I was very proud of how our students represented ULM’s program and themselves at the meeting. Several professionals commented to me that they were extremely impressed with this group of students,” said Berry.

According to Berry, events like these are one of the reasons most ULM RMI majors intern before graduation and have accepted full-time jobs at the beginning of their senior year.

Students in attendance were Hayden Williams, Amanda Bartet, Luke Kemp, Parker Shoaf, Wyatt Medlin, Jacob Evans, CJ Nash, and Claudio Smith.

The Louisiana Surplus Line Association was established in 1958 as a vehicle to promote communication, education and professionalism within the Louisiana surplus line community.

MORE IN NEWS: Ashlynn Lanford crowned Miss ULM 2017​


16 2016-11-07
Monroe

Homecoming Week 2016 at Louisiana Tech celebrates school tradition, pride


Louisiana Tech University’s Alumni Association, in conjunction with the university’s Student Government Association and various student organizations, academic colleges, athletics department, and campus and community partners, has announced its official calendar of events for Homecoming Week 2016.

For more information on Homecoming events and activities taking place on and around the Louisiana Tech campus, call the Marbury Alumni Center at (318) 255-7950 or visit www.latechalumni.org/homecoming2016.

Thursday, November 10:

Campus Cook-off
Centennial Plaza – 12:00 p.m.

Homecoming 2016 Parade
Louisiana Tech campus – 6:00 p.m.
Visit http://www.latechalumni.com/downloads/HOCO_ParadeRoute.pdf for parade route map

Barnes & Noble Bookstore Open Until 6:30 p.m.
Stop by for Louisiana Tech apparel and special to celebrate Homecoming 2016

Friday, November 11:

Veterans Day Parade
City of Ruston Railroad Park – 9:30 a.m.

2016 Alumni Awards Luncheon
Davison Athletics Complex – 12:00 p.m.
Contact Barbara Swart at 318-255-7950 or barbara@latechalumni.org for reservations

Lady Techsters vs. LSU Tailgating
Argent Pavilion – 4:30 p.m.

Rock the TAC featuring “Smackwater”
Thomas Assembly Center – 4:30 p.m.

Homecoming Pep Rally
Thomas Assembly Center – 5:30 p.m.

Lady Techsters vs LSU Lady Tigers
Thomas Assembly Center – 6:30 p.m.
For tickets, visit http://www.latechsports.com/tickets or call (318) 257-3631

Saturday, November 12:

Breakfast with Champ
Lambright Sports and Wellness Center – 8:00 a.m.
Contact Wes Cavin at 318-255-7950 or wes@latechalumni.org for reservations

Golden Society Brunch
Student Center – 9:00 a.m.

School of Human Ecology Open House Tailgate Party
Carson Taylor Hall – 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Loyal Blue March
Band Building to Joe Aillet Stadium – 11:00 a.m.

Alumni Association Tailgate
Argent Pavilion – 11:30 a.m.

Tech Trolley to/from Joe Aillet Stadium
Downtown Ruston to/from Joe Aillet Stadium – 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.; postgame for one hour

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. UT-San Antonio Roadrunners
Joe Aillet Stadium – 2:30 p.m.


16 2016-11-07
Monroe

ULM School of Pharmacy receives $600,000 estate gift


The University of Louisiana Monroe School of Pharmacy is the recipient of a $600,000 estate gift from Mildred Maurer, the school announced at a press conference Friday.

Monroe resident Mildred Maurer passed away in 2014 at the age of 97. She was a former elementary school teacher and Regional Director of the northeast Louisiana Restaurant Association.

In her will, Maurer divided her estate among several entities, including the ULM School of Pharmacy. The funds will go toward the establishment of the Mark and Mildred Maurer Cancer Research Enhancement Fund, the Mark and Mildred Maurer Lecture Series, and the Mark and Mildred Cancer Research Lab.

Maurer was a breast cancer survivor and had developed a keen interest in the breast cancer research of Dr. Paul Sylvester, the B. J. Robison/Pfizer Endowed Professor of Pharmacology at ULM, whom she met 10 years ago at an event hosted at the School of Pharmacy.

“Mildred became such a very dear and close friend of mine. I took her out to lunch several times, and I was always amazed at how many people she knew. She would always introduce me to new people. She truly was a remarkable woman,” said Sylvester.

When Sylvester learned that Maurer left portions of her estate to him for his research efforts, he was surprised.

“The donation was such a great surprise. I knew she was going to donate to the School of Pharmacy, but I didn’t know she was going to donate it to my research. When I learned about her wishes, I wanted to make this about her and not about me. I wanted to make something more permanent out of this to honor her and her husband’s legacy, so we established a lecture series, lab, and research fund all in honor of Mark and Mildred Maurer,” Sylvester said.

Dr. Wilson Campbell, Mildred Maurer’s neighbor, former ULM professor and department head for Kinesiology, was named the trustee of the Mildred Summers Maurer Testamentary Trust. This trust was created solely for the purpose of supporting the ULM School of Pharmacy.

“She loved the Monroe community and in particular she loved ULM. I think I can say with confidence that, within the last few years of her life, one of the most exciting times for her was coming onto the ULM campus and attending many of the functions here that the university puts on…She wanted to give a gift that would keep on giving long after she was gone and I think that she has done that so well in her gift here to ULM,” said Campbell.

Dr. Benny Blaylock, Dean of the ULM School of Pharmacy, also expressed his appreciation for the generosity of the Maurer estate, noting that it is donations like this that keep higher education moving forward.

“This estate gift facilitates the high quality cancer research being conducted by Dr. Sylvester in the School of Pharmacy. Gifts such as this provide monetary support for talented researchers, graduate students, equipment and supplies necessary to perform research at a level that results in breakthroughs in new and/or improved cancer treatments. The ULM School of Pharmacy is very grateful for this most generous gift,” said Blaylock.

In addition to her gift to ULM, Maurer also donated nearly $200,000 to the Shriners and $200,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

To learn more about Sylvester’s cancer research, visit http://www.ulm.edu/pharmacy/bps/sylvester.html.
16 2016-11-07
Monroe

$600k gift benefits ULM Pharmacy School


A $600,000 estate gift to the ULM School of Pharmacy will help keep the school strong as it continues research on cancer treatment.

The funds were provided by the estate of Mark and Mildred Maurer through the ULM Foundation. Maurer was a breast cancer survivor and followed the research work of Dr. Paul Sylvester, ULM Endowed Professor of Pharmacology.

READ MORE: ULM natatorium to get new life

"There was an event here at the College of Pharmacy, and I was here and she (Mildred) was here," Sylvester said. "She was a breast cancer survivor, and she was interested in the cancer research I was doing. ... She wanted to meet me and talk about it. We came up to my lab and just sat around these tables and talked for more than an hour. We kept up and became very good friends. She became part of the family."

The lab Sylvester and Maurer chatted in is now known as the Mark and Mildred Maurer Cancer Research Laboratory. Her gift will help keep the equipment used in the lab in good shape for years to come, Sylvester said.

"We established the Mark and Mildred Maurer Cancer Research Enhancement Fund, which is really important for repair, replacement and maintenance of our research equipment. We have some every expensive equipment, but it is very difficult, once it breaks down, to repair or replace it, and it is lifeblood for us to keep the progress going and keep our work continuing.

Research projects underway at the university involve using rare forms of Vitamin E in the treatment of breast cancer and other epithelial cancers.

Dr. Wilson Campbell said Mildred also donated $200,000 to Shriners and $200,000 to St. Jude's, other causes she considered worthy because of her love of children.

"She wanted to give a gift that would keep on giving long after she was gone," Campbell said, "and I think she has done that so well with her gift here to ULM."
16 2016-11-07
Monroe

Ashlynn Lanford crowned Miss ULM 2017


Ashlynn Lanford, a sophomore kinesiology major from Pineville, was crowned Miss University of Louisiana Monroe at the 64rd Annual Miss ULM Pageant held November 4, in front of a packed house at Brown Auditorium.

Lanford’s platform is “Arts in Healthcare” and she gave a vocal performance as her talent. She also received the preliminary talent award.

First runner-up was Samantha Vaughn of West Monroe. Second runner-up was J’lyn Henderson of Monroe. Third runner-up was Elaine Blanco of Leesville. Fourth runner-up was Baylea Huffman of Delhi.

Erika Guerrero of Oak Grove won the Advertisement Sales Award; Alyssa Garner of Frierson won the Miss Congeniality Award, as well as the preliminary evening wear award; Gabrielle Ingram of Natchitoches won the People’s Choice award, as well as the Non-Finalist Academic award.

The Miss ULM Pageant is a preliminary to the Miss Louisiana Pageant, sponsored by ULM’s Campus Activities Board and Student Government Association.

The competitive scholarship program emphasizes physical fitness, talent, public speaking, and academics. Contestants must demonstrate poise, personality, intelligence, and charm during the pageant, and must showcase a trained talent in a 90-second performance.

Miss ULM scholarship awards:

Miss ULM receives a $2,000 scholarship for two semesters, a private, one-bedroom on-campus apartment, an award from the bookstore worth $300, awarded by the Campus Activities Board, a two-semester meal plan sponsored by Aramark, and a $4,500 cash prize awarded by the Student Government Association.

First runner-up: receives a $2,000 scholarship for two semesters from the Campus Activities Board.

Second runner-up: receives a $2,000 scholarship for one semester from the Campus Activities Board.

Third runner-up: receives a one-time $1,000 scholarship from the Student Government Association.

Fourth runner-up: receives a one-time $750 scholarship from the Student Government Association.

Advertisement Sales winner: receives a one-time $250 scholarship from the Campus Activities Board.

People’s Choice winner: receives a one-time $250 scholarship from the Campus Activities Board.

Miss Congeniality winner: receives a one-time $250 scholarship from the Campus Activities Board.

Non-Finalist Academic winner: receives a one-time $250 scholarship from the Student Government Association.


16 2016-11-04
Monroe

Monroe business owner, ULM grad chosen to serve on White House Business Council


Marco Moran, local business owner and University of Louisiana Monroe alumnus, has been chosen to participate in the White House Business Council and Business Forward.

Moran is the CEO of Dewmar International Brand Management Company, Inc., a company which manufactures functional foods and beverages. Moran is also a consultant to The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy on South Street in Monroe.

As member of the White House Business Council, Moran offers feedback on job creation and other efforts to stimulate the economy through growth of small businesses. As an added perk, Moran has the opportunity to invite other CEOs or industry leaders to attend council meetings on a variety of issues concerning commerce, public health and economic policies. Earlier this year, Moran was chosen by White House Officials to weigh in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement after a group discussion was held on improvements in international trade.

Additionally, Moran is playing an integral role in developing opportunities to help many U.S. companies understand how to export goods and services to Cuba and 11 other countries. Moran has also been involved in multiple discussions to find a solution for the Zika virus with White House and Homeland Security officials.

"Many times when I am invited to attend White House Business Forward sessions, I am asked to invite other business leaders from around the country; so far this year, I have invited business leaders representing companies in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Colorado. My goal is helping small businesses in the United States increase both their gross sales revenue and corporate footprint across the globe," said Moran.

Moran holds an undergraduate degree from the ULM School of Pharmacy and a MBA from the ULM School of Business. Moran also serves as chair of the Mississippi District Export Council (DEC), a regional organization of leaders from the international business community which assist and enhance opportunities to export goods and services.

Local business leaders interested in exporting their products or services may call Moran at 877-747-5326.


16 2016-11-03
Monroe

Miss ULM 2017 to be crowned Nov. 4


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The 2017 Miss University of Louisiana Monroe Pageant is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in Brown Auditorium on the ULM campus.

The Miss ULM Pageant—which was honored with an award from the Miss Louisiana Organization for providing more scholarship money than any other college pageant in Louisiana— is a preliminary to the Miss Louisiana Pageant, sponsored by ULM's Campus Activities Board and Student Government Association.

The competitive scholarship program emphasizes physical fitness, talent, public speaking, and academics.

Contestants must demonstrate poise, personality, intelligence, charm, and beauty during the pageant, and must showcase a trained talent in a 90-second performance.

Each contestant must be a full-time ULM student and also adhere to grade point average requirements in order to compete in the pageant.

Miss ULM 2016, Sarah Torregrossa, and Justin Ker, Miss Louisiana 2016, will emcee the event. Miss ULM 2017 will be crowned by Torregrossa and ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno.


The Miss ULM pageant has welcomed a sold-out audience for the past several years. Those interested in attending are encouraged to purchase tickets before the event.

Tickets for the event may be purchased online only. ULM student tickets are $5, and general public tickets are $10.

Tickets for this event are now available and can be purchased online [link posted in the related links section]

For more information, call the ULM Office of Student Life and Leadership at 318-342-5287.
___

The 2017 Miss ULM Contestants:

Baylea Huffman, a sophomore speech-language-pathology major from Delhi, will perform a contemporary dance. Her platform is “The Challenge.”

Gabi Ingram, a junior biology major from Natchitoches, will perform speed painting. Her platform is “Dental Health Awareness.”

Brea Joyner, a senior communication major from Monroe, will give a vocal performance. Her platform is “Lift Up and Listen to Our Children.”

Ashley Camp, a senior biology major from Calhoun, will give a vocal performance. Her platform is “Volunteering Where You’re Passionate.”

Erika Guerrero, a senior pre-dental-hygiene major from Oak Grove, will perform speed painting. Her platform is “Perfectly Imperfect Body.”

Samantha Hillman, a freshman kinesiology major from Winnsboro, will perform gymnastics routine. Her platform is “Go for the Gold: Fitness for Champions.”

Allison Newton, a freshman music major from Monroe, will give a vocal performance and perform tap-dancing. Her platform is “Embracing the Neurodiverse.”

Jillian Johnson, a freshman pre-pharmacy major from Eunice, will perform a contemporary dance. Her platform is “Move for MS.”

Elaine Blanco, a senior communication major from Leesville, will give a vocal performance. Her platform is “Broadening Your Horizons Through Travel.”

Samantha Vaughn, a senior communication major from West Monroe, will perform a jazz dance. Her platform is “Helping Hands, Happy Heart.”

Alyssa Garner, a junior nursing major from Frierson, will perform a jazz dance. Her platform is “Go Healthy for Your Heart.”

J’Lyn Henderson, a sophomore elementary education major from Monroe, will give a vocal performance. Her platform is “Foundation to Feed.”

Sydney Davis, a senior vocal music education major from Mesquite, Texas, will give a vocal performance. Her platform is “Music Education.”

Ashlynn Lanford, a sophomore kinesiology major from Pineville, will give a vocal performance. Her platform is “Arts in Healthcare.”
16 2016-11-03
Monroe

Bayou Country: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill get stars on Walk of Fame in Nashville, Tenn. Bayou Country: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (KNOE 8 News) - One of the biggest names in country music, is from right here in Northeast Louisiana, Tim McGraw.

The Start native, along with his wife Faith Hill, received stars on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.


Courtesy: KNOE
Courtesy: KNOE


Tim McGraw and Faith Hill share a kiss on their newly minted stars on the music city walk of fame.



"It was just awesome to have our family and the people we've worked with for so many years and fans from all over the place and Reba McEntire is the one that gave us our stars. I think it's a pretty good day," Hill said. 



For these two, their roots run deep in the delta. Hill grew up in Star, Mississippi. McGraw grew up in Start, the small community just east of Monroe. 


"People down there have always been so great to me growing up in that area. Going to school down there, well now it's ULM, but it was Northeast Louisiana University when we were there yeah, all my Pike brothers down there."



While a student at Northeast Tim focused on music. Playing at the Siesta, now Waterfront Grill. Playing at 'Po Boy Dons in Tallulah with local farmer Maurice Machen sitting in as guitarist circa 1989. It's now just a boarded up building.


McGraw did come back to this little country store to shoot the music video to his 1994 hit, "Down On The Farm". There was a big spread of the filming in Country Weekly Magazine, putting this map dot on the map.

McGraw said his upbringing in Northeast Louisiana shaped who he is today.



"Everything. Such a rich musical environment, too, there. Gosh James Pastel. I mean I grew up listening to James Pastel. My mom knew James Pastel. He played at the rusty nail, the branding iron and all those places in West Monroe," McGraw said.



James Pastel, singer songwriter from West Monroe, said he heard from McGraw's mom that Tim would play the songs on Pastel's Truxno album over and over until he was old enough to go in the bar. 



"He turned 18, what would you think about him coming up on stage doing a song? I said just bring him on and from that day on anytime he came in and wanted sit in I let him sit in," Pastel said.



From the branding iron in West Monroe to being forever branded into a sidewalk in Nashville recognized not just for their celebrity status but for their willingness to give back to their community, and not just in music city but at home.


16 2016-11-02
Monroe

Monroe Chamber salutes teachers of the year


The efforts of top educators and area school districts were recognized by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

Sue Nicholson, president and CEO Monroe Chamber of Commerce, said the event recognizes the role of education in fueling growth in the region.

READ MORE: Interim District Attorney Tew sets goals for office

"Education is the basis for great workforce development, and that certainly helps our efforts with economic development," Nicholson said. "When you talk to businesses and employers, one of their greatest challenges is finding good, qualified employees. That is rooted in a good K-12 education."

Guest speaker Scott Trezise, executive vice president of human resources at CenturyLink, said when the company is able to bring employees to Monroe, he has a terrific story to tell them about the community and the open, accepting people in the region. He highlighted the role of educators in ensuring children are taught the necessities but also how to be good members of their society and their community.

Teachers of the Year from the Ouachita Parish School System and the Monroe City School System were honored alongside members of the faculty and staff at Louisiana Delta Community College and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Teachers of the Year

Monroe City Schools

Kaye “Cissy” Pace, Cypress Point Elementary
Taylor Anderson, Lee Junior High
Mandy May, Wossman High School
Ouachita Parish School System

Julie Cappo, Sterlington Elementary School
Allison Fisher, Ouachita Junior High School
Haley Holley, Ouachita High School
Louisiana Delta Community College

Dr. Cornelia Bryan, paramedic/EMT program
Allison Gault, workforce development
Layonda Millsap, DeltaLINC, adult education
Charles Woodard, technical instruction
University of Louisiana at Monroe, 2016 ULM Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching

Thomas DeNardin, instructor of management
16 2016-11-02
Monroe

ULM freshman class serves area senior citizens


Last Friday, a group of students from the University of Louisiana Monroe participated in a community service project with the Ouachita Council on Aging (OCA), a local non-profit organization serving senior citizens in Ouachita Parish since 1967.

The mission of the OCA is to act on behalf of older person(s) to secure needed services and benefits. For nearly 50 years, the OCA has served local senior citizens by providing meals, appropriate healthcare, transportation, outreach, recreation, an emergency response system, among other services.

Since 2008, each ULM freshman class has played an integral role in OCA’s outreach. They have contributed to fundraising efforts by supporting the annual quilt fundraiser, provided care packages for senior participants in the Meals on Wheels program, corresponded with the participants, and donated to the OCA food bank.

Loretta Hudson, the OCA’s outreach coordinator, said that ULM is very instrumental in helping participate and that what ULM students do is very commendable.

“We appreciate this partnership because it is very much appreciated and very worthwhile. And our senior citizens, they love it,” said Hudson.

According Hudson, hunger and isolation are one of the biggest issues in the senior population.

“They are choosing between medication, paying their rent, and then going without food. So, this is something that puts food on their table and that’s not a cost to them,” said Hudson.

This year, the ULM freshman class, comprised of 1,370 students, raised $1,155 in donations, furnished 67 large care baskets containing items for homebound seniors served by the OCA, and replenished the OCA food bank with over 1,000 cans of food.

Hudson said that ULM’s food donation through the Meals on Wheels program put 85,000 meals on tables last year alone, but that’s not all. Each basket contains a personal, hand-written letter by a student that, according to Hudson, is usually very heartwarming and heart-touching.

“Last year, there was a family from Texas whose mother was here. Her son sent us a letter saying that the letter she received from a ULM student made a difference in his mother’s life because he wasn’t there to help her, but the students were. This meant the world to them,” said Hudson.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
ULM Choir reveals the best-kept secret to state’s high-schoolers

The ULM freshmen who participated in this year’s Meals on Wheels are part of a required freshman seminar (“University Seminar 1001”) that integrates academics and group activities, including community service. Student peer leaders, who are selected through a competitive application and interview process, serve as role models and leaders for their freshman peers.

A sophomore pre-nursing major, Gauge Stringer, was one of the peer leaders who said he decided to get involved in the project.

“Some of the individuals we collected items and canned goods for may not receive many gifts all year, and I think they deeply appreciate this simple act,” said Stringer. “The OCA project impacted me by giving me a chance to show generosity and compassion myself, but to also see my fellow students and ULM contribute to the betterment of a great, local institution like the Ouachita Council on Aging.”

Dr. Nick J. Bruno, ULM president, says that ULM’s participation in the Meals on Wheels program is a reflection of the university’s commitment to serving the community.

“Here at ULM, we are dedicated to bettering the lives of our students, both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Bruno. “The Meals on Wheels program facilitates this goal by providing an important opportunity for our students to give back to the senior citizens of our community.”

The OCA operates in ten satellite sites throughout the parish. To learn more about the OCA or how to get involved as a volunteer, please contact Lynda McGhee at 318-387-0535.
16 2016-11-02
Monroe

ULM to host Pippin the musical spring 2017


The ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) has announced its spring 2017 production Pippin.

Pippin tells the story of a young prince in his quest for life. The story is told by a Leading Player and his mysterious performance troupe. The music and lyrics were composed by Stephen Schwartz and the book was written by Roger Hirson. Bob Fosse directed the original production on Broadway for which Ben Vereen and Patina Miller won Tony Awards. Vereen and Miller won Tonys again for the 2013 revival of Pippin.

ULM performance dates are March 23-25, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. and March 26, 2017 at 2 p.m. Tickets will go on sale in Feb. 2017.

VAPA will hold an audition workshop on Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. in Brown Theater for individuals wishing to audition for a role in Pippin. The workshop will help them select an audition song, teach a little of the choreography for the production, and some participants will be asked to read from the Pippin script. Participants are asked to wear comfortable clothes that allow for movement and jazz, character, or tennis shoes.

The actual auditions will take place on November 6 at 1 p.m. in Brown Theater. All individuals wishing to audition are asked to prepare 16 to 32 bars from a musical theater selection in the style of Pippin and be dressed to dance. An accompanist will be provided for the audition, so no acapella or taped music will be allowed. No prepared dance routine is required. Some individuals will be asked to remain after the dance session to read from the Pippin script.

The auditions are also for those individuals who wish to be part of the technical staff, helping build the sets, costumes, lights, and sound. All ULM technical staff will be there to answer questions regarding the technical side of the production.

For more information, contact Robin Stephens at stephens@ulm.edu.

MORE NEWS: ULM Choir reveals the best-kept secret to state’s high-schoolers
16 2016-11-01
Monroe

ULM Choir reveals the best-kept secret to state’s high-schoolers


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Concert Choir will tour several Louisiana high schools Nov. 1 - 3 as part of the annual fall recruiting tour.

The choir will perform at six high schools in a three-day period. Members of the choir will also serve as recruiters, providing high school students with first-hand information about ULM and its programs.

Dr. Deborah Chandler, director of choral activities, believes the best way to recruit is to let the students do it.

“We don’t just recruit choir people and musicians. Well over three quarters of our choir members are non-music majors, so we represent the whole university,” Chandler said.

Chandler says the fall recruiting tours, organized for the past 13 years, are much-loved and highly anticipated by the choir members who, in addition to representing their university, also get to have fun.

“Everything is paid for, they stay in a nice hotel, they have the opportunity to sing and socialize…it’s just a lot of fun,” Chandler said.

The choir members highly value the opportunity given to tour, which they demonstrate through their effort in making these performances informative, engaging, and interactive.

“We interact with the students on-site, answering questions ranging from admissions to graduation,” Chandler said.

Chandler compares her recruiting experience to sales, saying it’s easy for her to do it because she sells a product she believes in and all she has to do is tell the truth about ULM.

“When I came here in 2004, I thought I would stay for a couple of years and then move on to somewhere else. Well, this is my 13th year, and I’ve stayed because I stay motivated due to these great students. We have wonderful faculty, we are very well supported by the administration, we are still doing good music, and we are still doing a good work,” said Chandler. “We are the best kept secret around.”

The ULM Choir has 60 members. For most of them, the tour will end in Slidell on November 3. However, 12 students followed by Chandler will travel to New Orleans as a part of the Louisiana Collegiate Honor Choir. This performance is scheduled for Friday 7 p.m. at St. Louis Cathedral.

Daily schedule of the tour:

Tuesday, November 1:

The tour starts at West Monroe High School, where the choir will perform at 9:50 a.m.

The choir then travels to Ruston, with two performances held at Ruston High School at 11:15 a.m. and then again at 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 2:

The tour continues at Pineville High School with a performance scheduled for 8:15 a.m.

The choir will then travel to Mansura to perform in front of the students of Avoyelles Charter High School at 11:30 a.m.

Thursday, November 3:

The choir will perform at Destrehan High School beginning at 9 a.m.

The tour ends in Slidell, with the choir’s performance held at Northshore High School at 12:15 p.m.

MORE NEWS: ULM unveils custom digital view book for prospective students​


16 2016-11-01
Monroe

ULM unveils custom digital view book for prospective students


The University of Louisiana Monroe released its newly designed custom digital view book for prospective students. The digital view book was commissioned by the ULM Office of Recruitment as a new way of interacting with students.

The digital view book can be accessed at http://view.ulm.edu.

The view book features a completely interactive and responsive experience for students. Its responsive layout means that no matter what device a student or parent uses to access the view book, it adapts, says Seth Hall, Director of High School Recruitment

“No matter if you open it on a computer, smartphone or tablet, the view book will adjust to the space and size of the device,” explains Hall. “Plus, the view book also allows us to get contact information for students so we can follow up this personal view book experience to answer any questions and give each student the individual experience with which ULM prides itself.”

Each interested student can choose their own ULM experience based on what areas of study they are interested in, which campus organizations they might like to join, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, campus amenities such as housing, the activity center, and highlights campus-wide events and traditions.

In the past, the admissions and recruiting view book was a physical piece that limited which programs could be highlighted due to space and size. Now the view book can feature all the programs ULM offers without overwhelming the reader.

“This cutting edge digital view book is just another way for ULM to adapt and attract a student body that uses technology and social media to interact with its university. We are seeing these changes already and are excited to be ahead of the curve to attract the next generation of students,” says Hall.

Digital Wave, a web design and mobile application firm specializing in interactive view books based out of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., designed the ULM digital view book.

Digital Wave has produced digital view books for Rutgers, University of Kentucky, University of Texas-Dallas, and other leading universities and colleges.

For more information about the view book, please visit http://view.ulm.edu or contact Seth Hall at shall@ulm.edu.


16 2016-11-01
Monroe

CenturyLink will acquire Level 3 Communications


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) today announced that their Boards of Directors have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which CenturyLink will acquire Level 3 in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $34 billion, including the assumption of debt. Under terms of the agreement, Level 3 shareholders will receive $26.50 per share in cash and a fixed exchange ratio of 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share they own, which implies a purchase price of $66.50 per Level 3 share (based on a CenturyLink $28.00 per share reference price) and a premium of approximately 42 percent based on Level 3's unaffected closing share price of $46.92 on October 26, 2016, the last trading day prior to market speculation about a potential transaction. Upon the closing of the transaction, CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51 percent and Level 3 shareholders will own approximately 49 percent of the combined company.


Courtesy: CenturyLink

The combined company will have the ability to offer CenturyLink's larger enterprise customer base the benefits of Level 3's global footprint with a combined presence in more than 60 countries. In addition, the combined company will be positioned to further invest in the reach and speeds of its broadband infrastructure for small businesses and consumers.

"The digital economy relies on broadband connectivity, and together with Level 3 we will have one of the most robust fiber network and high-speed data services companies in the world," said Glen Post, CenturyLink Chief Executive Officer and President. "This transaction furthers our commitment to providing our customers with the network to improve their lives and strengthen their businesses. It is this focus on providing fiber connectivity that will continue to distinguish CenturyLink from our competitors. CenturyLink shareholders will benefit from the significant synergies and financial flexibility provided by the combined company's revenue growth and strong cash flow. For employees, this combination will bring together two highly customer-focused organizations and provide employees growth and advancement opportunities the companies could not offer separately."


"This is a compelling transaction for our customers, shareholders and employees," said Jeff Storey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Level 3. "In addition to the substantial value delivered to shareholders, the combined company will be uniquely positioned to meet the evolving and global needs of enterprise customers."

Strategic and Financial Benefits

Highly Complementary Businesses with Expanded Fiber Networks: This transaction increases CenturyLink's network by 200,000 route miles of fiber, which includes 64,000 route miles in 350 metropolitan areas and 33,000 subsea route miles connecting multiple continents. Accounting for those served by both companies, CenturyLink's on-net buildings are expected to increase by nearly 75 percent to approximately 75,000, including 10,000 buildings in EMEA and Latin America. Overall, the complementary domestic and international networks will provide cost efficiencies by focusing capital investment on increasing capacity and extending the reach of the combined company's high-bandwidth fiber network.

Enhanced Competitive Offerings in Business Network Services: The combined company will have significantly improved network capabilities, creating a world-class enterprise player with approximately $19 billion in pro forma business revenue and$13 billion in business strategic revenue, for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2016. Together, CenturyLink's and Level 3's revenue will be 76 percent derived from business customers, and 65 percent of the combined company's core revenue will be from strategic services. Given the complementary nature of the portfolios, the combined company will offer an even broader range of services and solutions to meet customers' demand for more bandwidth and new applications in an increasingly complex operating environment.

Enhanced Broadband Infrastructure: This transaction will provide the combined company with increased opportunity to invest in its broadband infrastructure and enhance broadband speed for small businesses and consumers.

Strong Financial Profile: The combined company is expected to have improved adjusted EBITDA margins, revenue growth and pro forma net leverage of less than 3.7x at close, including run-rate synergies. The combined company will benefit from Level 3's nearly $10 billion of net operating losses ("NOLs"). These NOLs will substantially reduce the combined company's net cash tax expense over the next several years, positioning it to generate substantial free cash flow.

Improved Dividend Coverage: The improved free cash flow will enhance the combined company's financial flexibility and significantly lower its payout ratio. CenturyLink expects to maintain its annual dividend of $2.16 per share.

Significantly Accretive to Free Cash Flow with Multiple Opportunities for Growth: CenturyLink expects the transaction to be accretive to free cash flow in the first full year following the close of the transaction and significantly accretive on an annual run-rate basis thereafter. Furthermore, the transaction will be accretive to CenturyLink's existing growth profile with additional upside opportunities, including the ability to deploy CenturyLink's and Level 3's product portfolio across the combined customer bases. With increased network scale, and dense local metro areas and global reach, the combined company will be positioned to further expand internationally.

Substantial Run-Rate Synergies: Both companies have a proven ability to integrate and meet or exceed synergy targets. The increased scale afforded by the combined company is expected to generate $975 million of annual run-rate cash synergies, primarily from the elimination of duplicative functions, systems consolidation, and increased operational and capital efficiencies.

Management, Board and Location

After the close of the transaction, Glen Post will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer and President and Sunit Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Level 3, will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the combined company.

The Chairman of CenturyLink's Board at the time of the closing of the transaction will continue to serve as Chairman of the combined company. CenturyLink has agreed to appoint four Level 3 Board members at closing, one of whom will be a representative of STT Crossing (a wholly owned subsidiary of ST Telemedia).

The combined company will be headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana and will maintain a significant presence in Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area.

Financing and Approvals

CenturyLink intends to finance the cash portion of the transaction and pay related fees and expenses through a combination of cash on hand at CenturyLink and Level 3, and approximately $7 billion of additional indebtedness. In connection therewith, CenturyLink has received financing commitments from BofA Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC totaling approximately $10.2 billion for new secured debt facilities, comprised of a new $2 billion secured revolving credit facility and approximately $8.2 billion of other secured debt facilities, including the refinancing of indebtedness expected to mature prior to closing of the transaction. All existing indebtedness of Level 3 is expected to remain in place at Level 3 and Level 3 will not incur any incremental indebtedness or guarantee any indebtedness of CenturyLink to finance the transaction.

The companies anticipate closing the transaction by the end of third quarter 2017. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, review by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, certain state regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is also subject to the approval of CenturyLink and Level 3 shareholders.

CenturyLink has entered into a voting agreement with STT Crossing (a wholly owned subsidiary of ST Telemedia), holder of approximately 18 percent of Level 3's outstanding common stock, pursuant to which it will vote its Level 3 shares in favor of the transaction.

CenturyLink and Level 3 Third Quarter 2016 Earnings Results

In separate press releases issued today, CenturyLink and Level 3 announced earnings results for the third quarter 2016. In light of today's transaction and third quarter earnings announcements, CenturyLink and Level 3 have both cancelled their previously announced calls for Wednesday, November 2, 2016 and Thursday, November 3, 2016, respectively. A joint presentation will be available at www.centurylink.com and www.level3.com.

Advisors

BofA Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as CenturyLink's financial advisors, and Evercore provided a fairness opinion. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Jones Walker are acting as CenturyLink's legal advisors. Citigroup acted as financial advisor to Level 3, and Lazard provided a fairness opinion. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal advisor to Level 3. Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor and Credit Suisse acted as financial advisor to ST Telemedia.

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company enabling millions of customers to transform their businesses and their lives through innovative technology solutions. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, Big Data analytics and IT consulting, and operates more than 55 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia. The company provides broadband, voice, video, data and managed services over a robust 250,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 300,000-route-mile international transport network. Visit www.centurylink.com for more information.

About Level 3 Communications

Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) is a Fortune 500 company that provides local, national and global communications services to enterprise, government and carrier customers. Level 3's comprehensive portfolio of secure, managed solutions includes fiber and infrastructure solutions; IP-based voice and data communications; wide-area Ethernet services; video and content distribution; data center and cloud-based solutions. Level 3 serves customers in more than 500 markets in over 60 countries across a global services platform anchored by owned fiber networks on three continents and connected by extensive undersea facilities. For more information, please visit www.level3.com or get to know us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

© Level 3 Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Level 3, Vyvx, Level 3 Communications, Level (3) and the Level 3 Logo are either registered service marks or service marks of Level 3 Communications, LLC and/or one of its Affiliates in the United States and elsewhere. Any other service names, product names, company names or logos included herein are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. Level 3 services are provided by subsidiaries of Level 3 Communications, Inc.

Forward Looking Statements

Except for the historical and factual information contained herein, the matters set forth in this release, including statements regarding the expected timing and benefits of the proposed transaction, such as efficiencies, cost savings, enhanced revenues, growth potential, market profile and financial strength, and the competitive ability and position of the combined company, and other statements identified by words such as "will," "estimates," "expects," "projects," "plans," "intends" and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, many of which are beyond our control. Actual events and results may differ materially from those anticipated, estimated or projected if one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if underlying assumptions prove incorrect. Factors that could affect actual results include but are not limited to: the ability of the parties to timely and successfully receive the required approvals of regulatory agencies and their respective shareholders; the possibility that the anticipated benefits from the proposed transaction cannot be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; the possibility that costs or difficulties related to the integration of Level 3's operations with those of CenturyLink will be greater than expected; the ability of the combined company to retain and hire key personnel; the effects of competition from a wide variety of competitive providers, including lower demand for CenturyLink's legacy offerings; the effects of new, emerging or competing technologies, including those that could make the combined company's products less desirable or obsolete; the effects of ongoing changes in the regulation of the communications industry, including the outcome of regulatory or judicial proceedings relating to intercarrier compensation, interconnection obligations, access charges, universal service, broadband deployment, data protection and net neutrality; adverse changes in CenturyLink's or the combined company's access to credit markets on favorable terms, whether caused by changes in its financial position, lower debt credit ratings, unstable markets or otherwise; the combined company's ability to effectively adjust to changes in the communications industry, and changes in the composition of its markets and product mix; possible changes in the demand for, or pricing of, the combined company's products and services, including the combined company's ability to effectively respond to increased demand for high-speed broadband service; the combined company's ability to successfully maintain the quality and profitability of its existing product and service offerings and to introduce new offerings on a timely and cost-effective basis; the adverse impact on the combined company's business and network from possible equipment failures, service outages, security breaches or similar events impacting its network; the combined company's ability to maintain favorable relations with key business partners, suppliers, vendors, landlords and financial institutions; the ability of the combined company to utilize net operating losses in amounts projected; changes in the future cash requirements of the combined company; and other risk factors and cautionary statements as detailed from time to time in each of CenturyLink's and Level 3's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). There can be no assurance that the proposed acquisition or any other transaction described above will in fact be consummated in the manner described or at all. You should be aware that new factors may emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to identify all such factors nor can we predict the impact of each such factor on the proposed transaction or the combined company. You should not place undue reliance on these forward‑looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this document. Unless legally required, CenturyLink and Level 3 undertake no obligation and each expressly disclaim any such obligation, to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Additional Information

CenturyLink and Level 3 plan to file a joint proxy statement/prospectus with the SEC. INVESTORS ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE BECAUSE IT WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. You will be able to obtain the joint proxy statement/prospectus and the filings that will be incorporated by reference in the joint proxy statement/prospectus, as well as other filings containing information about CenturyLink and Level 3, free of charge, at the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. Copies of the joint proxy statement/prospectus and the filings with the SEC that will be incorporated by reference in the joint proxy statement/prospectus can also be obtained, free of charge, by directing a request to CenturyLink, 100 CenturyLink Drive, Monroe, Louisiana 71203, Attention: Corporate Secretary, or to Level 3, 1025 Eldorado Boulevard,Broomfield, Colorado 80021, Attention: Investor Relations.

Participants in the Solicitation

The respective directors and executive officers of CenturyLink and Level 3 and other persons may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information regarding CenturyLink's directors and executive officers is available in its proxy statement filed with the SEC by CenturyLink on April 5, 2016, and information regarding Level 3's directors and executive officers is available in its proxy statement filed with the SEC by Level 3 on April 7, 2016. These documents can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above. Other information regarding the interests of the participants in the proxy solicitation will be included in the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC when they become available. This communication is not intended to and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

___

Statement form CentruyLink:
It is very early in the process with many details to be determined. Until the transaction closes, CenturyLink and Level 3 will operate as separate companies and it remains business as usual.

Both CenturyLink and Level 3 have a strong track record of successfully integrating companies and we will leverage this experience to ensure a smooth transition to a combined company.

This is a transaction that benefits all stakeholders, including our employees. We are bringing together two highly customer-focused organizations and providing employees growth and advancement opportunities the companies could not offer separately.


Mayor Jamie Mayo put out some bullet points on the acquisition of Level 3 Communications by CenturyLink:

The news about Centurylink is great for the company and for our local community!

· The company will be larger and stronger.

· We are thrilled that Glen Post will remain CEO and look forward to continuing our strong partnership for economic development and overall enhancements to our city, parish and region.

· The City of Monroe remains the corporate headquarters for a telecommunications giant that is also attracting a diversity of new job, business and even residential opportunities to our community!

· This merger strengthens what many call the I-20 Technology Corridor between Shreveport and Monroe!

· It further proves that Monroe is a place you can find your opportunity to thrive and flourish. We are a city where a business can be grown and developed into a global leader.


16 2016-10-28
Monroe

Sweeney Todd Debuts at ULM


The Visual and Performing Arts program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe's opening night of Sweeney Todd is Thursday October 28th at 7:30 P.M. The play will be shown Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.

ULM's fall semester play is set to have big sets, big choral scenes, a great orchestra, and lots of blood. The all student cast will be performing Sweeney Todd on a set largely borrowed from the New Orleans Opera. Sweeney Todd is a musical set in England during the 1900's that focusing on a barber seeking revenge after a 15 year exile. The musical's gory elements fall right in place with the Halloween season.

Mark Clark, the director of this play, describes Sweeney Todd as, "a tremendous show, it's complex with so much going on in it." He ensures that this play has its fair share of twists and turns.

General admission to the show is $15 while students can get in for free with their ULM IDs. More information on the event can be found here.

16 2016-10-26
Monroe

ULM’s Medical Laboratory Science program receives maximum accreditation award


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program has received the maximum accreditation award of 10 years from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

The NAACLS Board of Directors’ award is based on the continuing accreditation review process that included a site visit of the ULM MLS program in April 2016. The NAACLS site visit team noted the following areas of strength for the ULM MLS program: (1) faculty commitment confirmed by comments from students, clinical liaisons, and advisory committee; (2) financial and philosophical support from the healthcare community serviced by the ULM program; (3) outcomes exceed benchmarks recommended by NAACLS and indicate the effectiveness of the program to prepare Medical Laboratory Scientists, and (4) the quality of the graduates and their preparation for the job market.

Dr. Eric Pani, ULM’s VP of academic affairs, noted that the accreditation renewal reflects the high quality of the program and its success in building and sustaining partnerships with area hospitals and clinics.

“This program has been identified by many of the hospitals and clinics in the region as very important to them since medical laboratory scientists are essential for quality testing services,” Pani said. “I am very pleased that our program has continued its accreditation. It speaks to the quality of the education our students receive, the credentials of our faculty, and the important relationships we have with the professional community in this area.”

NAACLS accreditation is a process of external peer review in which the agency grants public recognition to a program of study that meets nationally established standards of educational quality. Primary aspects of the NAACLS accreditation process are: the self-study process; the site visit process; evaluation by a review committee; assessment of review committee evaluation by the Quality Assurance Committee; and evaluation by the Board of Directors. Evaluation is based on Standards, which are the minimum criteria used when determining programmatic accreditation.

“The MLS faculty are extremely proud of the NAACLS accreditation award,” said Dr. Debbie Wisenor, associate professor and MLS program director. “The ULM MLS program is recognized for its quality curriculum and excellent outcomes while serving the healthcare community by providing competent, entry-level graduates that fill a critical need in medical laboratories. The support received from university administration, community partners, and clinical affiliates have made the continuing success of the medical laboratory science program possible.”
16 2016-10-26
Monroe

ULM Breaks ground on new turf


MONROE, La. --

ULM broke ground this morning on new turf being installed for the intramural and softball fields.

The groundbreaking was held at University Park Intramural Field.

University Park is the premiere student facility in the state and region.

The park is utilized almost every weekend with the exception of the months of December and January.
16 2016-10-25
Monroe

Entergy donates $3,000 to ULM’s Mobile Dental Hygiene Unit


The dental hygiene program at the University of Louisiana Monroe recently received a $2,500 grant as well as a $500 partner appreciation grant from Entergy in support of ULM’s Mobile Dental Hygiene Unit.

The check was presented by Philip May, Entergy Louisiana President and CEO, at a luncheon sponsored by Entergy on October 7.

The dental hygiene program won the $500 partner appreciation grant along with the Louisiana Ag Educational Foundation, American Red Cross, and the North Louisiana Economic Partnership. To win, each agency had to submit a photo of one of the events that Entergy helped sponsor.

Entergy is an integrated energy company serving over 2.8 million customers in four states. Over the past two years, the grants that have been awarded to agencies in the north Louisiana region totaled $500,000. Since 2012, Entergy has donated $15,000 to ULM’s dental hygiene program.

Jordan Anderson, assistant professor of dental hygiene, said, “These generous funds will continue to help us provide dental hygiene care at no cost to residents in the northeast Louisiana parishes. The funds will assist in the acquisition of patient education supplies, such as tooth brushes, floss, tooth paste, as well as equipment in the unit itself.”

This semester, the mobile unit is stationed in Ouachita Parish where dental hygiene services are being provided to children and adults at Jack Hayes Elementary School. Supervised by licensed dental hygiene instructors, students provide teeth cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, oral cancer screenings, patient education, and nutritional counseling.

The Mobile Dental Hygiene Unit is a satellite clinic administered by the ULM dental hygiene program. The ULM Dental Hygiene Clinic first opened in 1972 with only 10 operatories. The program now has 22 operatories, including those on the Mobile Dental Hygiene Unit, at the campus clinic located in Caldwell Hall, and a satellite clinic at Riser Elementary and Middle School. More than 2,000 patients receive dental hygiene treatment in these three ULM clinics each year.

“Patients have been treated on the Mobile Dental Hygiene Unit in Richland Parish, Morehouse Parish, Ouachita Parish, East Carrol Parish, and Caldwell Parish,” Anderson noted. “Multiple schools call us every year requesting our services. We look forward to treating more patients in the Northeast Louisiana area.”

For more information about ULM’s Dental Hygiene clinics, visit ulm.edu/dentalhygiene/ or call 318-342-1616.


16 2016-10-21
Monroe

ULM communication program welcomes traveling scholar Amanda Martinez


As part of the Traveling Scholar Series, the communication program at the University of Louisiana Monroe is excited to welcome Dr. Amanda Martinez to ULM’s campus on Tuesday, Oct. 25 to present a talk on the relationship between race and comedy.

The presentation will take place in Stubbs 100 at 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

Martinez’s talk will focus on how race and differences have fueled stand-up comedy and permeated punchlines across mainstream media. Martinez will explore the ways comedic contexts are among the few exceptional realms where the otherwise taboo, edgy, or controversial “backstage” jokes can occupy “frontstage” space, as long as the “it’s just a joke” intentions remain clear. She will discuss how comedians from diverse backgrounds capitalize on stereotypical cultural nuances in an age of sensitivity for politeness expectations and intense critiques of political correctness. Martinez will argue this contradictory reality prompts in all of us a sense of when edgy and potentially offensive jokes should stay safely in the backstage, and when perceived like-minded in-group members should not take offense to race-based/racist jokes about others.

Martinez is an assistant professor of Communication Studies, Sociology, and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Davidson College in North Carolina. Her research focuses on mass communication and stigmatized health issues with particular interest in identity intersections, media effects, stereotyping, and inter-group communication dynamics. She is the co-author of one book and author of several articles on racial identification and gender. She is currently on sabbatical and working on a book project tentatively titled, Navigating Fine Lines: Diverse Audiences Respond to Race-Based Comedy.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Lesli Pace at 318-342-1165 or pace@ulm.edu.


16 2016-10-20
Monroe

ULM students unphased by third debate


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - ULM students gathered Wednesday night to watch the third and final presidential debate, and the mood at Walker Hall was a lot more loose than it was for the first debate, especially after the first half hour.

But, for that first half hour as the candidates debated mostly policy, students were listening intently, writing down notes, and looking for one policy difference that may swing their vote. But, as the debate turned from policy to insults, notes turned to laughs, as a clear sign that this group of students had made up their minds.

"Yes, my mind is definitely made up," Jorden Johnson said. "In the beginning, I had already had an idea of who I wanted, and as the election has gone on, things have come out that have only swayed me more to the decision that I already had."

Other students echoed her sentiments.

"My mind has been made up since July which in my mind is kind of depressing," Elliot Gonzalez said. "The fact that there hasn't been any shift in my mind with three whole debates at all. I think that neither candidate has done a very solid job of swaying one side or the other."


16 2016-10-20
Monroe

Grambling to open 2019 season at ULM


Grambling's Interstate 20 football tour in 2019 will feature two stops at local universities.

Last week, news emerged Grambling would play at Louisiana Tech in 2019. This week, news came out about Grambling's 2019 date at ULM.

ULM will open the season Aug. 31, 2019 against Grambling at Malone Stadium. ULM athletic director Brian Wickstrom announced the news Tuesday on Twitter. Grambling will play at Tech the following week on Sept. 7, 2019.

ULM holds a 3-0 series record over Grambling dating back to 2007. The two teams last played in 2013 when the Warhawks won 48-10.

It's unclear how much ULM will pay Grambling, but the Tigers are receiving $300,000 for the game at Tech.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
Fobbs: Tech, GSU matchup in 2019 a 'boom to the economy'

Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs told The News-Star last week he wants to make it a point to play local teams in the nonconference. That includes teams like Tech, ULM and Northwestern State. A future deal with NSU will likely come next.

"Anytime you get those types of deals with what's being offered, you have to jump at them," he said. "Hopefully in the future it continues to be a good relationship, a good situation for both programs and not just both programs but all other programs in the immediate area."

Starting in 2017, Grambling has to find four nonconference games instead of the usual pair of games it plays outside of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The SWAC is moving from a nine-game league slate to a seven-game schedule.

ULM's deal with 2019 rounds out the nonconference slate for the Warhawks, who also play at Florida State and Iowa State and against Memphis.


16 2016-10-20
Monroe

ULM Water Ski Team wins 27th national championship



The University of Louisiana Monroe Water Ski Team traveled to Imperial Lakes in El Centro, Calif. and brought home their 27th national championship. ULM has won 27 of the 37 championships the National Collegiate Water Ski Association has hosted.

The ULM ski team was ranked third going into the final day of the tournament, but Martin Kolman’s last jump propelled the team into first place. ULM waterski coach Joey McNamara said, “Never has it been more imperative for everyone to ski their best. In the past, skiers might only have to train and ski two of the three events, but this year everyone had to focus and ski well at all three.

“I’m unbelievably proud of each and every member of this team. We knew this year was going to be a tough year to win, but we didn’t just double down, they tripled down in all events. It really came down to the jump event where nine out of our 10 members had a personal best. Water skiing championships are won with a team that skis well and consistently as a whole, not just individuals.”

MORE ON ULM: Neville's Marbles commits to ULM

The tournament was hosted by Imperial Lakes and San Diego State University. The tournament was divided into two 12 team divisions. ULM competed in Division I with the University of Louisiana Lafayette, the University of Alabama, Florida Southern College, Rollins College, Ohio State University, San Diego State University, Clemson University, Arizona State University, University of Kansas, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan.

The tournament consisted of all the three events of competitive water skiing: slalom, trick, and jump. Each team consisted of five men and five women per event. Typically, not all skiers are required to compete in all events, but due to the team size this year, every skier was forced to compete in all three.

Graduate student Kolman placed first overall with a fifth place in slalom, second in trick, and first in jump. Sophomore Danylo Filchenko placed second in trick and Alex King placed third in jump.

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Junior Sasha Danisheuskaya placed second overall with an eighth place in slalom, third in trick, and second in jump. Senior Emilia Hoikkanen narrowly missed the podium in trick with a sixth place.

The next Nationals will be held in Zachary, La. at Bennett’s Water Ski and Wakeboard School in October, 2017.

The ULM women’s team include:
Emilia Hoikkanen of Helsinki, Finland; Sasha Danisheuskaya of Minsk, Belarus; Sara Westerland of Stockholm, Sweden: Siani Oliver of Gold Coast, Australia; Katerina Svecova of Jihlava, Czech Republic.

The ULM men’s team include:
Taylor Horton of Moorpark, Calif.; Martin Kolman of Prague, Czech Republic; Danylo Filchenko of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine; Alex King of Hokiitikia, New Zealand; Tom Poole of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Full results can be found at http://bit.ly/2ef5hmC For more information, contact Joey McNamara at 254-493-8973.


16 2016-10-19
Monroe

Monroe Chamber recognizes top educators


The Monroe Chamber of Commerce will honor the Teachers of the Year from the Ouachita Parish School System and the Monroe City School System on Nov. 1.

The chamber also will recognize members of the faculty and staff at Louisiana Delta Community College and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Scott Trezise, EVP Human Resources for CenturyLink will serve as the keynote speaker for the event which will be held at the Monroe Civic Center. The awards ceremony is held each year to honor and recognize outstanding excellence in teaching.

The event is sponsored by Allen Green and Williamson, ANGUS Chemical, Robertson Produce, Strauss Interests, Ouachita Independent Bank, The News Star, Angus, The Radio People, Associated Business Printing, Patty Stewart Photography, KTVE/KARD, Lagniappe Broadcasting and the Monroe Chamber of Commerce. For more information or to register for the event, please call Daphne McClish at 318-807-4018.


16 2016-10-19
Monroe

ULM Mock Trial finishes strong in the Hustle City Challenge


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Mock Trial team competed in the Hustle City Challenge last weekend at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas where the Gold, Maroon, and White squads all finished with identical 5-3 records, taking fifth, sixth, and seventh place among the 16 teams at the competition.

Other schools that competed include Baylor University, the University of Mississippi, Houston Baptist University, the University of Houston, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas-Arlington, the University of St. Thomas, and Loras College.

Isaiah Chavis (Maroon Squad), a political science major, won best overall attorney. Also receiving awards were political science majors Dorae Dadgar (White squad) for Best Closer, Trinity Coates (Gold squad) for Best Plaintiff’s Witness, and Shelby Joyner (Maroon squad) for Best Character Witness.

Dr. Joshua Stockley, associate professor of political science, said he is very proud of the students and their success against nationally recognized universities.


“These recognitions this early in the season reflect the tremendous amount of time they have already dedicated to studying the case materials, familiarizing themselves with legal procedure, and rehearsing with their teams,” Stockley said.

Chavis said he always knew that he was a part of something special when he joined the team.

“These guys and girls are probably the hardest working geniuses you'll ever meet,” Chavis said. “We push each other beyond our standards every practice, so it's no wonder that we placed highly overall. I think my success is really just a byproduct of being surrounded by great teammates.”

The teamwork and companionship within the ULM Mock Trial team is evidently showing results.

“The work ethic of this group is tremendous, as is their talent,” Stockley said. “I think this group is poised to win many more awards this season.”

ULM’s Mock Trial team is the only team from Louisiana to ever advance from their regional tournament to the national tournament. ULM’s Mock Trial team has accomplished this feat for the last two years.

ULM has been invited to compete in the Mid-South Invitational Mock Trial Tournament hosted by Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on November 10-13, and the Argo Invitational hosted by West Florida University in Pensacola, Fla. on January 12-14.

ULM will host the 3rd Annual Warhawk Mock Trial Jamboree in the Spring on campus in the E. Orum Young Courtroom situated alongside Bayou DeSiard.

About the ULM Mock Trial:
ULM’s Mock Trial Team was founded in 2013 by Fin Noel, with assistance from political science professors Dr. Joshua Stockley and Dr. John Sutherlin. ULM is affiliated with the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), founded in 1985 as the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competition. Approximately 600 teams from over 350 universities and colleges will compete in 24 regional tournaments, eight opening round championship tournaments and a national championship tournament each season.


16 2016-10-19
Monroe

Louisiana Tech physics professor develops, teaches course for Argentinian university


Dr. Lee Sawyer, director of chemistry, nanosystems engineering and physics at Louisiana Tech University, has developed a graduate-level course which he has taught at the National University of Rio Cuarto (UNRC) in Rio Cuarto, Argentina.

The course, “Formulation to Solutions to Engineering Problems,” is part of a joint partnership between Louisiana Tech and UNRC, which aims to promote the exchange of faculty, students and ideas between the two universities, and to provide students from both universities with international perspectives and experiences.

Sawyer’s course is the first to be offered by a Louisiana Tech faculty member at UNRC and has a mixture of graduate students and university instructors as enrollees.

In 2015, UNRC Department of Mechanics Professor Dr. Ronald O’Brien, visited Louisiana Tech to foster research collaborations between the two universities in mechanical engineering. O’Brien helped coordinate the 2016 course, along with Louisiana Tech alumnus and UNRC Professor Dr. Juan Fontana.

“Dr. Lee Sawyer’s visit has helped to continue strengthening the partnership between Louisiana Tech and UNRC,” Fontana said. “It has had a significant impact on the academic community, as it represented the starting point of the integrated teaching-scientific exchange of undergraduate and graduate students to take courses and participate in research projects.”

Sawyer says the experience has highlighted Louisiana Tech’s opportunities for international collaboration.

“I have really enjoyed the month I have spent in Rio Cuarto, getting to know the faculty and students,” said Sawyer. “There are common interests between the engineering faculty here and the College of Engineering and Science. I hope that this exchange of faculty and students continues. It is one more example of Louisiana Tech’s global presence.”


16 2016-10-18
Monroe

ULM’s VAPA to present ‘Sweeney Todd’ Oct. 27-29


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s School of Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) presents the classic “Sweeney Todd” for three performances at Brown Auditorium Oct. 27-29 at 7:30 p.m., the weekend before Halloween.

Sweeney Todd is subtitled “The Demon of Fleet Street,” and “A Musical Thriller” and has a score written by Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim. The show is about a man who returns to London, set on righteous revenge after 15 years away in prison. The characters in the drama are bigger than life as they richly inhabit the fast moving story, enhanced by the music.

Of course, Sweeney Todd includes a number of surprise twists, a large student cast, original sets and costumes, orchestra, and props that come from the New Orleans Opera, which make this a theatrical experience not to be missed.

The title role is performed by Blake Oden, while Mrs. Lovett is played by Elizabeth Neuberger. Judge Turpin will be Gray Hall, while the young couple Johanna and Anthony will be performed by Alysa Foster and Jarryd Guttierez. The Beggar Woman is portrayed by Morgan Rowland. Tobias is Matthew Stewart, and Pirelli will be played by faculty member Julian Jones.

The performances feature Director, Mark Ross Clark, and Deborah Chandler as the conductor. Margaret Hall will provide original costumes, and Steve Burnside provides original set pieces.

Tickets will be available by the end of September in the VAPA office, Biedenharn Hall Room 105 during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. and on Friday, 7:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Student tickets are free of charge, and ULM staff and faculty are $5. General Admission is $15.

For more information, please call the VAPA Box Office at 318-342-1414.


16 2016-10-18
Monroe

ULM’s Up ‘til Dawn invites community to ‘Trunk-or-Treat’


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Up ‘til Dawn organization will host its annual “Trunk-or-Treat” event in ULM’s Brown Stadium parking lot, located on Warhawk Way next to Malone Stadium, from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.

This event is attended by hundreds of children, and Up ‘til Dawn team members distribute candy and treats to visitors.

The event is free and open to the public.

“Trunk-or-Treat creates a fun and safe environment for the Monroe community so that children and families can enjoy the positive things that Halloween has to offer,” said MarcAnthony Calhoun, ULM Interim Coordinator of Student Development.

Students and Up ‘til Dawn teams can register for Trunk-or-Treat on the second floor of the Student Center.


16 2016-10-18
Monroe

West Monroe Student receives $1,000 Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship


Chick-fil-A®, Inc. has selected West Monroe resident Shelby Cunningham as a recipient of the chain’s $1,000 Leadership Scholarship.

Cunningham was nominated by franchised Operator David Benson at the Chick-fil-A restaurant located at 203 Thomas Road, West Monroe La. Cunningham has worked for Chick-fil-A for 4 years. She will graduate from University of Louisiana at Monroe in May 2018 with a Masters in English. Cunningham has been actively involved in theatre and performed in several musicals while attending ULM. She has served as Parliamentarian and Treasurer of Chi Tau Epsilon Honor Society. She also volunteers as Children’s Church Director at West Monroe Church of God.

“The program recognizes employees who demonstrate the leadership and character qualities to build a successful life, while offering tangible assistance to enrich their lives” said Benson. “Shelby has the potential to accomplish great things.”

Chick-fil-A’s franchised Operators make an effort to create a working environment that provides leadership opportunities among team members as well as character development that will help them excel in school, home and in their communities. These Operators, many of whom are Leadership Scholarship and S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award recipients themselves, serve as mentors in promoting the development of restaurant team members in the areas of goal-setting, integrity, service, work ethic and leadership.

The Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship Program began in 1973 out of Chick-fil-A Founder Truett Cathy’s desire to incent restaurant employees to further their education. Since the program’s inception, more than 35,000 team members have received scholarships, bringing the total to more than $35 million.

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In addition, all recipients are eligible for Chick-fil-A’s S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award, the chain’s highest scholar recognition that continues Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy’s legacy of supporting higher education by provides an additional scholarship to the top 25 Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship recipients each year.
16 2016-10-18
Monroe

ULM Professor Spearheads Safe Driving Campaign


ULM professor, Joe McGahan, and grad student Crystal Curry are working on a conference promoting "A More Cerebral and Compassionate Approach to Getting from Here to There".

This pilot study's goal is to encourage the community (and the world) to not just manually drive but to be intentional and deliberate. Safe Now is applying for a grant, and hoping to become a multi-year project.

This conference will be held November 10th through the 12th. The first day of this event, Thursday, will be an introduction to the project, Friday will have a series of activities to engage a younger audience, and Saturday there will be a mini-conference. There will be a variety of speakers from professors to police officers.

This event will take place at Strauss Hall. More information on this project can be found here.


16 2016-10-18
Monroe

ULM’s Up ‘til Dawn invites community to ‘Trunk-or-Treat’


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Up ‘til Dawn organization will host its annual “Trunk-or-Treat” event in ULM’s Brown Stadium parking
lot, located on Warhawk Way next to Malone Stadium, from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.

This event is attended by hundreds of children, and Up ‘til Dawn team members distribute candy and treats to visitors.

The event is free and open to the public.

“Trunk-or-Treat creates a fun and safe environment for the Monroe community so that children and families can enjoy the positive things that Halloween has to offer,” said MarcAnthony Calhoun, ULM Interim Coordinator of Student Development.

Students and Up ‘til Dawn teams can register for Trunk-or-Treat on the second floor of the Student Center.

About Up ‘til Dawn
Up 'til Dawn is the collegiate fundraising organization of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The organization takes pride in helping St.
Jude researchers discover cures for children's cancer and other catastrophic diseases.


16 2016-10-17
Monroe

ULM announces 2016 Alumni Award winners


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe Alumni Association will present its annual awards, the Golden Arrow Award and the Rising Young Alumnus Award, during a Homecoming brunch held at ULM Oct. 15 during Homecoming Week.

Golden Arrow Award – Jamie Mayo
The Golden Arrow Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an alumnus for outstanding personal achievement. The 2016 winner is Jamie Mayo, the Mayor of Monroe.

As mayor, Mayo’s policy focus is concentrated on economic development, public safety, partnerships in education, city beautification, housing, growth, and marketing Monroe as a whole. Additionally, Mayo’s administration has focused on sound fiscal management with 11 years of fiscal year budget surpluses and an A+ bond rating.

Mayo began his post-ULM career in the insurance industry and Chase Manhattan Mortage Corp. Before being elected mayor in 2001, he was elected as a Monroe City Councilman for District #5 in 1995 where he served the community for eight more years.

Mayo received a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1979. Mayo states, "I have the highest regard for the many experiences I had during my days at NLU/ULM. I met my wife Angela there. I played on the basketball team for four years, winning a conference championship my senior year. I earned a B.B.A. degree which has benefited me throughout my twenty plus year career in business, and my twenty plus years in public service as a city councilman and now Mayor of the City of Monroe. Angela and I have been actively involved as alumni because we want to help further the strong academic reputation of our school. We are MONROE PROUD of ULM!"


Rising Young Alumni Award — Joey Trappey
The Rising Young Alumni Award is presented to Joey Trappey. This award is given to an alumnus/alumna who exemplifies school spirit, appreciates the value of education, and makes time to engage with their alumni community. And no one will doubt the school spirit on display at Trappey’s restaurants. He is best known locally for his popular Monroe eateries, The Fieldhouse and Trapp’s.

Trappey received a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing in 2005 and returned to ULM for a Masters of Education in 2007. He was a member of the ULM football team from 2001-2005, serving as team captain from 2003-2005. He also was a member of the basketball team from 2005-2007.

After graduation, Trappey has stayed involved with ULM through the Alumni Association, and through many events on campus. In 2015, he addressed the freshman class during the annual convocation. Trappey states, “I am just trying to do my part in helping the ULM students, alumni, and community experience a better ULM. It’s important for all alumni to give back within their capabilities, and not just through athletics. ULM wouldn’t be possible if no one supported academics as well. As a marketing graduate, I can say that it’s important that all areas receive support because not all wins are made on the field.”

Mayo and Trappey will both be honored at the 2016 Alumni Homecoming Brunch to be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday in the ULM Conference Center (Library, 7th floor).

Tickets for the Homecoming brunch are $10 and can be purchased at ulm.edu/alumni. A printed receipt of payment will serve as a ticket at the door.

For more information, contact the ULM Alumni Center at 318-342-5420 or 1-866-WARHAWK.


16 2016-10-17
Monroe

Take a look at ULM natatorium before it's gone


PHOTOS
16 2016-10-14
Monroe

ULM natatorium to get new life


The Lake C. Oxford Natatorium at the University of Louisiana at Monroe is set to take on a new life as a student event center.

At a kickoff for construction on the structure, university President Nick Bruno said the venue will be able to comfortably seat 550 people for events and contain an auditorium along with practice space for the university's dance and cheer teams.

The facility will include a ballroom that will seat 550, a theatre that will seat 83, an outside amphitheater and a practice area for ULM’s spirit groups. There will also be a large deck area overlooking Bayou DeSiard.

He said he wants the center to be a center for student and alumni life celebrations, such as weddings. He discussed the U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel and said he wants the activity center to have a similar relationship for ULM students.

Read more: ULM still learning how to win under Viator

ULM students are funding the project through their own student fees, said Camile Currier, interim vice president of student affairs.

“A few years ago, we were looking at what options we had with the natatorium. We went through this process with the students, and they felt an event center would be the best choice. We went to the Student Activity Enhancement Fee committee, made up of students, faculty and staff, and we proposed this to them. The committee voted unanimously and committed to funding the $7 million project,” Currier said.

Student Government Association President Kaitlin Neal, soon to be an alumni, said the natatorium closed in her freshman year, so her first opportunity to see the interior was Wednesday. She said university enrollment has topped 9,000 students and has outgrown the Student Union Builiding, which is a good problem to have.

Student Government Association President Kaitlin NealBuy Photo
Student Government Association President Kaitlin Neal talks about her hopes for the new student event center Thursday at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. (Photo: Bonnie Bolden/The News-Star)
The university had set the pool for closure in 2011 before Bruno agreed to give the YMCA a chance to operate it for the community. The YMCA's contract was cancelled in 2014.

Read more: ULM student’s research takes her to the Himalayas

Bruno called the changes to the building a tangible way students can identify with progress the university is making.

Bruno said construction is expected to take about a year, and he plans for the center to open by early 2018.

Tim Brandon Studios of West Monroe and Traxler Construction of Monroe are responsible for the architecture and construction, respectively, of the facility.

Follow Bonnie Bolden on Twitter @Bonnie_Bolden_ and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1RtsEEP. A news release from the University of Louisiana at Monroe contributed to this report.
16 2016-10-14
Monroe

ULM waterski team competes for 27th national title


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Water Ski Team will compete for its 27th national title at the 38th National Collegiate Waterski Championship tournament held at El Centro, California from October 13-15.

The tournament is hosted by National Collegiate Water Ski Association (NCWSA) and will include a total of 24 teams -12 from Division I and 12 from Division II.

Athletes will be awarded individual medals for tricks, jumping and slalom, with overall titles awarded in each division as well.

Warhawks qualified for the tournament last week in Katy, Texas where they showed envying performance by beating the University of Louisiana Lafayette (ULL), the reigning national champions, and claiming the regional title.

The team’s head coach, Joey McNamara is hoping for a solid performance at the national tournament.

“The team feels great and the atmosphere is amazing,” said McNamara. “This is what we’ve been waiting for all season, and I know the team will give their best to claim the title once again.”


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The ULM water ski team has won 26 out of 38 national championships so far, with the last one won back in 2014. Taylor Horton, the team’s captain hopes this will be the 27th.

“This will be a very close competition with three new schools competing for the first time,” Horton said. “Our biggest opponent is traditionally ULL, but we showed last week that we can beat them, and we hope we succeed in it this time as well.”

Water ski enthusiasts can watch the tournament live at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS9KpZjiENU
16 2016-10-14
Monroe

New student event center coming to ULM


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe announced the creation of a new student event center at a press conference on campus Thursday morning.

The event center, open to ULM students, faculty, staff and the entire north Louisiana region, will be renovated from the space currently occupied by the former Lake C. Oxford Natatorium, which opened in 1978. ULM students are funding the project through their own student fees, says Interim VP of Student Affairs, Camile Currier.

“A few years ago, we were looking at what options we had with the natatorium. We went through this process with the students and they felt an event center would be the best choice. We went to the Student Activity Enhancement Fee committee, made up of students, faculty, and staff and we proposed this to them. The committee voted unanimously and committed to funding the $7 million project,” Currier said.

The facility will include a ballroom that will seat 550, a theatre that will seat 83, an outside amphitheater, and a practice area for ULM’s spirit groups. There will also be a large deck area overlooking beautiful Bayou DeSiard.


Tim Brandon Studios of West Monroe and Traxler Construction of Monroe are responsible for the architecture and construction, respectively, of the facility.

“This facility will do so much, not just for ULM but for this community. It will provide a beautiful facility that members of the community can gather, whether it’s for a wedding or reunion or for a conference, and comfortably seat 550 in here and provide our teams – our dance team, our cheer squads — a permanent place now where they can practice,” ULM President Dr. Nick J Bruno said at the press conference.

Kaitlin Neal, ULM Student Government Association (SGA) president, spoke on behalf of the student body about what this means for them.

“We have kind of outgrown the SUB (Student Union Building). You know this year we reached over 9,000 students, which we’re so excited about, and that’s a good problem to have, but we’ve kind of outgrown that. So this facility is going to make it so easy for us to have big events, have beautiful events,” Neal said.

Construction has already begun and the facility is scheduled to open in fall 2018.


16 2016-10-13
Monroe

Exploring new heights: ULM student’s research takes her to the Himalayas


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - University of Louisiana Monroe junior biology major, Melissa Bloch, explored new heights by travelling to the Himalayas in India along with her advisor, Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, as part of a summer research internship.

Bloch was awarded the internship by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), a premier research institute focused on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development throughout India. Bhattacharjee has established research collaborations with ATREE and jointly proposed multiple collaborative projects to be carried out soon involving ULM students.

During her month-long travel through the foothills of the Himalayas, Melissa worked on “ground-truthing,” a necessary step when creating accurate land-use and land-change maps. In the state of West Bengal, Melissa collected geographic coordinates of static structures that were visible in satellite imagery using a high-end GPS.

These structures included palaces, British-era administrative buildings, and bridges, some of which are over 300 years old. The objective was to align these structures with their precise coordinates on various scaled maps and satellite images from the past 20 years.


While collecting data, Melissa trekked through the Himalayas, spending each night at a different remote village in the mountains. She also stayed in a homestay in Darjeeling, in a bungalow in the middle of an esteemed Darjeeling tea estate, and at the Siliguri family home of Bhattacharjee.

“Trekking through such rich repositories of biodiversity was the most enthralling experience,” said Bloch. I visited villages that were hours from the nearest road. Throughout the trek, I experienced monsoon rains, fresh leopard paw prints, Barking Deer, leech bites and women carrying their weight in fodder across the daunting terrain.”

She hopes her research will provide an insight into the conservation of the Himalayas’ critical ecosystem which is home to many endangered species, including the Red Panda, Asian Elephant, Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros, the Bengal Tiger and a suite of birds that are endemic to the region. She plans to publish her findings in a scientific journal.

Melissa was invited back for summer 2017 to continue the second phase of her research. During the next trip she will use an Unmanned Aerial System to evaluate how the Himalayan tree species are shifting ranges and distribution in response to climatic change.

Bhattacharjee reflected on this unique opportunity that Melissa had as an undergraduate. In his words, “I am amazed at the pace at which Melissa has grown both professionally and personally through this transformative research experience in India. She has proven that there are no boundaries in the quest for knowledge, except the fact that one must have the determination to do it,” Bhattacharjee said.

According to Bloch, “I have gained understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of a country, culture and society very different from my own. I’m grateful to ULM for equipping me with the tools I need to confidently put one step in front of the other in the direction of my dreams.”


16 2016-10-12
Monroe

ULM fishing team advances to national championship


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s fishing team will be heading to the national championship.

The team won the Fishing League Worldwide College Regional bass fishing tournament Saturday on the Ouachita River.

ULM students Tyler Stewart and Nicholas Joiner took home first place with a total weight of 16 pounds and 9 ounces overall. Joiner landed a 5-pound, 12-ounce bass which propelled them into the lead. In addition to winning $2,000 in prize money, they secured their spot in the 2017 College Fishing National Championship, to be held from May 31 to June 3 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Alabama.

“It feels great to get the win on our home water and qualify for the national championship at Wheeler Lake,” Joiner said. “We are very excited and are looking forward to representing ULM.”

“To win on our home water in front of all our friends and family was awesome,” Stewart said. “Now that we have two regional wins under our belt, we really want that championship.”

Tom Torregrossa, director of the ULM Police Department and adviser to the fishing team, said the team’s focus was clearly established last month.

“In the fishing team meeting last month, the focus was on ULM competing on a national level,” said Torregrossa. “The guys continue to step up and put themselves in a position to win. This not only represents who we are as a university but it also represents the character of the student athletes at ULM.”

The tournament was hosted by the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau and was the third and final regular-season bass fishing tournament in the Southern Conference.

Slade Daniel and Tyler Craig also represented ULM at the tournament. They placed fifth and won $500, but more importantly, they also secured a spot in the National Championship.

Joining Stewart, Joiner, Daniel and Craig at the national championship will be Hunter Freeman and Thomas Soileau, who already qualified for the national championship back in April, when they placed fifth at the 2016 FLW College Fishing Open.


16 2016-10-12
Monroe

ULM Homecoming Queen, King, and Court announced


University of Louisiana Monroe senior, Kaitlin Nicole Neal, was crowned ULM’s 2016 Homecoming Queen during a pep rally on Monday, Oct. 10, as part of ULM’s Homecoming week festivities.

Neal is a senior risk management and insurance major from Tioga. Her parents are Scott Neal and Debi Bell.

Cheers from the students who filled Malone Stadium met the highly anticipated announcement. Dr. Nick J. Bruno, university president, crowned Neal.

Neal shared what the crown means to her. “My goals on campus since I got involved have been to lead, motivate, and inspire others. Throughout my years on PREP Staff as a leader, and now serving as SGA President I am reminded every day that I am making a difference and I am impacting students’ lives just like my own. I feel so honored to have been chosen to represent this great University and am very thankful for all that ULM has given me. My heart does and always will belong here.”

This year’s Homecoming King is Kendrick Jones, a senior communication major from Lake Charles. Jones was crowned by First Lady Linda Bruno.

Homecoming court members are freshmen Annmarie Cash of West Monroe and Ellen Ingram of Natchitoches; sophomores Abigail Thomas of Pineville and Shelby Carrier of Lafayette; juniors Caroline Courville of Pineville and Gabrielle Ingram of Natchitoches; and seniors Olivia Remsberg of West Monroe and Elaine Blanco of Leesville.

ULM congratulates Neal and all of the students elected to the 2016 Homecoming Court.


16 2016-10-12
Monroe

World’s most famous hacker to speak at ULM Business Symposium


Kevin Mitnick, known as the world’s most famous hacker, will deliver the keynote address at the ULM College of Business and Social Science’s annual Business Symposium 6 p.m. Thursday.

Mitnick is a computer consultant and author well-known for his former corporate hacking-related charges that landed him on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

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One of Mitnick’s first controversies took place at age 13, when he bypassed the punch card system in the Los Angeles bus system. He accomplished this by using “social engineering,” a form of psychological manipulation of people to perform actions or reveal confidential information.

In 1988 Mitnick was sentenced to a year in prison for breaking into Digital Equipment Corporation’s computer network and copying their software, a crime he committed in 1979 at the age 16.

In 1995, Mitnick was charged with 14 counts of wire fraud, eight counts of possession of unauthorized access devices, interception of wire or electronic communications, unauthorized access to a federal computer, and causing damage to a computer.

He spent five years in prison, one year of which was spent in solitary confinement. Mitnick claims that a prosecutor convinced a judge that he could launch nuclear missiles by dialing into the NORAD modem and communicating with it by whistling.

Mitnick was released from prison in 2000, when he was initially forbidden to use any communications technology other than a landline phone. He fought that decision in court and eventually won allowance to the internet.

For seven years after his incarceration, he was prohibited from making profit from books or films based on his illegal activities.

This ruling only temporarily stopped him from sharing his experience with the public, as he later published three books on his experience and expertise in cyber security. His autobiography, “Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker,” was translated into 15 languages and made the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, wrote forewords for two of Mitnick’s books. Mitnick’s fourth book is scheduled for release in 2017.

Mitnick has been called before Congress, both the House and the Senate, to testify on security matters affecting the United States. He has appeared on numerous national and international television and radio networks, including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, FOX News, USA Today, and many more.

Mitnick’s mission now is to educate consumers on protecting their information and themselves from harm. He does so through his security firm, Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC, which helps test companies’ security strengths, weaknesses, and potential loopholes. He is the best in the world in finding holes in the system before the “bad guys” do.

Mitnick is now a trusted security consultant to many Fortune 500 companies and governments worldwide.


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He also found and leads the Global Ghost Team, a team of cyber experts who test the security of global corporations and governments. His team maintains a one-hundred percent track record of breaking the security of any system they are paid to hack.

Mitnick’s expertise allows him to mentor leaders, executives, and staff on both the theory and practice of social engineering through consulting and presentations.

His presentations are similar to technology magic shows, including the latest hacking techniques and technologies that educate and inform people.

The event will take place at the Monroe Civic Center’s Jack Howard Theatre.

Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the College of Business and Social Sciences at 318-342-1100.


16 2016-10-11
Monroe

ULM Wind Ensemble to hold first performance of the semester


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The ULM Wind Ensemble will present their first performance of the semester on October 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Brown Theater.

The Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Derle R. Long, is comprised of the finest student musicians on campus. Co-conductor for this concert is Steven Pederson, Director of Athletic Bands.

The repertoire selected for this performance includes music by Alfred Reed, Mark Camphouse, David Holsinger, Franz Biebl, and Monroe native Frank Ticheli. Camphouse’s A Movement for Rosa will be performed in celebration of Black History Month. The piece was composed as a tribute to Rosa Parks and the birth of the American civil rights movement in the 1950s. The Wind Ensemble will perform a beautiful setting of Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria as a tribute to the strength and character of Louisiana residents in lieu of the catastrophic flooding in March and August. The ensemble will also perform Frank Ticheli’s An American Elegy in tribute to the strength and character of the American people in lieu of several tragic events of the past several
months.


There is no admission charge for this performance.

For more information, contact the VAPA office at 342-3811.
16 2016-10-11
Monroe

ULM Homecoming 2016: 85th Anniversary 5AM ULM Homecoming Gameday Activities


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - ULM's Homecoming Week has officially kicked off and with it comes the university's 85th anniversary. A series of events are lined up for students, faculty, and alumni but you don't have to be a Warhawk to get in on the fun.


"It's 'Homecoming and if you're in Monroe and if you are in Monroe, we want ULM to be your home," says Roxanne Smith, assistant director of alumni.

Smith says ULM's Homecoming is a community celebration, celebrating an institution that has gone through many changes since 1931.

"It's gone through 5 name changes and this year we have people from class of '66 coming and people who came here in the 1940's," says Smith.

A chance for students and Alumni to get to know one another, and a chance for each of them to show some school spirit.

For a full list of events happening during ULM's Homecoming week. visit this link:

http://ulm.edu/homecoming/


16 2016-10-11
Monroe

Iggy Azalea on stage Thursday at ULM


Australian rapper, Amethyst Amelia Kelly, better known by her stage name, Iggy Azalea, will perform at the University of Louisiana Monroe's Fant-Ewing Coliseum at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Iggy’s performance was secured by ULM’s Campus Activities Board, which organized the concert as a part of ULM's Homecoming week.

In 2006, as a 16 year-old, Iggy left Australia and flew to the United States to pursue her dream.

Her professional career started in 2011 with the release of her first full-length mix-tape project titled “Ignorant Art.” In 2014, she released her debut album, “The New Classic,” which debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales topping 52,000 across the United States.

Iggy has collaborated with many well-known artists throughout her career. The most notable ones include Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.

She was the first woman and the first non-American rapper to be featured in XXL Magazine’s “Top 10 Freshman List” in 2012.

Iggy’s most notable songs include “Fancy,” “Black Widow,” “Work” and “Team.”

Tickets for ULM students cost $25 for general admission, and $30 for floor seats. Tickets for the general public cost $35 for general admission, and $40 for floor seats.

Tickets are available at www.ulm.edu/concert.

Want to go?

What: Rapper Iggy Azalea

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Fant-Ewing Coliseum, ULM

Cost: ULM students $25-$35; general public $35-$40

Tickets:www.ulm.edu/concert


16 2016-10-07
Monroe

ULM Homecoming Events


VIDEO
16 2016-10-05
Monroe

ULM student speaks at the 2016 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in New Orleans


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - Adam Nettles, a senior political science major and president of the College Democrats at the University of Louisiana Monroe, was invited to serve as a guest speaker at the 2016 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner held by the Louisiana Democratic Party in New Orleans on Oct. 1.

Nettles shared the stage with several notable speakers, including Governor John Bel Edwards, Democratic National Convention Chair Donna Brazile, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Congressman Cedric Richmond, U.S. Senate Candidates Joshua Pellerin, Caroline Fayard, and Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, Senator Karen Carter Peterson, and Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro.

Nettles represented the College Democrats of America (CDA), the official student arm of the Democratic National Committee that encourages student participation in the political process and the Democratic Party. Nettles currently serves as the president of ULM’s CDA chapter.

“It was a real honor to be invited to speak at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner and to meet with leading figures in the state of Louisiana,” said Nettles. “I rallied people to volunteer and give their time to College Democrats. They’re everywhere and we need more support. I was there to convince them. I am glad that the party sees and understands the value of College Democrats and I hope that other students around the state will get involved because we really can and do make a difference, especially during an election season.”


The Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, named after U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, is a decades-old Democratic tradition that is held annually across the U.S. The Louisiana event is held every year in New Orleans and represents one of the largest gatherings of Democrats from across the state. The dinner was originally scheduled for Aug. 13 but was postponed due to the devastating floods that affected so many in south Louisiana.

Dr. Joshua Stockley, ULM associate professor of political science and well-known political commentator in the state, says that Nettles is a real difference-maker.

“That one of our two major political parties in the state of Louisiana picked a student leader from ULM to deliver a speech at one of the most important party events of the year speaks volumes about the ability of this university and its political science program to produce current and future leaders,” said Stockley. “Adam is poised to make a difference in this state and in the politics of this state. I could not be happier for him to have had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

According to Nettles, participation in a College Democrats chapter is the best way to help an election. College Democrats provide students with information and help students get in touch with the party.

“We have access to the party. You can get jobs with the party when they have campaigns. It’s a great opportunity for college students because it gives you an avenue to participate in politics directly,” said Nettles.

While a career in politics is on Nettle’s radar, right now he is focused on getting into law school and becoming a lawyer. According to Nettles, ULM’s Mock Trial team has best prepared him for law school.

“Mock trial has probably been one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. It has taught me the basics of trial as an undergraduate and put me into contact with some excellent mentoring attorneys. I feel ULM has prepared me very well for law school,” Nettles said.

Senator Karen Carter Peterson, Chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party­, expressed high praise of Nettles for his leadership and talents.

“On several occasions we have been able to work with Adam Nettles over the past few years and each and every time Adam has far surpassed even the highest of hopes we had,” said Peterson. “From working and organizing door-to-door to acting as our official spokesperson in several media interviews, Adam has proven he is an exceptional talent.

“This past weekend when we were planning the event we knew we must have a youth representative speak at the event to talk to our membership and leadership throughout the state on the importance of engaging with college students. Not only did Adam far surpass our expectations in his speech he is now comfortably moved into a role of Ambassador, for lack of a better term.”


16 2016-10-05
Monroe

World’s most famous hacker Kevin Mitnick to speak at ULM


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - Kevin Mitnick, known as the world’s most famous hacker, will deliver the keynote address at the ULM College of Business and Social Science’s annual Business Symposium on Thursday, October 13 at 6 p.m.

Mitnick is a computer consultant and author well-known for his former corporate hacking-related charges that landed him on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

One of Mitnick’s first controversies took place at age 13, when he bypassed the punch card system in the Los Angeles bus system. He accomplished this by using “social engineering,” a form of psychological manipulation of people to perform actions or reveal confidential information.

In 1988 Mitnick was sentenced to a year in prison for breaking into Digital Equipment Corporation’s computer network and copying their software, a crime he committed in 1979 at the age 16.

In 1995, Mitnick was charged with 14 counts of wire fraud, eight counts of possession of unauthorized access devices, interception of wire or electronic communications, unauthorized access to a federal computer, and causing damage to a computer.


He spent five years in prison, one year of which was spent in solitary confinement. Mitnick claims that a prosecutor convinced a judge that he could launch nuclear missiles by dialing into the NORAD modem and communicating with it by whistling.

Mitnick was released from prison in 2000, when he was initially forbidden to use any communications technology other than a landline phone. He fought that decision in court and eventually won allowance to the internet.

For seven years after his incarceration, he was prohibited from making profit from books or films based on his illegal activities.

This ruling only temporarily stopped him from sharing his experience with the public, as he later published three books on his experience and expertise in cyber security. His autobiography, “Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker,” was translated into 15 languages and made the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, wrote forewords for two of Mitnick’s books. Mitnick’s fourth book is scheduled for release in 2017.

Mitnick has been called before Congress, both the House and the Senate, to testify on security matters affecting the United States. He has appeared on numerous national and international television and radio networks, including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, FOX News, USA Today, and many more.

Mitnick’s mission now is to educate consumers on protecting their information and themselves from harm. He does so through his security firm, Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC, which helps test companies’ security strengths, weaknesses, and potential loopholes. He is the best in the world in finding holes in the system before the “bad guys” do.

Mitnick is now a trusted security consultant to many Fortune 500 companies and governments worldwide.

He also found and leads the Global Ghost Team, a team of cyber experts who test the security of global corporations and governments. His team maintains a one-hundred percent track record of breaking the security of any system they are paid to hack.

Mitnick’s expertise allows him to mentor leaders, executives, and staff on both the theory and practice of social engineering through consulting and presentations.

His presentations are similar to technology magic shows, including the latest hacking techniques and technologies that educate and inform people.

The event will take place at the Monroe Civic Center’s Jack Howard Theatre.

Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the College of Business & Social Sciences at 318-342-1100.


16 2016-10-05
Monroe

Northeast Louisiana celebrates Manufacturing Week


Each day 5,422 people in Ouachita Parish go to work in manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing is a key economic driver for the parish with an annual payroll of $294 million. In fact, one out of every 12 private-sector jobs in Ouachita Parish is in the manufacturing field. Manufacturers throughout Northeast Louisiana make a wide variety of products including paperboard, chemicals, specialty pumps, food and plastic.

Mayor Jamie Mayo, Mayor Dave Norris and Ouachita Parish Police Jury President Scotty Robinson proclaimed the week of Oct. 3-7 as Ouachita Parish Manufacturing Week. They join cities and county governments across the nation who will recognize the contributions that modern manufacturing makes to their communities. Several events will be held to recognize Ouachita Parish manufacturing plants and to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

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From 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, in partnership with the Monroe Chamber and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana (MEPOL), will host speaker Shane Istre with Kheiron Safety Services. Istre will review the scope of OSHA certification and the company requirements to attain certification. Interested manufacturers must register at www.LSBDC.org.

On Oct. 5 and 6, high school students throughout the parish will have the opportunity to learn more about manufacturing careers when several area industries and manufacturers open their doors for tours. Seven high schools are participating in the event. Many of these students are enrolled in Jump Start and plan to pursue a career in manufacturing. The event is sponsored by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana Delta Community College and the Northeast Louisiana Economic Partnership.

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Students will travel from their school to two manufacturers for guided plant tours. Following the tours, they will travel to one of the Louisiana Delta Community College campuses to tour that facility and have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with equipment used in manufacturing. Tours will be hosted by Angus Chemical, Graphic Packaging, Steel Fabricators, Gardner Denver Thomas, James Machine Works, Allied Building Stores, Monroe Water Treatment Plant, Mid South Extrusion and Bancroft Bag.

On Oct. 7, Louisiana Delta Community College, 7500 Millhaven Road, Monroe, will host an Essentials of Manufacturing Kick Off in partnership with Reliability Solutions and Training Logic. The partnership has been working to bring Precision Maintenance Training to northeastern Louisiana to ensure that manufacturers in the region and across the country continue to have highly skilled employees.

For more information on Manufacturing Day, go to www.mfgday.com or call the Monroe Chamber at 323-3461.


16 2016-10-03
Monroe

ULM to host Fall Gala Oct. 6


The University of Louisiana Monroe College of Arts, Education, and Sciences will host its Fall Gala on Thursday, Oct. 6 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the home of John and Dorothy Schween.

Tickets are $40 and attire is dressy casual. Guests must be 21 and older to attend, and attire is dressy casual.

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This fundraising event brings together faculty, staff, and community members for a very special night of wine, delicious food and drinks, fellowship and entertainment. “We are very excited about this fundraising event. There has been outstanding support from local businesses and restaurants. I hope people of the community attend this fabulous party,” said Arely Castillo, Coordinator of Marketing & Communication for the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences.

For entertainment, Visual and Performing Arts students will showcase their talents with short performances from the Broadway musical "Sweeney Todd." There will be door prizes, a silent auction, and a fun photo booth. All proceeds for this event will support the College’s initiatives and faculty enhancement.

This year’s gala will feature door prices and a silent auction with various items, including gift cards from Trio’s, Doe’s, Avocado’s, Tiger Mart, Panache Boutique, Blue Sky Yoga, Raven Salon & Spa. A great selection of paintings, photos, and jewelry have been donated from artists such as Heather Gill, Cliff Tresner, Vanelis Rivera, Mara Loeb, and Bette Kauffman.

During the gala, guests will enjoy a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine donated by local businesses. Some of the local donors include Enoch’s Irish Pub & Cafe, Chef Eric Johnson & Company, Fiesta Nutrition Center, River & Rail Cantina, China Cafe among many others.


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This event is also an opportunity for the community and university to interact with each other. “Our Fall Gala is a great opportunity to support faculty, staff and student initiatives,” said Dr. Sandra Lemoine, dean of the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences. “We are looking forward to enjoying a fun evening with our alumni, friends, and supporters.”

Dr. Ava Pugh, founder of the Fall Gala said that, “The Fall Harvest Scene is just not complete without having the opportunity to attend the Fall Gala where we are reunited with friends and colleagues in a comfortable atmosphere as we reminisce of past galas, meet new people, and vow not to ‘talk shop.’"

The Fall Gala is accepting sponsorships and donations.

For more information, to purchase tickets, and for directions, contact Arely Castillo at castillo@ulm.edu or 318-342-1296.


16 2016-09-28
Monroe

ULM pharmacy researcher awarded $1.7 million NIH grant to study diabetes


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded University of Louisiana Monroe professor Dr. Karen Briski a five-year $1.7 million grant that may one day lead to a life-changing treatment of Type-1 diabetes.

This research project grant (R01) is the largest single grant awarded to a faculty member in the history of ULM.

“The competition for federal research dollars is fierce, with award rates in the 10 to 30% range. R01 funding from NIH is one of the more competitive instruments, so this award signals how well-respected scientists view the quality of Dr. Briski's previous research and the importance of the discoveries anticipated from her laboratory's work,” said Dr. Eric Pani, ULM’s VP of Academic Affairs.

Briski’s research will focus on a completely novel way of protecting nerve cells from injury due to hypoglycemia by investigating how estrogen can increase energy stored in the brain.

Hypoglycemia is a recurring side effect of strict insulin therapy to stabilize blood glucose (sugar) levels in Type-1 diabetes patients. It poses a significant risk for nerve cell damage and neurological dysfunction.


Fear of hypoglycemia can deter diabetic patients from rigorous management of glucose, which can result in overly-high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. In the long-term, repeated hyperglycemia can lead to blindness, skin infections, organ damage and nerve damage in the feet and hands.

Studies have shown that the stress and anxiety of maintaining proper glucose levels can lower a patient’s quality of life. But Briski hopes to improve the quality of life of these patients by reducing harmful effects of hypoglycemia.

“Diabetic patients are found in every community. Hypoglycemia is an unavoidable aspect of their daily lives. If our outcomes here can lead us on the road to developing a therapeutic strategy whereby their brain is less vulnerable to injury and damage during hypoglycemic episodes, then it is going to have a major benefit to their quality of life,” Briski said.

Briski’s studies suggest that estrogen plays a beneficial role in increasing the amount of glycogen (stored glucose) in the brain and facilitating its release during episodes of hypoglycemia.

Estrogen is best known as a major sex hormone in women but it is also present in males at lower levels. However, it also has other uses in the body. Briski believes that estrogen releases stored glucose in specific regions of the brain, so she plans to target her research to these areas.

Briski credits this innovative approach to the “unparalleled level of resolution” that the School of Pharmacy has brought to this field of research by being able to dissect individual nerve cells and measure proteins produced by single populations of these cells.

This level of “microdissection” is accomplished through the use of state-of-the-art laser catapult technology that ULM president Dr. Nick J. Bruno helped acquire several years ago.

“Dr. Bruno was instrumental in procuring as part of my startup what is called the Zeiss Laser Catapult Microdissection instrument as well as a confocal microscope. Both are two state-of-the-art instruments and much of my scholarly and grantsmanship success over the last couple years has been the use of these instruments,” said Briski.

Over the next five years, Briski will be joined by four other ULM researchers, who served as co-investigators on the grant: Dr. Paul Sylvester, Dr. Seetharama Jois, Dr. Christopher Gissendanner, and Dr. Sami Nazzal.
___

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
Founded in 1887, the National Institutes of Health today is one of the world's foremost medical research centers, and the Federal focal point for medical research in the United States. The NIH, comprising 27 separate Institutes and Centers, is one of eight health agencies of the Public Health Service which, in turn, is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


16 2016-09-28
Monroe

La. campuses working to address sexual violence


BATON ROUGE — As many as 25 percent of female students in the U.S. experience an attempted sexual assault during college, according to a National Institute of Justice study published in 2000. A more recent study from 2007 dropped that figure to 18 percent, still a staggering statistic about campus safety.

Louisiana college leaders are working to change that, beginning with putting in place uniform sexual violence policies at every public post-secondary institution in the state.

Efforts taking place are in coordination with state legislation passed in 2015. Act 172 required the Louisiana Board of Regents to coordinate with all four public higher education systems in the state and develop a "campus climate" survey to poll college students on sexual assault and other campus safety issues.

Regents staff partnered with education technology company EverFi to develop and send a lengthy web-based survey to Louisiana students from April to May 2016.

But length of the survey — more than 100 questions — likely is one reason only 5 percent of the student population across the state answered the online survey, said Claire Norris, senior policy analyst with the Board of Regents.

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Norris presented survey results to the Louisiana Board of Regents Legislative Committee on Sept. 22 as part of a Louisiana Campus Climate Survey Report for 2015-16.

"We had an extremely low response rate," Norris said. "(Five percent of the population) is not a representative sample. ... While these findings are important for us to discuss, they just can't be generalized to the rest of the population. They in no way reflect what all of Louisiana students are experiencing."

Despite the low response, Regents staff were optimistic about the impact efforts like the survey will have on campus safety in Louisiana and beyond state lines.

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"This provided a ready platform for us to address any campus issue that all campuses face, like an active shooter," said Uma Subramanian, deputy commissioner for legal and external affairs. "This has provided the opportunity for us to network with all systems."

Norris called this the first state-coordinated effort on this topic in the nation.

"Isn't it great to be first in doing something as important as that?" Levy said.

When Regents staff took on this project, some campuses did not have a policy or process to handle sexual assault reports, Subramanian said. Some schools included it under sections such as "student misconduct."

"We have come a long way from then," Subramanian said. "... Now we have a better handle on this."

In fact, the report concluded that Louisiana's campuses appear to be heading in the right direction, at least when it comes to policies.


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"Louisiana's public post-secondary institutions have made meaningful changes in their policies, programs and resources to more effectively address sexual violence on their campuses," it reads.

Those policies and programs include a standard definition of stalking and intimate partner violence as well as uniform procedures for handling reports of sexual assault on campus and other resources.

For example, Louisiana State University's "We're Committed" page lists emergency numbers for students to report incidents, connects them with on-campus mental health staff and provides staff and volunteers with educational resources like definitions and training. Links to all of this and more is housed online at the Board of Regents' LA SAFE — Louisiana Sexual Assault Free Environment — including confidential adviser training modules.

It's a start.

"Part of the effort was to get the institutions aware of the situation and to develop their practices," Regent Robert Levy said. "By adopting the protocols, we've accomplished that. The second goal is to get that information into students' hands."

He urged Regents staff to "keep pushing institutions to include this information in orientation and working with other advocacy groups."

"Let's not wait for some national incident," he said.

Why did few respond to the survey?

The high number of questions on the campus climate survey wasn't the only problem, Norris said. College students also represent a population that gets a lot of surveys, from being asked to rate everything from professors to campus events.

It also was the first year for the survey, and response wasn't mandatory. Students were not required to answer all the questions or even participate at all.

There were incentives to take the survey if the university could afford it, Norris said. She plans to work with EverFi and campus leaders about the length of the survey and other things that may have impacted the response rate.

"As we move forward we will work hard to get the responses to increase so we have a better idea of what students are experiencing," Norris said.

The topic might have played a part in the lack of responses, too. Issues that tend to be controversial or uncomfortable come with low survey response rates. Many respondents to such topics also tend to have a connection to it, such as a victim or someone who knows a victim or so on.

Along with sexual violence, the campus climate report also covered general campus climate, alcohol and drug use, stalking and relationship violence, readiness to help, and bystander confidence, norms and behaviors.

The survey was the latest piece of an effort started in 2014 when the board was called upon to coordinate campus sexual assault prevention efforts, and "since then a lot has been done," Norris said.

She and other Regents staff coordinated with all four public higher education systems in the state. In 2015 the board passed a policy and then Act 172 of the Louisiana Legislature required the board to develop the survey, which was done through a partnership with education technology company EverFi. They sent a lengthy web-based survey that had more to Louisiana students from April to May 2016.

Findings

Students who did participate provided these findings:

Overall, survey participants reported that they perceive their campus to be moderately safe.
By and large, survey participants were unaware of the policies and procedures for handling an incident of sexual assault.
Norris said that's not surprising for the first year of such an effort and expects it to increase in the future. All campuses now have policies and procedures posted on their websites as well as the Board of Regents' LA SAFE site.

"As students become more aware of procedures they will use them," Norris said.

Most of the survey participants indicated they do not drink often; however, when participants do drink, they tend to binge drink.
When survey participants experienced an incident of sexual assault, they were unlikely to use campus resources to address it.
Responses showed college students tend to rely on their peers as support systems instead, which makes it even more important that campuses ensure students are equipped with proper resources when their peers come to them for help, Norris said.

Although the majority of the survey participants reported that they never experienced intimate partner abuse (emotional or physical), of those that did report relationship violence, a higher number reported emotional abuse than physical abuse.
Findings suggest that survey participants are willing to help their peers; however, few indicate that they have taken part in activities or volunteered their time on projects focused on ending sexual violence.
Most survey participants indicated that they would step up to intervene to stop a potential incident of sexual violence.
Students also offered suggestions to increase safety on campus, like adequate lighting, increased visibility of police officers and having accessible emergency phone systems.

Act 172 requires staff to submit a report of the results no later than Sept. 1 each year to the governor and the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Education for the previous academic year. Staff was prepared to present survey results last month but historic flooding across South Louisiana in August delayed it.


16 2016-09-27
Monroe

ULM Mock Trial team takes first place in the ‘Jackson Joust’


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe Mock Trial teams competed in the Jackson Joust this past weekend at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., with the Gold squad sweeping all rounds to take first place.

ULM sent three teams to the event to compete against teams from Millsaps College, Mississippi University for Women, and Mississippi Valley State University.

The Gold squad finished first, with a 68-point margin of victory over the second place finisher. The Maroon squad finished fifth, and the White squad finished eighth.

Adam Nettles (Gold squad), Isaiah Chavis (Maroon squad), and Carsyn Smallwood (White squad) received awards for Best Attorney.

“I am honored and humbled to have won a Best Attorney award at the Jackson Joust, which I could not have done without the support of my teammates and coaches. Mock Trial at ULM is a great program,” said Smallwood.

Laralee Herron (Gold squad), Elliott Gonzalez (Gold squad), and Briana Robertson (Maroon squad) received awards for Best Witness.

The squads are coached by attorneys Bob Noel, Kyle Moore, and Brooke Michiels.


Noel indicated that he was very proud of how the students performed in their first competition of the year but that some improvement was needed.

“It is always satisfying to win tournaments and we will certainly celebrate our success; however, we also recognize that we still have a lot of work to do and a lot of improvements to make in order to obtain our goal of qualifying for the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) National Championship,” said Noel.

ULM’s Mock Trial Team was founded in 2013 by Noel, with assistance from political science professors Dr. Joshua Stockley and Dr. John Sutherlin. ULM is affiliated with the AMTA, founded in 1985 as the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competition. Approximately 600 teams from over 350 universities and colleges will compete in 24 regional tournaments, eight opening round championship tournaments and a national championship tournament each season.

ULM’s Mock Trial team is the only team from Louisiana to ever advance from their regional tournament to the national tournament. ULM’s Mock Trial team has accomplished this feat for the last two years.

ULM has been invited to compete in the Hustle City Challenge by the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas on October 6-9, the Mid-South Invitational Mock Trial Tournament hosted by Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on November 10-13, and the Argo Invitational hosted by West Florida University in Pensacola, Fla. on January 12-14.

ULM will host the 3rd Annual Warhawk Mock Trial Jamboree in the Spring on campus in the E. Orum Young Courtroom situated alongside Bayou DeSiard.

Team Members

Gold Squad
Attorneys: Adam Nettles (Captain), Olivia Sage, Jorden Johnson

Witnesses: Erin McManus, Sarah Cheathem, Laralee Herron, Trinity Coates,
Bree Bowie, Elliott Gonzalez

Maroon Squad
Attorneys: Charles Dupree (Captain), Isaiah Chavis, Laura Moore (also
witness), Nick McBride

Witnesses: Brianna Robertson, Molly York, Shelby Joyner, Taylor Houston

White Squad
Attorneys: Dorae Dadgar, Edna Rogers, Carsyn Smallwood

Witnesses: Aja Dozier, Kezia Manning, Drew Fenske, Jeremy Jones, Jazmine
Belton, Devin Ford, Antonia Harris


16 2016-09-27
Monroe

ULM to host Career Fair Week


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Office of Career Connections will host its Career Fair Week September 26-28.

Each fall, the office begins its workshop and fair series to help students and alumni find internships and jobs in their field.

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The office provides various career services, including tips on resume writing, proper dress codes, dinner etiquette, and more.

Roslynn Pogue, Director of the Office of Career Connections, said the events give students and alumni valuable insight into what key elements are required for obtaining an internship or full-time job.

“Having a solid resume, a firm handshake, excellent social and interview skills, and knowing how to dress for the job can speak volumes for you when going on an interview. We stress the importance of first impression,” Pogue said.

The kickoff event will be a resume review tent held on Monday, September 26 next to Starbucks from 8-11 a.m.

Students participating in the event will have their resume and cover letter reviewed by professionals. They will also receive take-home tips and handouts. Students who take part in the event will be eligible to receive coupons from Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Einstein’s Bagels, and/or Subway.

The Leadership Workshop Series titled Social Excellence Project with Matt Mattson is scheduled for the same day on the second floor of the ULM SUB Ballroom at 7 p.m.

Mattson is co-founder and president of Phired Up Productions who specializes in training and performance improvement. He has a diverse background and combines his passion for wisdom with a firm sense of integrity to effectively inspire thousands of organizational members toward their pinnacle of achievement.

The Career Fair Workshop/Young Professional Panel will be held on Tuesday, September 27 at 9:30 a.m. in the ULM SUB Ballroom.

Local and regional young professionals will share with students the stories of their career path, including the decisions they have made and the obstacles they have overcome in order to succeed.

Louisiana Economic/Workforce Workshop will be held the same day from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Stubbs Hall 100.


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Susie Schowen, Director of Workforce Initiatives at the Louisiana Economic Development, will present on the economics of Louisiana as it relates to workforce. Students will learn how to identify high-wage, high-demand, and economic driver jobs.

The Art of Networking Workshop will be held in Stubbs Hall 100 starting at 5:30 p.m.

Alberta Green of ABG Counseling and Career Consulting and North Louisiana Economic Partnership will present an interactive workshop to teach students how to network like a professional.

Wednesday, September 28 is reserved for the Fall Career Fair that will include over 50 companies from across the south looking to employ ULM students and alumni. The event will be held in the ULM’s SUB Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Resumes are required for juniors and seniors, and alumni are welcome to attend.

For more information or to pre-register, visit http://www.ulm.edu/careerconnections/events.html


16 2016-09-27
Monroe

ULM to host Career Fair Week


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Office of Career Connections will host its Career Fair Week September 26-28.

Each fall, the office begins its workshop and fair series to help students and alumni find internships and jobs in their field.

IN THE NEWS
LSU fires Miles, Cameron; Orgeron now interim coach
Suspect in custody after police standoff in Bastrop
Stanley 'Buckwheat' Dural, leader of Buckwheat Zydeco, dies

The office provides various career services, including tips on resume writing, proper dress codes, dinner etiquette, and more.

Roslynn Pogue, Director of the Office of Career Connections, said the events give students and alumni valuable insight into what key elements are required for obtaining an internship or full-time job.

“Having a solid resume, a firm handshake, excellent social and interview skills, and knowing how to dress for the job can speak volumes for you when going on an interview. We stress the importance of first impression,” Pogue said.

The kickoff event will be a resume review tent held on Monday, September 26 next to Starbucks from 8-11 a.m.

Students participating in the event will have their resume and cover letter reviewed by professionals. They will also receive take-home tips and handouts. Students who take part in the event will be eligible to receive coupons from Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Einstein’s Bagels, and/or Subway.

The Leadership Workshop Series titled Social Excellence Project with Matt Mattson is scheduled for the same day on the second floor of the ULM SUB Ballroom at 7 p.m.

Mattson is co-founder and president of Phired Up Productions who specializes in training and performance improvement. He has a diverse background and combines his passion for wisdom with a firm sense of integrity to effectively inspire thousands of organizational members toward their pinnacle of achievement.

The Career Fair Workshop/Young Professional Panel will be held on Tuesday, September 27 at 9:30 a.m. in the ULM SUB Ballroom.

Local and regional young professionals will share with students the stories of their career path, including the decisions they have made and the obstacles they have overcome in order to succeed.

Louisiana Economic/Workforce Workshop will be held the same day from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Stubbs Hall 100.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
It’s Ark-La-Miss Fair time! 41st fair runs until Oct. 2

Susie Schowen, Director of Workforce Initiatives at the Louisiana Economic Development, will present on the economics of Louisiana as it relates to workforce. Students will learn how to identify high-wage, high-demand, and economic driver jobs.

The Art of Networking Workshop will be held in Stubbs Hall 100 starting at 5:30 p.m.

Alberta Green of ABG Counseling and Career Consulting and North Louisiana Economic Partnership will present an interactive workshop to teach students how to network like a professional.

Wednesday, September 28 is reserved for the Fall Career Fair that will include over 50 companies from across the south looking to employ ULM students and alumni. The event will be held in the ULM’s SUB Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Resumes are required for juniors and seniors, and alumni are welcome to attend.

For more information or to pre-register, visit http://www.ulm.edu/careerconnections/events.html


16 2016-09-27
Monroe

ULM hosts first debate party Millenial voters' response to the first debate


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The University of Louisiana Monroe's political science department hosted a debate party Monday night, giving young voters a chance to watch the debate together.


Courtesy: KNOE 8 News

More than 100 people packed the lecture hall, many expecting to see fireworks.

"Honestly, I was expecting a slugfest," Elliot Gonzalez said. "I was expecting a lot of mudslinging. I was expecting a lot of insults."

And, right from the debate's onset, and the two candidates began their banter, there was laughter coming out of the lecture hall. But, as the debate settled down, so too did the crowd - students were taking notes and listening to every word the candidates had to say.

But, as the dust settled, many students said they already knew who they were voting for, and the debate served merely as confirmation.

"I pretty much knew going in who would be better," Jorden Johnson said. "And it pretty much confirmed what i thought."


16 2016-09-26
Monroe

ULM's atmospheric science program earns grants worth more than $200,000 ULM atmospheric science grant


MONROE, La. (KNOE 9 News) - ULM's atmospheric science program has received three grants totaling $263,767.


Courtesy: KNOE

"It just really betters the program here. Some of the grants, the equipment grants for example, are going to allow us to compete for more grants in the future," says ULM assistant professor of atmospheric science, Dr. Todd Murphy.

The grants were awarded by different groups: the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Louisiana Board of Regents - the last of the three giving the program a new tool called a microwave radiometer.

"The radiometer is a piece of equipment. It's about the size of a mailbox. It's not very big, and it takes continuous readings of temperature and moisture in the atmosphere," says Murphy.

The radiometer will be placed on top of Hanna Hall. It will send back data every minute, which is better than what a weather balloon accomplishes.

"We have a balloon team. As the balloon goes up, it takes readings of pressure, temperature, moisture, and wind. But it costs a little bit of money to launch a balloon, and you can't launch them all the time," Murphy says.


The perfect time to launch a weather balloon is during tornado season. More of the grant money will send Murphy and several students to north Alabama in the spring, where they will launch balloons to learn more about the formation of tornadoes.

An updated computer lab, complete with new software, is also in the works.

"Now that we have the radiometer, the balloon team, and we've upgraded all of our computer infrastructure, it's just a really great time to be a ULM atmospheric science student," says Murphy. "You can do a lot of things here than you can't necessarily do at other programs."


16 2016-09-21
Monroe

Iggy Azalea to perform at ULM homecoming concert


The famous Australian rapper, Amethyst Amelia Kelly, better known by her stage name, Iggy Azalea, will perform at the University of Louisiana Monroe's Fant-Ewing Coliseum on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.

Iggy’s performance was secured by ULM’s Campus Activities Board, which organized the concert as a part of ULM's Homecoming week.

In 2006, as a 16 year-old, Iggy left Australia and flew to the United States to pursue her dream.

Her professional career started in 2011 with the release of her first full-length mix-tape project titled “Ignorant Art.” In 2014, she released her debut album, “The New Classic,” which debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales topping 52,000 across the United States.

Iggy has collaborated with many well-known artists throughout her career. The most notable ones include Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.

She was the first woman and the first non-American rapper to be featured in XXL Magazine’s “Top 10 Freshman List” in 2012.

Iggy’s most notable songs include “Fancy,” “Black Widow,” “Work” and “Team.”

Early bird ticket prices are as follows:

Tickets for ULM students cost $20 for general admission, and $25 for floor seats. Tickets for the general public cost $30 for general admission, and $35 for floor seats.

Ticket prices will increase by $5 on Sept. 29, and remain the same until the beginning of the concert.

Tickets are available at www.ulm.edu/concert.


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16 2016-09-21
Monroe

ULM presents 'Starving the Beast' AM Starving the Beast


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Louisiana has suffered several cuts to higher education over the years,
but one film suggests the Bayou State isn't the only one feeling the burn.


It's called "Starving the Beast." The 90-minute documentary deals with how legislators have changed their view on higher education.

Assistant Professor of Political Science describes today's higher education as a business, rather than a service. He says ten years ago, it was common to see states financing the majority of a student's education, but now the roles are starting to switch, now putting all the financial pressures on students.

Stockley says more than 700 million dollars in cuts have been made to higher education since former Governor Bobby Jindal took office and the film "Starving the Beast" explores similar actions taken by legislators across the country.

"The analogy 'starving the beast' is how states have substantially withdrawn their support for higher education," says Stockley. "States are no longer funding higher education like they used to, and this has a number of effects."


The producer of "Starving the Beast" is married to a ULM alumnus and will answer questions after the film, being shown on Tuesday, September 20 in Biedenharn Recital Hall on ULM's campus. It starts at 6 p.m.


16 2016-09-19
Monroe

ULM’s fall enrollment tops 9,000


The University of Louisiana Monroe is proud to announce that student enrollment has grown, topping 9,000 students for the first time during Dr. Nick J. Bruno’s tenure as president.

This comes on the heels of the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking, which included ULM in its list of “Best National Universities.”

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“We are incredibly excited to announce that, despite concerns of TOPS funding and the flooding in southern Louisiana, our numbers have not just remained stable, but have grown,” said Bruno. The total enrollment is 9,115 students, a rise of 261 students from last year’s 8,854.

A large amount of growth was evident in higher student retention rates with an increase of 58 percent to 66 percent in the first to third years. Bruno states, “We attribute these higher retention rates to the dedication of our faculty and staff who have worked hard to keep students engaged in and outside of the classroom.”

Another contributing factor Bruno notes is ULM’s success in attracting better-prepared students. For 2016, the number of entering freshman with a score of 30 or higher on the American College Testing (ACT) has increased by 29 percent. The university is also seeing an increase in the number of students from other areas of the state, including New Orleans.

eULM, the university’s online program for non-traditional students, also saw a five percent increase from 1,167 students in 2015 to 1,225 students in 2016—the largest enrollment since the program began.

Nationally, ULM’s student body is composed of 793 students from 48 states. And internationally, 331 students represent 50 different countries, with Nepal having the largest representation.

Another area of growth is in the university’s Honors Program, which is currently comprised of nearly 200 students, making it the largest cohort in the program’s history.

“We have 70 incoming freshmen with an average ACT score of 30 and approximately 30 will graduate during the 2016-17 year. These are remarkable numbers and the program’s momentum is something that we expect to sustain,” said Dr. Joshua Stockley, ULM associate professor of political science.

These improvements indicate that the university's five-year strategic plan (2013-18) is on track and that ULM should be recognized as one of the best-performing regional universities in the south.


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16 2016-09-19
Monroe

Amendment proposal seeks to remove need for legislative consent on tuition costs


Louisiana is one of only two states requiring legislative consent when establishing tuition and fees--the other being Florida.

If passed, a new constitutional amendment proposal would give that power to a university's managing board.

"The management boards can look at the missions and the compositions of the students and make decisions on where each institution's tuition as it relates to Louisiana schools.", explains Dr. Nick Bruno, President of University of Louisiana-Monroe.

If passed, governing boards for the LSU, Southern, University of Louisiana, and Louisiana Community and Technical College Systems would make final decisions on their attendance costs.

School officials say this would also eliminate the politics of getting bills passed in the legislature.

"There have been too many times that you know, a tuition bill is used, used as leverage for some other bill--or some other bill is used as leverage for a tuition bill.", says Rick Gallot, President of Grambling State University.

Leaders say tuition bills in the legislature often act as blankets, meaning all schools state-wide would have to follow them.

This has affected some students in the past who don't receive funding through the state's TOPS program.

With tuition increases through the legislature, the money allocated for TOPS has also gone up.

"As we've raised tuition, we've also raised TOPS, and those things tied together I think have put us in the position that, and I say us, the entire state, in the position that we're in now.", says Gallot.

But for students without TOPS, they've felt the burden from tuition hikes.

"There's a point where we'll reach, that we will reach, with increases in tuition where students can no longer afford it.", explains Bruno.

As for concerns on who keeps the governing boards in check, school leaders say they'll know that enrollment drops could mean tuition rates are too high.

"I have to have students. So if I begin to lose students because of the cost of tuition, well certainly we have to figure out just how do we address that strategically to make sure that we continue to operate an effective and efficient university.", says Bruno.

16 2016-09-16
Monroe

ULM’s fall enrollment tops 9,000


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe is proud to announce that student enrollment has grown, topping 9,000 students for the first time during Dr. Nick J. Bruno’s tenure as president.

This comes on the heels of the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking, which included ULM in its list of “Best National Universities.”

“We are incredibly excited to announce that, despite concerns of TOPS funding and the flooding in southern Louisiana, our numbers have not just remained stable, but have grown,” said Bruno. The total enrollment is 9,115 students, a rise of 261 students from last year’s 8,854.

A large amount of growth was evident in higher student retention rates with an increase of 58 percent to 66 percent in the first to third years. Bruno states, “We attribute these higher retention rates to the dedication of our faculty and staff who have worked hard to keep students engaged in and outside of the classroom.”

Another contributing factor Bruno notes is ULM’s success in attracting better-prepared students. For 2016, the number of entering freshman with a score of 30 or higher on the American College Testing (ACT) has increased by 29 percent. The university is also seeing an increase in the number of students from other areas of the state, including New Orleans.


eULM, the university’s online program for non-traditional students, also saw a five percent increase from 1,167 students in 2015 to 1,225 students in 2016—the largest enrollment since the program began.

Nationally, ULM’s student body is composed of 793 students from 48 states. And internationally, 331 students represent 50 different countries, with Nepal having the largest representation.

Another area of growth is in the university’s Honors Program, which is currently comprised of nearly 200 students, making it the largest cohort in the program’s history.

“We have 70 incoming freshmen with an average ACT score of 30 and approximately 30 will graduate during the 2016-17 year. These are remarkable numbers and the program’s momentum is something that we expect to sustain,” said Dr. Joshua Stockley, ULM associate professor of political science.

These improvements indicate that the university's five-year strategic plan (2013-18) is on track and that ULM should be recognized as one of the best-performing regional universities in the south.
16 2016-09-15
Monroe

ULM included in ‘Best National Universities’ ranking by U.S. News & World Report


Big news came to the University of Louisiana Monroe’s campus Tuesday when the U.S. News & World Report included the university in its 2017 "Best National Universities" ranking.

This is ULM’s first appearance in U.S. News’ national ranking. For the last two years, U.S. News ranked the university among the “Best Regional Universities,” so the new ranking is a significant upgrade in status.

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“This is a landmark achievement for ULM, a clear indication of our progress as an institution of higher learning,” said ULM president Dr. Nick J. Bruno. “We have continued to recruit qualified students and have retained and graduated those students at growing rates. ULM is now listed among the most elite universities in the nation and we are quite proud of that fact.”

U.S. News & World Report defines a national university as an institution which offers a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. ULM's placement was not published.

In total, 298 schools were included in the 2017 ranking for Best National Universities. "Schools were ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence," according to the ranking site.

One of the reasons ULM moved into the national ranking was its reclassification in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education—the most widely accepted classification system in U.S. higher education and the basis for U.S. News’ rankings.

In February, the Carnegie Classification recognized ULM as an R3 (“moderate research”) doctoral-granting institution of higher education, joining the state’s other doctoral universities (R1: LSU-Baton Rouge and Tulane University; R2: University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of New Orleans; and R3: ULM and Louisiana Tech University). Previously, ULM was classified with the Master’s College and Universities – Larger programs (M1).


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The 2017 U.S. News national ranking also took into account the increase in ULM’s retention and graduation rates, which have risen every year since Bruno came to ULM in 2010.

“Retention rates measure our ability to keep students on track toward graduation. The fact that we have seen a significant increase in both retention and graduation over the last six years indicates that we are improving as an institution in helping students attain life-changing degrees,” said Bruno.

Bruno indicated that the university would maintain its momentum as a nationally recognized university.


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“ULM has made the national stage more than once and this ranking certainly increases our visibility on that stage,” Bruno continued. “With all of our recent success, we must continue to be forward-moving. We are no longer merely a regional university. The nation is paying attention to what we are doing here in northeast Louisiana.”

To view the U.S. News & World Report 2017 Best Colleges list, click here.
16 2016-09-14
Monroe

ULM included in ‘Best National Universities’ ranking by U.S. News & World Report


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - Big news came to the University of Louisiana Monroe’s campus Tuesday when the U.S. News & World Report included the university in its 2017 "Best National Universities" ranking.

This is ULM’s first appearance in U.S. News’ national ranking. For the last two years, U.S. News ranked the university among the “Best Regional Universities,” so the new ranking is a significant upgrade in status.

“This is a landmark achievement for ULM, a clear indication of our progress as an institution of higher learning,” said ULM president Dr. Nick J. Bruno. “We have continued to recruit qualified students and have retained and graduated those students at growing rates. ULM is now listed among the most elite universities in the nation and we are quite proud of that fact.”

U.S. News & World Report defines a national university as an institution which offers a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.

In total, 298 schools were included in the 2017 ranking for Best National Universities. "Schools were ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence," according to the ranking site.


One of the reasons ULM moved into the national ranking was its reclassification in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education—the most widely accepted classification system in U.S. higher education and the basis for U.S. News’ rankings.

In February, the Carnegie Classification recognized ULM as an R3 (“moderate research”) doctoral-granting institution of higher education, joining the state’s other doctoral universities (R1: LSU-Baton Rouge and Tulane University; R2: University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of New Orleans; and R3: ULM and Louisiana Tech University). Previously, ULM was classified with the Master’s College and Universities – Larger programs (M1).

The 2017 U.S. News national ranking also took into account the increase in ULM’s retention and graduation rates, which have risen every year since Bruno came to ULM in 2010.

“Retention rates measure our ability to keep students on track toward graduation. The fact that we have seen a significant increase in both retention and graduation over the last six years indicates that we are improving as an institution in helping students attain life-changing degrees,” said Bruno.

Bruno indicated that the university would maintain its momentum as a nationally recognized university.

“ULM has made the national stage more than once and this ranking certainly increases our visibility on that stage,” Bruno continued. “With all of our recent success, we must continue to be forward-moving. We are no longer merely a regional university. The nation is paying attention to what we are doing here in northeast Louisiana.”


16 2016-09-12
Monroe

Top 20 Under 40: Morgan Patrick


How would you describe doing business in Monroe?

People make a place. The charm of Monroe is its small town atmosphere where everyone is friendly and family. Whether I am meeting prospects for work or eating and buying locally, my experiences have always been positive.

Share with us what you consider to be your motto at work?

Build successful, trusting relationships and support and engagement will follow. I engage donors and alumni by showing them all of the major giving avenues to meet higher educational needs at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. I have found that it is important for donors to feel good about what they are doing for the university by fully informing them, showing them the impact of their giving, and by making them feel appreciated for everything they choose to do for ULM.

What tips do you have for college students today?

Get involved! College is about finding yourself, fleshing out your purpose, getting a great education, expanding horizons from your own world view and building relationships that will last a lifetime. Join a social group, go to sporting events, eat and shop locally, participate in campus activities, get involved in theater or music or apply for student government or other leadership positions. Your involvement will give you invaluable experience needed and sought after in the job market. Meet people with a different nationality and learn about their culture.

Describe the one thing you would like to accomplish in your lifetime away from the office.

When I was 13 years old, I picked up a sign language book and taught myself ASL (American Sign Language) to a few of my favorite songs. The more songs I learned, the more my ASL vocabulary grew. Two years later, when I was 15 years old, a 75-year-old deaf man wearing a Donald Duck tie named Billy walked into my church. We developed a friendship and I served as his interpreter for almost four years. I took him to the movies to see “Passion of the Christ” because it had subtitles. Billy had never been to the movies and was so excited. He ate two buckets of popcorn! Billy passed away shortly after my high school graduation. He requested to be buried in his Donald Duck tie because it was my favorite with my senior picture in his pocket. I promisedI would continue to nurture my ASL skills with the goal of obtaining my interpreter license one day.
16 2016-09-12
Monroe

Fighting for her life: ULM student's arms and legs amputated


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A young woman is fighting for her life in the hospital. A severe infection forced doctors to amputate both arms and legs. Family and friends say they are keeping faith for her recovery, as her struggles are far from over.

Savannah and Stephanie Payne (Courtesy: KNOE)
Savannah and Stephanie Payne (Courtesy: KNOE)

Savannah Payne is used to leading a very active lifestyle, cheering at Ruston High for four years. Her parents, Tim and Stephanie Payne, say she's been at ULM working as a hall director, so she didn't come home a lot.

At the end of August, Payne was rushed to the hospital with what appeared to be seizures.

"Just over the course of this, she coded. They brought her back," Stephanie Payne said.

"[We] just knew her blood was so out of whack when she got here, all the levels and everything were in the wrong place. Her white blood count wasn't high, so they really didn't think infection," Tim Payne said.

It turns out she had a staph infection, plus strep, but severe side effects from some medications, plus treatments to lower her body temperature forced her parents and doctors to make a tough call-- cutting off parts of her arms and legs to save her life.


"They are keeping her sedated because this is so traumatic and painful," Stephanie Payne said.

Right now, her parents say they are pushing through with their faith.

"We are just amazed at the outpouring of love that has been poured on us," Stephanie Payne said. "Someone contacted some rabbis in Israel and wrote her name on the Wailing Wall, so there are people in Israel praying for her. That's how we get through it."

Payne's parents are helping their daughter push through the pain in the hopes for recovery.

"[It's been] one night that's lasted almost three weeks," Stephanie Payne said. "That's exactly how this feels."

Her parents say she's in a sterile environment to help with recovery, but they are staying hopeful. They say she's healthier now than she's been in weeks.


16 2016-09-09
Monroe

New testing services at ULM's Asbestos Lab


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - For the past year, the lab has been testing things such as ceiling tile or roof shingles for asbestos. Now, they're able to test for mold.


ULM Toxicology Professor John Herrock this testing comes in handy for people who are looking to renovate their home or business. He says samples could indicate a potential water problem, such as a leak, and unlike asbestos, it's a lot easier to detect.

"If you've had water damage and you see fuzzy stuff growing on it and it's black, green, or some other color, you know that there is a mold present and we can certainly identify that and make sure its mold and not something else," says Herrock.

Herrock says the lab can only detect mold in the samples that customers give them, but they can not tell them if there's an overall problem in their home or business. To do that, he says you can contact you local mold inspector.

Contact the ULM Toxicology Asbestos and Mold Analysis Laboratory at 318-342-1812, or Lab Director John Herrock at 318-342-1859.


16 2016-09-08
Monroe

Monroe cost of living below national average


Living in Monroe continues to be a bargain.

The Monroe cost of living is 94.9 percent of the national average, according to the Cost of Living Index. It estimates the amount of money needed to sustain a certain level of living, including basic expenses such as housing, food, taxes, and health care. It is often used when comparing how expensive it is to live in one city versus another.

In Louisiana, however, Monroe fell in the middle of the pack among municipalities, behind Shreveport-Bossier City, Hammond, Lafayette and Lake Charles, but ahead of Slidell, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Alexandria in terms of affordability.

Shreveport-Bossier City was measured as the most affordable and Alexandria the least. All of Louisiana's cities fell below the national average.

The Monroe metropolitan statistical area includes all of Ouachita and Union parishes. For the Monroe MSA, transportation represents the most affordable category at 80.8 percent of the national average. The next lowest cost category is utilities at 86.1 percent; followed by housing at 88.1 percent; and then health care at 90.7 percent. Grocery items come in at 91.1 percent of the national average, and miscellaneous goods and services total 110.4 percent.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Center for Business and Economic Research gathers the data for the Monroe MSA. The information is compiled into a composite index, which is based on six weighted categories — grocery items at 13.24 percent, housing and 28.04 percent, utilities at 10.31 percent, transportation at 11.16 percent, health care at 4.36 percent and miscellaneous goods and services at 32.89 percent.

The calculator helps determine the level of income needed to move to Monroe and maintain a current standard of living, based on the Cost of Living Index. For example, those who earned $50,000 in Denver, Colorado would only need to earn $42,420 in Monroe to have a comparable standard of living.

Our low cost of living is a one reason why companies locate in North Louisiana. A low cost of living coupled with a low cost of doing business allows companies to be very competitive here,” said Scott Martinez, president of North Louisiana Economic Partnership, an accredited dconomic development organization for 14 parishes in northern Louisiana.

The Cost of Living Index is compiled by the Council for Community and Economic Research and measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services. It is based on more than 90,000 prices collected during the same period of time by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and universities in 265 participating urban areas.

16 2016-09-07
Monroe

ULM to host art crawl on campus


The College of Arts, Education, and Sciences at the University of Louisiana Monroe is hosting the Fall 2016 Art Crawl on several campus locations on Thursday, Sept. 8. from 5-7 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Participating galleries include The Walker Gallery, Dean’s conference room, Innovation Center in Walker 1-137, Bry Art Gallery, ULM Sculpture Garden, and the Museum of Natural History.

A showcase of ULM’s talented students, faculty, staff, and alumni will be on display throughout the crawl. The show in the Walker Gallery includes student artwork such as paintings, pottery, sculpture, prints and photographs. In addition, Bry Gallery will display the Art Faculty Annual Exhibition. The Dean’s conference room will host a silent auction with work from the School of Humanities’ faculty including Dr. Bette Kauffman, Vanelis Rivera, Dr. Jana Giles and Arely Castillo. The Museum of Natural History will feature their permanent collection.

The College of Arts, Education, and Sciences hopes to enrich the community by giving the opportunity for the community to walk through our beautiful campus and appreciate the outstanding work of each artist. Dr. Joni Henry Noble, associate professor in ULM’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, recognizes students’ accomplishments. “I am so proud of our ULM Art Majors and all of their efforts to curate and operate Walker Gallery. I hope everyone can attend our ULM Art Crawl and meet these talented artists,” Noble said.

Following the ULM Art Crawl, ULM alumnus Bobby Bridger will perform at Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall on campus at 7:30 p.m. Bridger is a singer, songwriter, poet, actor, playwright, author, and painter.

General admission to this performance is $15. ULM faculty and students receive one free ticket with a valid identification card.

For more information contact Dr. Joni Noble at noble@ulm.edu or 318-342-1383 or Arely Castillo at castillo@ulm.edu or 318-342-1296.


16 2016-09-06
Monroe

Cultural landscape map of NELA donated to ULM


The University of Louisiana Monroe received a donation of a large cultural landscape map of northeast Louisiana at a special presentation on campus Friday morning.

The 4x6 foot map is the brainchild of Joe Cooper Rolfe, who oversees Starr Homeplace—a heritage and creativity center in Oak Ridge, La. The map represents more than 2,000 hours of work by Rolfe and Jim Pennington over a three-year period. Thirty pages of text condensed into three columns on the map explain the history, geography and culture of the region.

“I realized that we had a tremendous untapped asset. And then I started saying, ‘I need to go around and see what our assets are.’ The list of cultural assets that I had got longer and longer and longer. And I realized…they are not assembled in any one place for people to look at. So I thought this map for schools and libraries and museums would be a good thing to have,” said Rolfe.

The map was conceived, designed, researched and printed in northeast Louisiana. Bob Stratton, a photographer in Monroe, executed the printing of the maps, and former Louisiana Sen. Robert J. Barham secured a grant from the state to print 100 copies for Rolfe to donate to schools, museums, libraries, courthouses and cultural institutions.

While over 200 potential non-profit organizations had been identified to receive the map, Rolfe says that they still have about half of the maps left to give away. The map is free, but the cost of framing is not, which Rolfe says is a barrier for many organizations.

“The barrier for a great many people is the cost of framing the map because it’s large,” said Rolfe. “And fortunately, Dr. [John H.] McCarter stepped up and was willing to contribute the cost of framing for this map, which made it much more practical for the university to accept.”

McCarter, who celebrated his 95th birthday in July, is a long-time supporter of ULM. He joined ULM in the 1950s as its first geology professor and became head of the geology department, which was established under his direction.

ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno met McCarter in 2010 when he became president of the university. “He was one of my first visitors. From that point on, I developed quite a personal fondness for [McCarter] but a very strong appreciation for his knowledge. He’s a walking encyclopedia,” Bruno said.

Bruno thanked McCarter for funding the framing of the map and announced that it would be put on display in the conference room on the sixth floor of the university library.

McCarter said that the first time he saw the map, he learned a lot from it.

“It’s more of a cultural map of northeast Louisiana but it has an awful lot of geology on it too, whether it was intended to be there or not,” said McCarter. “I learned a lot from this map just looking at it, and I wanted the rest of you to enjoy it and see it too.”

For more information about the cultural landscape map, visit http://starrhomeplace.com/pandemoniafoundation/culturallandscapemap.htm.


16 2016-09-02
Monroe

Board of Regents approves new ULM certificate program


The Louisiana Board of Regents recently gave final approval to ULM’s new post-baccalaureate certificate program in Accounting Technology.

The 21-hour post-baccalaureate certificate program was created to meet a critical need for well-trained professionals in the accounting and technology fields in our region. The innovative program will provide students a solid foundation in accounting and technology.

It is anticipated that graduates of the program could fill the many openings in small and medium-sized businesses that struggle to find graduates with four-year degrees in either accounting or computer information systems. A unique feature of the program is that students must pass at least one industry recognized certification exam prior to the completion of the program.

Enrollment in the program will begin for the spring 2017 semester. All classes for the program will be offered online to provide the flexibility and convenience of non-traditional students who may have work and family responsibilities.

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According to Michelle McEacharn, Director of the School of Accounting, Financial, and Information Services and the program coordinator for this new program, “Our accounting and computer information systems faculty worked closely together and with our industry partners to develop this program to meet specific workforce needs in our region. We look forward to working with students who are seeking a way to transition into the high demand, high salary positions that this program addresses.”

Ron Berry, Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences, added “I want to thank Dr. McEacharn and our faculty for creating a program that will benefit our non-traditional students and our regional employers. This program will provide opportunities for those students seeking to move into available higher paying jobs and a source of well qualified employees for our regional business community.”

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The program will join the already nationally ranked and recognized online Bachelors of Business Administration programs in business, marketing, and risk management and insurance and the Masters of Business Administration degree programs available through eULM.

For more information about the new post-baccalaureate certificate program in Accounting Technology, visit http://www.ulm.edu/cbss/accounting/postbaccertacct.


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16 2016-09-02
Monroe

ULM gives freshmen ‘Top Hawks' iPads and ice cream


MONROE, La. (ULM Press Release) —

The University of Louisiana Monroe Office of Recruitment and Admissions hosted an ice cream social for select freshmen students on Thursday in honor of their outstanding high school test scores. These scholars are known as “Top Hawks.”

Incoming freshmen with an American College Testing (ACT) score of 30 or higher and a high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.75 or higher were honored with a special ceremony which included ice cream and ULM-themed gift packages, each containing a special gift—an Apple iPad mini and ULM iPad case.

Students who received a 32 or better ACT score were awarded a $4,500 stipend for a study abroad experience.

The iPads were purchased by the ULM Foundation through private donations. Seventy-eight students were earned the honor.

“This event is always a great way to highlight the high caliber students we are recruiting to ULM,” said Lisa Miller, ULM Chief Communications Officer. “Having foundation members present this year was an extra bonus because they are the ones proving the funds for the iPads and study abroad opportunities. We would not be able to do this without their help.”

The 2016 Top Hawks included:

Karalyn Adams of Lockport, Ill.; Anusha Adhikari of Kathmandu, Nepal; Yogesh Agrawal of Kathmandu, Nepal; Dakari Anderson of Hampton, Ga.; James Anderson of Monroe; Allie Ballance of West Monroe; Christopher Barton of Elmer; Sierra Bernard of Prairieville; Brittany Boren of Vidalia; Julia Boullt of Lake Charles; Sarah Brack of Evans; John Campbell of Laplace; Brittney Champagne of Laplace; Brandon Cohen of Brandon, Miss.; Sarah Corley of Pineville; Kyle Dacdac of Pineville; Hari Dahal of Kathmandu, Nepal; Ethan Dennis of Shreveport; Sachi Dhakal of Kathmandu, Nepal; Gavyn Diviney of Longview, Texas; Taylor Dupree of Farmerville; Emily Eastham of Corpus Christi, Texas; Caroline Edge of Bossier City; Patrick Ellerman of Monroe; Baxter Flor of San Diego, Calif.; Taylor Foret of Raceland; Kellyn Foster of West Monroe; Aaron Freeman of Dubach; Annaclaire Fryday of Shreveport; Alex Gervais of Thibodaux; Colby Glatter of Morgan City; Madelyn Greer of Pineville; Cameron Gregory of Thibodaux; Hope Hebert of Lake Charles; Sadaf Helforoosh of Austin, Texas; Hunter Henson of West Monroe; Briana Hogan of Colwich, Kan.; Linsey Hrabovsky of Daphne, Ala.; Jeffrey Hursey of Slidell; Ellen Ingram of Natchitoches; and Audrey Jennings of Sarepta;

Shelby Joyner of Calhoun; Joshua Kebodeaux of Morse; Lawrence Khadka of Kathmandu, Nepal; Sandra Knowles of Republic, Wash.; Taylor Matranga of Pearl River; Taylor Moneaux of Delcambre; Hannah Monk of West Monroe; Andrew Moore of Monroe; Daisy Morris of Shawnee, Kan.; Jacob Nadler of West Monroe; Austin Nettles of Pineville; Allison Newton of Monroe; Ganesh Pandey of Arghakhanchi, Nepal; Micheal Parker of Downsville; Kolby Patrick of West Monroe;

Elizabeth Peters of Woodstock, Ga.; Gaurav Phuyal of Kathmandu, Nepal; Sabnum Pudasainy of Kathmandu, Nepal; Charles Riddick of Pineville; Justin Sandrock of Slidell; Sanjeeb Sangraula of Kathmandu, Nepal; Miranda Spurgeon of Farmerville; Odom Stagg of Zachary; Savanah Steines of Columbia; Uniqua Stevenson of Homer; Sachin Thapa of Kathmandu, Nepal; Alanna Thompson of Pioneer; Shelby Tibbit of Winnsboro; William Tingle of Gautier, Miss.; Sarah Treadway of Jonesboro; Brandon Treno of West Monroe; Matthew Troha of Baskin; Alex Turner of Vicksburg, Miss.; Monica Whitman of Pineville; Charles Wilkerson of West Monroe; Kevin Yabut of Bastrop; Logan Yelverton of Houma, and Peyton Zalewski of Prairieville.


16 2016-09-02
Monroe

ULM’s radiologic technology program ranked nationally


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s online program in radiologic technology was ranked in the nation’s “Best Online Colleges for Radiological Sciences” by OnlineColleges.com.

The program ranked number eight overall and number three in affordability. Schools joining ULM on the list were La Roche College, Siena Heights University, Clarkson College, Oregon Institute of Technology, and more.

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The program’s director, Brett Bennett, says he is excited to have the program recognized nationally.

“The value of the program to our students equates to a great value of those students to the communities in which they serve patients," said Bennett. "This gives ULM the opportunity to enhance the level of patient care and exam quality to communities throughout the country."

Radiologic technology involves the study of medical imaging. Medical imaging is used in procedures as routine as the X-ray of a broken arm or as complex as oncological radiation therapy. Technologists are employed in hospitals, physician's offices, clinics and public health and educational facilities.

ULM’s program in radiologic technology is designed for associate degree or certificate radiologic technologists that are registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) – the national organization that develops and delivers the registry exam that all radiography students must pass to earn the initials “R.T. (R)” after their name.

The profession of radiologic technology is expanding rapidly and offers a wide range of employment opportunities. According to the ranking, the annual average salary for radiologic technologists is $56,670 with over 195,000 job openings annually.

To learn more about ULM’s online radiologic technology program, visit http://www.ulm.edu/radtech.

To view the complete ranking, visit http://www.onlinecolleges.com/health/radiologic-science.html#methodology.


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16 2016-09-01
Monroe

Bobby Bridger is artist in residence at ULM


The College of Arts, Education, and Sciences at the University of Louisiana Monroe announces that singer, songwriter, poet, actor, playwright, author, and painter Bobby Bridger will be Artist in Residence Monday, Sept. 5-Thursday, Sept. 8

Bridger’s residency is a collaborative effort between ULM’s School of Humanities and School of Visual and Performing Arts.

He graduated from ULM (formerly Northeast Louisiana State College) in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in art education.

***

Want to go?

What: Bobby Bridger concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8

Where: Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall, ULM

Cost: $15 general admission, some complimentary tickets at Enoch’s, free for ULM faculty, students, staff, with ID

Info: Seating limited, reserve tickets at VAPA, 342-1414

***

Bridger will promote his new music CD, “Vagabond Heart,” his first studio album in 15 years, as well as to perform and discuss “Lakota,” the third installment of his internationally-acclaimed and award-winning “Ballad of the West,” a musical and theatrical production which tells the story of Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull, and the invention of the Wild West” Bridger is a descendant of the famous early-American mountain man Jim Bridger.

For three decades Bridger has traveled the globe performing a trilogy of one-man shows. He has recorded numerous albums for labels including Monument Records, RCA and Golden Egg Records.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
WM Brown Bag Concert Series Wednesdays in Sept.

On television he appeared twice (1976 and 1978) on the early years of PBS’s “Austin City Limits” and on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” A&E and C-SPAN, as well as on radio with NPR. He is the composer of “Heal in The Wisdom” that has been the official anthem of the Kerrville Folk Festival for over 25 years.

During his stay on campus, Bridger will present a series of masterclasses for ULM Communication Program graduate students, as well as students in the history, English and music programs.

There will also be an installation of Bridger’s art work in the Innovation Center (Walker 1-137) that can be viewed Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-3:50 p.m., and during the ULM Art Crawl, 5-7 p.m. Sept. 8.

The ULM Art Crawl will involve Bry Gallery, the Sculpture Garden, Walker Gallery and the Innovation Center. A map of art locations will be available in every location.

He will be joined on stage by his son Gabriel, and John Inmon, an Austin-based guitarist best known as a founding member of the Lost Gonzo Band and recently named Texas Music Awards Producer of the Year.

General admission to this performance is $15. ULM faculty and students receive one free ticket with a valid identification card.

A limited number of complimentary tickets are also available at Enoch’s Irish Pub, a partner in bringing Bridger to campus for the residency.

Seating is limited so get your tickets early by visiting the VAPA Box Office in Biedenharn Hall, room 105, or by calling 342-1414.
16 2016-08-31
Monroe

ULM student receives Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship


West Monroe – Chick-fil-A, Inc. has selected West Monroe resident Kristi Phan as a recipient of the chain’s $1,000 Leadership Scholarship.

Phan was nominated by franchised Operator David Benson at the Chick-fil-A restaurant located at 203 Thomas Road West Monroe. Phan has worked for Chick-fil-A for nine years. She will graduate from University of Louisiana at Monroe in May of 2017 in Kinesiology & Sports Industry. In her spare time Phan is active at her church as a Sunday School teacher and member of the Church Choir.

“The program recognizes employees who demonstrate the leadership and character qualities to build a successful life, while offering tangible assistance to enrich their lives with education beyond high school,” said Benson. “Kristi has the potential to accomplish great things.”

Chick-fil-A’s franchised Operators make an effort to create a working environment that provides leadership opportunities among team members as well character development that will help them excel in school, home and in their communities. These Operators, many of whom are Leadership Scholarship and S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award recipients themselves, serve as mentors in promoting the development of restaurant team members in the areas of goal-setting, integrity, service, work ethic and leadership.

The Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship Program began in 1973 out of Chick-fil-A Founder Truett Cathy’s desire to incent restaurant employees to further their education. Since the program’s inception, more than 35,000 team members have received scholarships, bringing the total to more than $35 million.

In addition, all recipients are eligible for Chick-fil-A’s S. Truett Cathy Scholar Award, the chain’s highest scholar recognition that continues Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy’s legacy of supporting higher education by provides an additional scholarship to the top 25 Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship recipients each year.


16 2016-08-26
Monroe

'The Pursuit' is a hit at ULM


Very few people understand ULM the way Keith Richard does.

That comes from spending most of his adult life on campus, starting when he showed up as a point guard from Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge to his current role as men’s basketball coach.

Richard has seen both the good and the bad at his alma mater, but on Thursday night he was reminded of ULM’s potential when he saw the turnout for "The Pursuit."

A sold out crowd showed up at Fant-Ewing Coliseum for the inaugural event that kicked off the fall semester by highlighting ULM’s academic and athletic accomplishments.

“As a coach, it reminds you that people want to help,” Richard said. “They want us to win and they want a good school and all the things that come with that.

“We’re going to continue to try and do our part and I think this event can get bigger every year.”

“The Pursuit” — named in honor of General Claire Lee Chennault and the P-40 Warhawk aircraft that gave ULM its mascot — was the brainchild of University President Nick Bruno and athletic director Brian Wickstrom.

“This wasn’t just athletics but it took everyone’s creativity from the entire university to make this event happen,” Wickstrom said. “A lot of this enthusiasm comes from not just our new football staff but everything our basketball program has accomplished.

“It’s a great way to start the school year and this enthusiasm is contagious.”

Among other festivities at “The Pursuit,” ULM honored facilities corp. manager and radio color commentator Scott McDonald as the 2016 recipient of the John H. “Slim” Scogin Award.

Richard spent his time at the podium touting ULM’s hoops accomplishments over the past two seasons and made the rounds visiting with various university dignitaries, but the most popular man in the room was new football coach Matt Viator.

Viator said one of the secrets to his success during his decade-run as the head coach at McNeese State was the support the Cowboys received from the community, and he noticed a similar vibe on Thursday night.

“This event is just awesome,” Viator said. “Dr. Bruno and his staff obviously did a great job organizing it along with Brian Wickstrom. Football is around the corner and we’re excited to see this kind of a turnout.”

Viator shared his plan for Warhawk football and expectations for the upcoming season. Richard said he’s had a few chances to visit with Viator since he arrived from Lake Charles in December.

“He’s a tremendous guy and his resume speaks for himself,” Richard said.

“You can sense a renewed excitement about our football program and it couldn’t come at a better time.”

Viator’s plan is to build the Warhawks from the top down the same way he did McNeese and he pointed to Richard’s basketball program as an example of what can be accomplished at ULM.

“There’s no question about that and I was just so impressed when I came to the home games when I first got the job,” Viator said.

“The way those guys competed and was impressive to watch and that’s the same type of atmosphere we want to build here with football.”

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker


16 2016-08-25
Monroe

ULM freshman kick off new year with convocation


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's a new school year and a new start for freshman at ULM, but with TOPS money in question, plus flooding in South Louisiana, we wanted to know if enrollment would be effected.

Courtesy: KNOE
Courtesy: KNOE

Freshman are marching in to a brand new year at ULM. For many, this is the first time they've lived away from home away from friends, and the faculty says they seem to be welcoming it with open arms.

"It's the beginning of the school year, freshman are super excited to be here," Seth Hall, high school recruitment director, said.

For months, students and parents have been concerned about TOPS, the nearly $300 million scholarship program many students rely on to go to school. Hall says so far the estimated 1,400 students seem unaffected by the scholarship's questionable future.

"The TOPS situation has been tough, just because people are unsure of what's going to happen, so right now they're still receiving funding," Hall said.

To get an idea of what students are thinking, we pulled a couple aside to ask if they're worried about future funding.


"It's ok, I'm really not that worried about it. I try not to stress," Hailee Bento, a pre-nursing major, said.

It's a thought echoed by many, but when asked, some say the biggest struggles can be as simple as finding the right class and getting there on time.

"I got lost on the way to one of my classes, but I found it," Jaden Mount, another freshman, said.

Some students haven't made it just yet because of recent flooding in South Louisiana, but Seth Hall says they're holding their spots if and when they're able to make it to campus. Enrollment numbers won't be available for the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, Hall says they're helping families as best they can.


16 2016-08-24
Monroe

ULM’s ‘Week of Welcome’ in full swing


MONROE, La. (KNOE & ULM) - New and returning students arrived on the University of Louisiana Monroe campus over the weekend during ‘Move-in-Mania,’ which marked the beginning of the university’s ‘Week of Welcome’ (WOW).

WOW, sponsored by the ULM Campus Activities Board, is a welcome-back-to-school week designed to orient new students to university life and to welcome returning students to campus. The schedule is packed with fun activities and free meals hosted by various campus organizations.

“This is an exciting week for us because we see how excited the freshmen are. We know what they’re signing themselves up for and we are thrilled to welcome them into the ULM family,” said Seth Hall, Director of High School Recruitment.

Student athletes, members of Greek life and other volunteers were busy Saturday helping new and returning students move into residence halls.

That night, students and parents gathered at JPS Field at Malone Stadium for the second and final scrimmage of the fall for the ULM football team.

One of the upcoming highlights of the week is convocation—an annual celebration on Wednesday to mark the beginning of a new academic year and welcome the newest members of the Warhawk family, the class of 2020.


Students, faculty, deans, and vice presidents will meet at the Library clock tower at 4:30 p.m. and walk together across the bridge at 4:40 p.m. to Fant-Ewing Coliseum. At 5 p.m., student groups will provide the opening entertainment through song and dance, and a series of speakers will follow, including Seth Hall, Lisa Miller (Chief Communications Officer) and keynote speaker Spencer Roark (senior Biology major).

At 5:30 p.m., Fant-Ewing Coliseum will come to life with a convocation pep rally, featuring performances by the ULM band, Hawkline, and the ULM cheerleaders. Athletic Director Brian Wickstrom will also speak at the pep rally.

“Convocation celebrates the beginning of the freshmen class’ academic journey, but it also foreshadows their commencement celebration in four years from now,” said Hall.

A complete schedule for WOW is available at ulm.edu/wow.


16 2016-08-24
Monroe

Editorial: Airport does not need $500K pond


We are very proud of the Monroe Regional Airport, and even more proud of most of the continuing improvements.

Yet, there’s one that has given us pause.

Spending more than $500,000 to create a Delta pond at the airport’s entrance is not only extravagant, but outrageous.

Granted, the old monument was overgrown and dated, and certainly not in keeping with the updated terminal and grounds.

But the cost of this project is well out of line with what one might reasonably expect a lighted pool with a fountain and a few flagpoles to cost. Or, in the alternative, to fill in the pond and create a beautifully landscaped entrance. We’re sure the contractor – not from Monroe – is giggling all the way to the bank.

While we acknowledge our position as birthplace of Delta Airlines, we wonder if that recognition is applicable today, considering that flights out of Monroe are provided by a Delta partner, and the airline itself pulled its annual board meeting and its airplanes years ago from our community. From an historical standpoint, it would seem this would be a project that should have been funded by the airline honoring its roots rather than public funds, since the monument provides exceptional free advertising over other airlines serving the airport.

You also don’t have to look far to understand how fiscally out of line this project is.

Consider, for instance, the beautiful new fire station next to the main airport terminal. That state-of-the-art facility, which serves a true purpose, cost $2.2 million… Or four Delta ponds.

Consider, for instance, a similar project underway at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The fountain in Scott Plaza, which is the focal point of university’s common area, is also being refurbished this summer.

The project, according to public documents available through the Board of Regents, replaces a fountain that has not operated properly with one that is more efficient. It includes new paving and seating, as well as upgraded mechanical and electrical components. Its total cost is $190,000, with $65,000 coming from private donations and $125,000 coming from student fees... Or less than half of one Delta pond, and none of it from taxpayer dollars.

Once completed, we can envision this area at ULM as an inviting outdoor space for students, faculty and staff to meet, study, rest or enjoy a picnic lunch. It will be well used and greatly appreciated.

We can’t say quite the same for the fountain at the airport entrance. It’s solely eye candy.

We’re well aware that the airport project is not coming from city funds. It’s state capital outlay money.

But that’s our money, too. It’s our tax dollars.

There is no circumstance in which we can imagine, with our giant backlog of capital outlay projects that could have a real impact in our communities, that a decorative pond should have come in at a higher priority and funding than repairing roads, bridges, hospitals and universities.

And, for those of us who drive to the airport for those pre-dawn flights or to pick people up from those late-night flights, a little road striping and reflective lane markings on Kansas Lane and Central Avenue would be a more palatable use of a half-million dollars.

We want the airport to be a showplace and a source of pride. But we expect fiscal responsibility along with that.
16 2016-08-23
Monroe

ULM faculty, staff presented with Foundation Awards for Excellence


University of Louisiana Monroe faculty and staff gathered last Thursday in Brown Auditorium to honor excellence in research, teaching, creative/artistic activity, and service at the sixth annual ULM Foundation Awards for Excellence ceremony.

Each winner was chosen based on a set of standards determined by a selection committee.

For each category, recipients were awarded unique honors based on the recipients’ overall effectiveness in their field and their contributions to the university.

Six awards were given, with four going to faculty members, and two going to staff.

The award for excellence in research was presented to Dr. Seetharama D. Jois, associate professor of medical chemistry.

Jois was recognized for his research in protein-protein interactions, work with graduate students, and his most prestigious achievement—a patent.

Jois has earned over $1.5 million in grants, and he obtained funding from the Louisiana Board of Regents to establish a protein and peptide analysis facility at ULM.

The award for excellence in creative/artistic activity was presented to Dr. Bette J. Kauffman, professor of communication.

Kauffman was touted for her work within the community. She created an interactive photo installation called “Waterline,” which came as her contribution to the political will to rebuild and restore New Orleans and her people after hurricane Katrina.

Kauffman’s dedication to the humanities, writing, photography, and the art of teaching are what make her one of the university’s most respected employees.

The award for excellence in service was presented to Dr. Kioh Kim, associate professor of education.

Kim’s service helped established strong academic and international programs at ULM and its surrounding community. His service in creating collaborative relationships between international universities and ULM has been outstanding as he helped ULM sign academic agreements with one university in Japan, nine universities in Korea, one university in China, and one university in Taiwan.

The award for excellence in teaching was presented to business instructor Thomas J. DeNardin, whose colleagues call him an enthusiastic, motivating, and dedicating teacher who often uses the word 'remarkable' in class to emphasize to students that they should be and can be remarkable in life.

DeNardin has 13 years of teaching experience and 26 years of experience in the field of business, which gives him ability to intertwine real-world lessons into his teaching.

The award for excellence in service, given to an unclassified staff member, was awarded to Sabrina McClain, assistant to the associate dean of the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences.

McClain is the gateway person for the office, working to solve problems for students, staff, and faculty alike.

In addition to her outstanding service to the university, McClain is deeply committed to the community. She is actively engaged in donating to and volunteering at local food banks, area nursing homes, schools, and charitable organizations.

The award for excellence in service, given to a classified staff member, was presented to Martha “Sue” Oliver, administrative assistant IV for the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences.

Oliver has served the university for more than 36 years and has led the department by assisting and facilitating daily operations.

Oliver’s dedication to helping the students, staff and faculty has been of immeasurable benefit to the university.

Each winner was presented with a personalized plaque and monetary award.
16 2016-08-22
Monroe

Monroe area pharmacists installed as directors


The Louisiana Pharmacists Association held its 134th Annual Convention at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge recently where the association installed its 2016-17 Board of Directors, Regional directors and Directors-at-large, four of which are from the Monroe area.

The four Monroe area pharmacists installed to director positions included Ben Orlando, RPh, of Brookshire’s Pharmacy, in Monroe. He was installed as the Northeast Regional Director. Bill Bourn, Ph.D, retired Dean and Professor of ULM College of Pharmacy, in Monroe was installed as a Director-At-Large. Beverly Walker, PharmD, University of Louisiana at Monroe School of Pharmacy Office of Outcomes, Research, and Evaluation, in Monroe was installed as a Director-At-Large. Anthony Walker, PharmD, University of Louisiana at Monroe School of Pharmacy, in Monroe was installed as a Director-At-Large.

Elected to the 2016-17 Board of Directors are:
President – Bill Kirchain, PharmD, Xavier University College of Pharmacy, New Orleans, LA;
Immediate Past President – Errol Duplantis, RPh, Lloyd’s Remedies, Gray, LA;
President-Elect – Julie W. Breithaupt, PharmD, MBA, Red River Pharmacy, Alexandria, LA;
Treasurer –Kenny Wilson, RPh, Don’s Pharmasave, Marksville, LA;
Parliamentarian – Malcolm Broussard, RPh, LA Board of Pharmacy, Baton Rouge, LA;
Regional directors for 2016-17 are:
Bayou Region – Jason Bergeron, PharmD, Houma.
Capital Region – J. Scott Black, RPh, Gulfcoast Pharmaceutical Specialty, Prairieville.
Central Region – Kimberly Wixson, RPh, Cottonport Corner Drug, LLC, Cottonport.
Northeast Region – Ben Orlando, RPh, Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Monroe.
Orleans Region – LaKeisha Williams, PharmD, Xavier University College of Pharmacy, New Orleans.
Pontchartrain Region – Steve Ritter, RPh, Rite Aid #7268, Harahan.
Red River Region – Leah Snyder, PharmD, Montgomery Pharmacy, Montgomery.
Southwest Region – Aurdie Bellard, RPh, Bellard’s Family Pharmacy, Eunice.
Directors-at-Large for 2016-17 are:
Bill Bourn, PhD, Retired Dean and Professor of ULM School of Pharmacy, Monroe.
Maurice Gold, RPh, Retired, Lake Charles.
Robert Scelfo, RPh, Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, Mandeville.
Christie Soileau, RPh, Soileau’s Phaarmacy, New Iberia.
Anthony Walker, PharmD, University of Louisiana at Monroe School of Pharmacy, Monroe.
Beverly Walker, PharmD, University of Louisiana at Monroe School of Pharmacy, Monroe.
Pharmacy Technician Representative for 2016-17 is:
Dana Fontenot, CPhT, Evangeline Drug Store, Ville Platte.
16 2016-08-22
Monroe

ULM's President gears up for a new school year


MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) - ULM said the future is looking bright for the college.


Courtesy: KNOE

The university said their retention rate is up 9% and their graduation rate is up 12%.

Dr. Bruno said ULM is doing pretty well even with a number of challenges.

He said since 2010 when he came in, you never really heard a lot about ULM, but that's changing.

The college has national rankings and recognition's under their belt.

ULM is also ranked a tier one university and has one of the number one RN nursing programs in country.

They also have the number one accounting program when it comes to the passage of the CPA exam.

Bruno said all of these achievements are because of the great faculty and staff.

"Whether it's the individual cutting the grass on the grounds, to the person cleaning the building, to the person preparing the foods, to researchers looking for cures to cancers. It's truly a team effort", ULM President Nick Bruno said.

The university has also added 20 new teachers and faculty members for the 2016-2017 school year.
16 2016-08-19
Monroe

Bruno address cites ULM accomplishments, challenges


University of Louisiana at Monroe president Dr. Nick Bruno said Thursday the secret is out that ULM is academically strong, innovative and advancing in grants and research.

Bruno gave his sixth State of the University address to faculty, staff and members of the community at Brown Auditorium. Among those attending were Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, Sen. Mike Walsworth, members of the ULM Foundation Board, and Keith Brown, director of district outreach for Congressman Ralph Abraham.

A point of pride was the university’s being recognized as an R3 (moderate research) doctoral-granting institution of higher education by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Bruno said this is a major milestone for the university because ULM is one of only six in the state and 335 in the nation with the designation.

Bruno identified several areas of research and collaboration, including a partnership with the Ouachita Police Jury for clean water research in Calhoun, the new Doppler weather radar (scheduled to go into operation this week), and multiple million-dollar grants awarded to faculty and programs.

He noted the annual service value impact ULM has on northeast Louisiana and the state is $45.5 million. Such services include health, business, internships, athletics, and arts and culture. Internships alone, 3,056 for the last fiscal year, were valued at $19.4 million. Bruno said ULM has 34 percent more interns than any other school in the UL System.

Citing campus improvements, Bruno said construction and renovation included the opening of an Academic Innovation Center for faculty, a new football fieldhouse, a new Barnes and Noble bookstore, improvements at Starbucks and a new fountain in Scott Plaza.

Bruno said despite state budget issues in recent years, retention and graduation had improved. Retention increased by 9.2 percent from 2006-07 to 2015-16 and the graduation rate increased by 12 percent from 2008 to 2016.

One of the challenges Bruno discussed was the uncertainty of the TOPS program. He said cuts and changes to TOPS could impact students in the spring and endanger enrollment.

In his comments, Bruno was clear that ULM would continue to strengthen its partnerships, raise the level of research and collaboration on campus, and maintain high standards for its students.


16 2016-08-17
Monroe

ULM students affected by South Louisiana floods will not be penalized for missing the first week of classes


ULM said they want to remind students not to be worried if they can't make the first week of classes.

The university said they will be doing everything they can to work with students affected by the flooding.

The Vice President of Academic Affairs Eric Pani said most of all the courses offered on campus have an online website, and students can access their assignments.

The websites also allows students to access teachers notes.

Pani said if the internet is not an option for you; the Academic Affairs office said they will work with students on a case-by-case basis.

They will also help students with their housing arrangements and make sure their financial aid is secured.

The college said their goal isn't to make students affected by the south Louisiana flood any more stressful; they want to help.

"If you go back to last spring, that flooding occurred during the middle of the semester, so we had to adapt a little differently then. But if you want to go back to 2005 with Hurricane Katrina we saw similar problems, so we are expecting many of the same type of problems that we saw then", The Vice President of Academic Affairs Eric Pani said.


They also offer courses for visiting students.
These classes can be taken by anyone who needs them who only plan to be at the college for a short period of time.

"It's taking classes for convenience, because of where they're located at. For example we saw a few hundred of those students after Katrina when they couldn't take classes at UNO", The Vice President of Academic Affairs Eric Pani said.

For more information or to get in contact with the office of the executive vice president's office call (318)-342-1070.


16 2016-08-16
Monroe

La. Nursing Home Sr. Olympics Friday at ULM


The Louisiana Nursing Home Senior Olympics will be Friday at Fant-Ewing Coliseum at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The games begin at approximately 9:30 a.m.

The series of athletic, Olympic-style events have been adapted for the abilities of nursing home residents.

Events include Socrates trivia, shot put and discus throw, bean bag toss, horseshoes, chariot (wheelchair) race. Activity directors of the participating facilities will also compete in a wheelchair race.

There will be a spirit award for the facility that shows the most team spirit and a banner award for the most impressive banner and a creative award for the facility with the best overall theme.

The senior Olympics was started in 1983 by the Louisiana Nursing Home Association to help seniors remain phyically active, to socialize with peers and friendly competition.

For more information on the Louisiana Nursing Home Association, visit www.lnha.org or call 225-927-5642.


16 2016-08-16
Monroe

ULM's Pi Kappa Alpha chapter breaks international record


Members of the University of Louisiana Monroe’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity set a new record for consecutive wins of the fraternity’s coveted Robert A. 'Smythe' award by winning their 18th consecutive at the Pi Kappa Alpha Convention held in New Orleans.

The award is given to the top 10 percent of Pi Kappa Alpha chapters each year. This win marks the 23rd Smythe award in the last 25 years for the ULM chapter.

The award is based upon excelling in 16 areas of operation, including: academics, community service, campus involvement, athletics, management, health and safety, new member education, and alumni relations.

“The ULM chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha definitely deserved their 18th consecutive Smythe award," said Laura Jennings, Director of Student Life and Leadership. "This sort of legacy is almost unheard of for any type of group. Every year I am consistently more impressed with our Pike chapter because they continue the raise the bar for themselves and continue to meet that goal. We could not be more proud to work with such excellent young men.”

Nineteen ULM students (the most from any Pike chapter in North America) joined Tommy Walpole—Executive Director of Auxiliary Enterprises and the fraternity’s university relations adviser—at the four-day event.

Those students included Ben Sylvestri, Morgan Wiggins, Will Frith, Wyatt Medlin, Spencer Perkins, Evan Sinclair, David DeGraw, Austin Green, Bryan Deloach, Michel Elliot, Jacob Hale, Josh Usie, JT Roberts, Cody Crnkovic, Alec Shell, Hank Pipes, Chase Campo, Jacob Lester and Zoe Poole. Over 50 Pike alumni made the trip to New Orleans to witness the chapter set the new consecutive win mark.

During the convention the group was recognized for earning—for the sixth consecutive year—an overall grade point average higher than a 3.0.

Other highlights of the trip included the ULM chapter receiving the Raymond L. Orians Award for Chapter Excellence, which honors overall chapter performance from the previous year. This marked the chapter’s 31st consecutive Orians award.

The group was also recognized for 100 percent participation in the undergraduate donor club, which is sponsored by Pi Kappa Alpha’s Educational Foundation.

Also recognized was the fraternity’s commitment to attending Pike’s Leadership conferences known as Pike U and the groups recruitment, alumni and housing programs were recognized as some of Pike’s best.

The ULM Pi Kappa Alpha Alumni Association was also named as a William R. Nester Outstanding Alumni Association. This was the group’s 17th time to be recognized as one of the organization’s best alumni associations in North America. In addition, two alumni of the fraternity were recognized as some of Pike’s best. Joseph Beard, who serves as the Chapter Advisor was one of nine selected as a part of Pike’s Inaugural Class of Young Alumni of the Year and Adams Rodgers, who serves the chapter as its Continuing Education Advisor was selected as the top volunteer from Pike’s Delta Region which consists of all volunteers in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

The fraternity is also known for its award-winning streak on campus.

They were named ULM’s 2015-2016 Organization of the Year. The chapter has won the award 14 times in the 17-year history of the award. The group was also crowned Greek Week Champions and they won their 8th consecutive All-University Athletic Championship.

Pi Kappa Alpha has 220 chapters in North America and is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn.

The Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at ULM was founded in 1972.


16 2016-08-16
Monroe

ULM’s Mel Mobley creates contemporary classical music


In June, when Dr. Mel Mobley, associate professor of music at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, wrapped up the New Music on the Bayou Festival — an inaugural event he co-founded with colleagues at Louisiana Tech University — he returned to ordinary life: teaching, performing, recording and composing.

Mobley is head of music theory at ULM and teaches a wide range of courses with names like contemporary analysis, counterpoint, orchestration, applied percussion and electronic music composition.

As a performer, Mobley is a percussionist, but since coming to ULM in 2003, his career as a composer has moved more and more to the forefront. In 2016 alone, two of his works, “Covering” and “Coloring with Water” appeared on CDs. He has written music for orchestra, piano, wind ensemble, brass, choir, electronic music and just about any instrument or combination of instruments you can think of.

He has written a chamber opera, “Sylvan Beach,” which had its premiere in 2010. And he’s in the planning stages for a second opera. Among his many other compositions are pieces with names like “Tributaries,” “In Convenience,” “Concerto for Wood” and “Labored Breathing.” His works have been performed by the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, the Black Bayou Brass Trio and the ULM Wind Ensemble. He has appeared on Navona Records, Ansonica Records and Ravello Records.

Mobley was born and raised in Graham, Texas, a town west of Dallas/Ft. Worth. He learned piano while growing up and played the drums in his junior high and high school bands. As an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin, he took a required freshman course in percussion ensemble and found himself profoundly inspired by the creative aspect of the class. He recalls:

“We were playing this piece that was somewhat esoteric, and everybody was playing on tin cans and car brake drums and drums and all kinds of strange things, and the music was really hard, really complex and complicated — in the divisions of the beat and how they fit — and I remember specifically, to this day, looking around and thinking this is the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of. I have that memory. And I never looked back. It had to do with this new way for people to come together and experiment with sound.”

If you ask Mobley for a name for the style of music he composes, he says that there are several phrases in common use: new classical music, modern classical music and the one he tends to favor: contemporary classical music. Such music lies in a territory between popular music (pop, rock, country) and traditional classical music (Beethoven, Bach, Mozart).

By the end of that freshman percussion class, Mobley had found his vocation, and he went on to take a bachelor of arts from the University of Texas. He received his master’s from the University of South Florida and his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Along with his work as a composer, Mobley is still active as a performer. He is a founding member of both the M² Performance Art Company (with ULM dance professor Tina Mullone) and the Implosion Percussion Group. He performs with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, the Marshall Symphony Orchestra, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the South Arkansas Symphony. Over the years, he has performed in many venues around the country, traveling to Florida, Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi.

His office in Biedenharn Hall is filled with percussion instruments. A marimba takes up much of one end of the room. According to Mobley, the marimba is “the percussion solo instrument of choice.”

“It has the most ability to make music that is both traditional and new. I can play a Bach piece on that or I can play a modern piece.”

Also scattered around his office are congas, cymbals, gongs, maracas, drums, bongos, a tambourine, cow bell, triangle, wood block. . . . Some percussion instruments are “found objects,” Mobley says, things like garbage cans, flower pots, brake drums, taxi horns.

A highlight of 2015 for Mobley was an invitation to travel to Cuba. Mobley was one of eight composers chosen to spend a week in Havana and have their works performed by local musicians — the first time in over 50 years that this form of cultural connection had taken place. The resulting CD, titled “ABRAZO: The Havana Sessions,” has Mobley’s name on the cover as one of the eight specially invited composers. (Further information about “ABRAZO” can be found here: http://www.ansonicarecords.com/catalog/ar0001/.)

At ULM, Mobley recently held the Biedenharn Endowed Professorship in Music. In 2014, he was named “Commissioned Composer of the Year” by the Louisiana Music Teachers Association. He has received several ASCAP Plus awards and been commissioned to compose music for the Monroe Symphony Orchestra and the Black Bayou Brass Trio.

In his 13 years at ULM, Mobley has found himself steadily drawn toward the role of composer. His long list of recordings and compositions is proof of that. And contemporary classical music is the form of music that this ULM professor strives to introduce to a wider and wider audience.

William Caverlee has been writing features for The News-Star since 2010. He is a contributing editor of The Oxford American Magazine and the author of "Amid the Swirling Ghosts and Other Essays" (University of Louisiana at LafayettePress)
16 2016-08-09
Monroe

ULM to host premiere event, The Pursuit


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe is hosting an inaugural event called ‘The Pursuit’ to mark the launch of a new athletic and academic year.

The premiere event will take place on Thursday, August 25th at Fant-Ewing Coliseum (4099 Northeast Drive) starting at 5:30 p.m. Cocktails and dinner will be provided by Waterfront Grill, Fieldhouse, Catfish Cabin, Marsala Beverage and Southern Glazer’s Distribution.

‘The Pursuit’ takes its name from the ‘P’ in the Curtiss P(ursuit)-40 Warhawk fighter plane, best remembered as the aircraft flown by the Flying Tigers,’ or American Volunteer Group (AVG), led by General Claire Lee Chennault.

It was the P-40 Warhawk and the heroism of General Chennault that served as the inspiration behind the selection of ULM's Warhawk mascot ten years ago.

ULM is thankful for the support of the Ouachita Independent Bank, the official title sponsor for the event.

Coach Matt Viator will share his plans for the 2016 football season, and Coach Keith Richard will give an update on the highly anticipated basketball season. President Nick J. Bruno will share his vision for the upcoming year, exciting changes happening around campus, and some of our many accomplishments.


The evening will also include a highlight of 40 outstanding Warhawks. This list consists of top student-athletes, alumni, faculty and staff.

ULM’s Sound of Today and Spirit Groups will also be in attendance.

Season tickets for all sports will be sold at the event.

Tickets for The Pursuit cost $50 per person, or $650 for a reserved table of eight.

The proceeds from the ticket sales will go toward the athletic foundation.
16 2016-08-08
Monroe

ULM's Wickstrom teases more facility upgrades


ULM may have just opened its long awaited end zone football field house, but that doesn’t mean athletic director Brian Wickstrom is done with facility upgrades.

Wickstrom and the ULM athletic department have a few new projects in mind on their half of Bayou Desiard.

“I think the no. 1 thing on the list right now once we get the funding for it is to convert our existing locker room to our new training room since it houses 17 sports,” Wickstrom said. “We’re trying to build it because right now it’s kind of tight in there.”


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ULM takes much needed step with new facility

Wickstrom said a new training room, a new track at Brown Stadium and upgrades to the restrooms and concession areas at Fant-Ewing Coliseum are among his future priorities.

He also hinted at even more additions to the new football facility and JPS Field at Malone Stadium.

“They want to enclose the end zone because it helps keep the sound in and makes it look more like a college stadium versus a high school stadium. We’ve also talked about building a patio area for donors and it could be additional team space,” Wickstrom said.

Facility improvements have been among the highlights of Wickstrom’s three-year tenure at ULM. In addition to the football facility — the first new athletic building on campus since 1983 — Wickstrom spearheaded fundraising efforts that led to new field turf at Malone Stadium, a new hitting facility at Warhawk Field and renovations to the John David Crow athletic director’s office.

Fundraising and outside contributions to the athletic department have also increased under Wickstrom, which helped the football program decrease its number of guarantee games it schedules each season.

ULM travels to Oklahoma, Auburn and New Mexico and hosts Southern this season during non-conference play.

Wickstrom and ULM President Nick Bruno are working to increase the university’s overall athletic budget to compete within the Sun Belt Conference. ULM is paying new football coach Matt Viator and his staff more than predecessor Todd Berry and out of the university’s general budget. In the past, ULM paid the salaries of the football staff privately through the athletic foundation.

Viator agreed to a three-year, $400,045 deal when ULM hired him from McNeese State in December of 2015. Berry made $360,600 at ULM last season.

“In addition once we get the operating revenue up and ticket revenue up we can look at expanding our end zone facility for other program needs,” Wickstrom said.

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker


16 2016-08-05
Monroe

ULM ranked no. 1 in nation for best value online RN to BSN program


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe’s online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program was ranked no. 1 in the nation for 2016-17 by CollegeStart.org.

The site ranking took into account several key factors to ensure that the student gets the best rate of return on their educational investment. The factors in determining the ranking were graduation rate, cost, acceptance rate, enrollment rate, retention rate, student to faculty ratio, percentage of students receiving financial aid, and loan default rate.

Based on these factors, ULM had a near-perfect score of 98.8%.

“This ranking is confirmation that the Kitty Degree School of Nursing is determined to make a difference for Registered Nurses in our community and state by extending its history of excellence from the on-campus classroom to the online classroom,” said Paula Thornhill, Director of eULM. “Our program attracts the best nurses and our graduates are the leaders who are making a difference in the healthcare industry.”

The RN to BSN program offers registered nurses the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing to advance their careers. A BSN RN can pursue graduate education and become a nurse educator, nurse practitioner, or a nurse anesthetist. According to the program’s website, “Having a BSN RN allows an individual to have upward mobility in a growing and ever changing field.”


Applicants for the online RN to BSN degree must be a graduate from a state-approved and nationally accredited diploma or associate degree nursing program (CNEA, ACEN) and currently hold an unencumbered unrestricted RN license to practice.

Dr. Eric Pani, ULM Vice President for Academic Affairs, said, “I want to complement the faculty in the Kitty Degree School of Nursing for their superior work in teaching these students and in designing high-quality online courses. I also want to thank our eULM staff for the help they have given to support our online students and the assistance they have provided our faculty in making the online courses effective in that format.

“Our eULM programs continue to receive national recognition for their superiority and are an effective way for us to meet workforce demands in high-need professions.”
16 2016-08-04
Monroe

Tech's 'The Happening' returns to Monroe


Another edition of one of Louisiana Tech's biggest fundraisers is headed back to Monroe this week.

Tech will hold the 35th annual The Happening on Thursday night at the Monroe Civic Center to serve as an unofficial kickoff to the academic and athletic year.

The event starts at 6 p.m. and will heat up after 7 p.m. with appearances by Tech coaches like Skip Holtz as he gears up for the 2016 season. New coaches Lane Burroughs (baseball) and Brooke Stoehr (women's basketball) are expected to be in attendance.

The Happening began as a small event in the 1980s and has since grown into an informal gathering that brings in several hundred fans from the area each summer.

Last year, Tech held the event in late August as a way to parlay excitement about the new $22 million end zone facility into the season opener the following week against Southern.

This year's event coincides with the opening of fall camp for the football team. Players report Sunday with Monday serving as the first practice.

Tech's football program is coming off consecutive nine-win seasons that ended in bowl wins. Men's golf and baseball enjoyed historical success in 2015-16 with trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Want to go?

•What: The Happening

•When: 6 p.m. Thursday

•Where: Monroe Civic Center

•Cost: $30 per person

•Info: Marbury Alumni Center, 255-7950 or latechalumni.org/Happening2016


16 2016-08-04
Monroe

ULM partners with Louisiana Department of Insurance to deliver workshop


MONROE, La. (ULM Press Release) —

The University of Louisiana Monroe’s Risk Management and Insurance program partnered with the Louisiana Department of Insurance, Division of Diversity and Opportunity, to host and deliver a workshop for insurance agents at the university.

The program was attended by more than 60 people, including insurance agents and ULM Risk Management and Insurance students.

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon opened the session by welcoming the attendees and participants. Representatives from the Louisiana Professional Insurance Agents, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Louisiana, the National African American Insurance Association, and the Health Agents for America spoke about the benefits of joining an association.

Deputy Commissioner of Licensing Barry Ward discussed some of the recent and potential upcoming changes in the Louisiana Insurance Code relating to insurance agent licensing and addressed important considerations for newly licensed agents.

Associate Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, Dr. Christine Berry, then spoke about the growing concern of the talent gap in the insurance industry. “Unless we work together to address the significant talent gap in our industry, many insurance agencies are going to find it difficult to perpetuate their business,” she said. “Internal perpetuation is a great option, and insurance agents should consider hiring ULM RMI Risk Management majors as interns and begin to train and mentor them so that they can one day be prepared to run the agency. Our students are well prepared and eager to join the industry.”

The workshop also included an ethics course delivered by Arlene Knighten, the Louisiana Department of Insurance Executive Counsel. Licensed insurance agents who attended the workshop earned 3 hours of CE credits. Assistant Commissioner for Diversity and Opportunity, Patrick Bell, closed the session saying that this would be the beginning of several partnerships between the Louisiana Department of Insurance and the ULM Risk Management and Insurance Program.

The ULM Risk Management program is nationally ranked and is one of only a few programs in the country that offers specialized coursework in surplus lines and reinsurance.


16 2016-08-03
Monroe

ULM Opens New Football Fieldhouse


The ULM Athletic Department unveiled the new Football Fieldhouse on Tuesday morning, opening the doors as approximately 250 Warhawk supporters were on hand for the building’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and to tour the new facility.

“The opening of the new football facility is a tribute to many donors, staff members and community members. It is a great momentum builder as we head into this critical time for ULM Athletics. I am excited for the student-athletes and coaches to have a new place to call home,” Director of Athletics Dr. Brian Wickstrom stated.

The fieldhouse, the first athletic facility in ULM history to be completely funded by private donations, features 11,750 square feet of space that includes coach offices, a conference room, a video area, a Hall of History and a new student-athlete locker room.

“It’s a really great addition. The facility is not only good for the current players here now, but is also really good for recruiting in the future,” said head coach Matt Viator.

The official opening of the facility comes in perfect timing with the start of fall practice, with player report day slated for Wednesday and the first practice beginning Thursday morning. The 2016 season kicks off on Saturday, September 3 as the Warhawks host Southern University.

16 2016-08-02
Monroe

Field(house) of Dreams: ULM to open football facility



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ULM's end zone football facility will include a new locker room, coach's offices and hall of fame area. Adam Hunsucker/The News-Star

Adam Hunsucker, ahunsucker@thenewsstar.com 1:39 p.m. CDT August 1, 2016
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Brian Wickstrom heard more about what couldn’t be done at ULM than what could when he was hired as athletic director three years ago.

At the top of that list of projects deemed impossible was a new facility to house Warhawk football.

Wickstrom took steps to make the unattainable a reality shortly after he was hired in the summer of 2013. All of the booster dinners, fundraising events and contractor meetings came together at the right time and produced a tangible result in the north end zone of JPS Field at Malone Stadium.

ULM is set to open its long awaited end zone football field house with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

Weather delays and other issues may have pushed back the project’s intended May completion date — one year after construction began — but what’s another three months when you’ve waited for this day since the 1980s?

“I’m excited because this is something a lot of people didn’t think would come to fruition,” Wickstrom said. “It took everyone buying in and some donors stepping up to build the momentum to get it done.

“It’ll all be worth it to see the student-athlete’s reaction when they walk in. That’s what I’m in this business for.”


THENEWSSTAR.COM
ULM football facility nears completion date

The $4.1 million facility was paid for entirely with private donations and is the first new on-campus athletic building since 1983. Hand Construction was the contractor on the project.

The 11,750-square foot structure features a new locker room, coaches offices, a lounge area and a patio overlooking JPS Field. The Warhawks were able to move into the locker room earlier this summer and football coach Matt Viator and the ULM staff followed suit in July.

“It’s really been great not just for the kids here but also the ones we’re recruiting,” Viator said. “When it comes down to it everything plays a role. The better facilities you have, the better your campus is going to be. Everything plays into that quality of life.

“It’s really a good feeling to see our guys be able to move into something nicer and newer and it’s also been really good with our unofficial visits this summer, which is such a big part of recruiting now.”

ULM’s recent football camp drew over 250 high-school prospects. Combined with the kicking camp held the day before, around 300 potential recruits worked out on campus last week.

Viator, Wickstrom, ULM President Nick Bruno and ULM Athletic Foundation president David Moore are slated to speak at the ribbon cutting on Tuesday.

“This facility gives us some huge momentum in the athletic department. It shows that if everyone in the community and on campus work together, this is what we can accomplish,” Wickstrom said.

“It’s critical that people understand the success we can have if we all work together.”

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker
16 2016-08-02
Monroe

ULM Rad Tech faculty, students recognized at annual conference


The 59th Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists (LSRT) was held July 7-9 in Baton Rouge, La., at which faculty members and students of the University of Louisiana Monroe's Radiologic Technology program participated in a number of events.

Faculty members in attendance included Lacy Davis, Jason Smith, Dr. Andy Allen, and Program Director Brett Bennett. Dr. Allen and Mr. Bennett were also recognized at the Presidential Banquet for their past service as LSRT President, and current positions as Marketing and Advertisement Taskforce Chair and LSRT Executive Secretary of Finance, respectively.

The ULM Radiologic Technology Quiz Bowl team placed second in the state competition, and were recognized and presented with certificates and plaques at the Presidential Banquet. Members of the team included Bryan Briggs, Darashai Brock, Ikia Celestine, Randy DeArmond, Kaitlyn Masters, and Olivia Parrott, with faculty member Dr. Allen serving as the team coach. Special thanks go to students Brett H. Bennett, Ashley Hawkins, Danesha McFarland, and Ashleigh Mundwiller for their assistance in the quiz bowl preparations.

Students received certificates for their participation in the Scientific Essay and Scientific Exhibit competitions. Students participating in the Scientific Essay competition included Brett H. Bennett, Bryan Briggs, Ikia Celestine, Rebecca Jenkins, and Kaitlyn Masters.

Students participating in the Scientific Exhibit competition included Sarah Barbier, Christina Benavides, Brett H. Bennett, Bryan Briggs, Darashai Brock, Ikia Celestine, Ashley Clark, Sarah Counts, Amber Davis, Randy DeArmond, Tasha Dinet, Edward Dorsey, Ashley Hawkins, Rebecca Jenkins, Kacey LaFleur, Virginia Massey, Kaitlyn Masters, Danesha McFarland, Ashleigh Mundwiller, Shelby Nicholson, Oliva Parrott, Leah Poole, Che’Derica Samuel, Kaleb Stepp, and Eric Washington.

Randy DeArmond led the student council meeting as Chair of the LSRT Student Advisory Council, with assistance from Shelby Nicholson, Vice Chair of the LSRT Student Advisory Council. DeArmond and Nicholson were elected at the previous LSRT Mid-Winter Meeting in February 2016 and will continue their positions until 2017.

For more information about the Radiologic Technology program, visit ulm.edu/radtech.
16 2016-08-01
Monroe

Training in action: ULM hosts athletic training seminar


Disaster is always one play away in football. We aren’t talking about personal fouls or turnovers in this context either.

It’s said all the time that football is a collision sport. Collisions make injury inevitable, and when it does happen, the people in charge of various diagnoses and treatment have to be prepared.

It was with that in mind that ULM head athletic trainer Jason “J.D.” Dunavant organized an in-service for his staff and certified athletic trainers on the high-school level from across northeastern Louisiana last Friday.

The topics covered during the session included cervical spine injuries, transportation of injured players via spine board, and safely removing football equipment for medical transport.

“We do this yearly and our staff will practice throughout the year to make sure we’re on the same page,” Dunavant said. “Everything we do goes back to the best practices in our field to make sure we follow things that are evidence based, fundamentally sound and up to speed with current trends as far as the medical community is concerned.

“We have a best practices document that we review with our old staff and new staff just to make sure everybody’s on the same page because the last thing we want is to have brand new people scattered all over the place when we need to figure something out right now.”

The main focus of the in service was spinal injuries, a topic that hit home with Dunavant during the 2015 college football season when Southern University wide receiver Devon Gales was paralyzed following an on-field collision in a game at the University of Georgia.

ULM had played Georgia the week prior and the Warhawks are set to host Southern in the 2016 season opener.

“That’s something we saw and that was prevalent to us so it was fresh in our minds,” Dunavant said. “Also we’ve had situations up here on the high-school level at Franklin Parish and Union Parish, so that’s why we invited the high schools here to go over what we consider best practices and exchange ideas and thoughts.”

Opening night of the 2015 high school football season was marred by the tragic death of Franklin Parish High football player Tyrell Cameron following a collision during a punt return.


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Cameron’s death came two years after Union Parish’s Jaleel Gipson injured his spinal cord in a routine tackling drill. Gipson was taken to the LSU Health Sciences Center in Sheveport, where he died after being taken off life support.

I think it’s paramount that the people who are taking care of these kids understand exactly what goes into it,” said Phil Shaw, the head athletic trainer at Ouachita Parish High School and former head trainer at ULM.

“The parents need to know these guys are trained in that and J.D. putting together an in service like this is great because you’ve got to have a group effort between the training staff, school staff, fire department and EMS when unfortunate things like this happen.”

The Ouachita Parish School System offers an athletic-training curriculum to students that includes an extracurricular activity component. Both Ouachita Parish and the Monroe City School District have on-site athletic trainers.

“In the secondary school setting you don’t have full-time staffers and GA’s so you’re relying on student trainers and coaches. We’re fortunate at Ouachita that all our coaches are first aid and CPR certified so if something were to happen, it won’t be the first time they’ve seen it,” Shaw said.

“Football season is here so what we’ll do is take this training back to school and in-service next week after practice.”

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker


16 2016-07-27
Monroe

ULM fishing team headed to Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - Two members of the University of Louisiana Monroe’s fishing team will be competing in the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on Green River Lake in Campbellsville, Ky. July 28-30.

Tyler Stewart, a junior general business major from West Monroe, and Nick Joiner, a junior agribusiness major from West Monroe, will be fishing for the national college title this week on the 8,200-acre lake.

In February, Stewart and Joiner took home first place with 42 pounds even at the 2016 Carhartt College Central Regional bass tournament on the Atchafalaya Basin in Houma, La. This was the regional qualifying tournament that won Stewart and Joiner the ticket to the national stage.

The duo has been practice fishing on Green River Lake ahead of the official start of the tournament on Thursday.

“The lake is fishing tough,” Stewart said. “We’re only getting eight to ten bites a day. But we did catch some nice fish on Monday. We just hope we can get some fish like that on Thursday.”


The tournament will bring 89 college teams from across the country. All 89 teams will compete on the first two days. The field will then be cut to the Top 12 teams for the third day of competition.

The team with the most weight will be awarded the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship trophy. The second-, third-, and fourth-place teams will advance to the Classic Bracket, and the winning team of that competition will earn a coveted spot in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic on Texas’ Lake Conroe, March 24-26, 2017.

“We are savoring every moment of this opportunity,” said Stewart. “This is honestly a dream for us to be competing at this level.”


16 2016-07-27
Monroe

Brownfields program seeks to rejuvenate properties


Local officials and business representatives from across northeastern Louisiana gained insight into a program designed to rehabilitate abandoned or unused properties Tuesday.

The Brownfields Program, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to redevelop or reuse sites that may be complicated by the presence or possible presence of hazardous materials. Typical sites include old industrial facilities, service stations, oil storage facilities or other sites that dealt with hazardous substances or pollutants.

"By remediating that site and having a use for that site, it allows for something that's beneficial for the community, the environment and economy," said Mary Cooper, a toxicologist with Petroleum and Automation Consultants. The company provides environmental research services and consultation for project sites.


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The Redevelopment Funding and Revitalization through Brownfields session was hosted by the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Representatives from ULM and its project partner, Kansas State University, were joined by officials with the EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Housing and Urban Development, Delta Regional Authority and Louisiana Department Environmental Quality.

ULM political science professor John Sutherlin, said the workshop focuses on the process for accessing funds that goes beyond cleanup.

"There's obviously some EPA job money, but there's infrastructure money from Delta Regional Authority, housing money from HUD. If it is part of a basin that may need some emergency services, FEMA can step in. There's a range of federal and state monies available," he said.

The EPA's Brownfields Program began in 1995 with a small amount of "seed money" to local governments that launched two-year pilot projects. The program began with four main goals including protection of the environment by addressing brownfields, promoting partnerships by enhancing collaboration to facilitate brownfields cleanup and reuse, strengthen the marketplace by providing financial and technical assistance to bolster the private market and sustain reuse by redeveloping brownfields to enhance a community's long-term quality of life.

"Brownfields is based on the needs of the community," Sutherlin said. "It could take a site and develop it as an incubator or green space. These improvements can lead to better property values."

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. The law expanded the program and began providing financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs in assessment, cleanup, revolving loan fund and job training.

About that same time, environmental laws were crafted to assist developers and ease the redevelopment process. "We have certain tools that can assist in the redevelopment of that property without having somebody, as it was in the past, see a piece of property that's contaminated and run away," Duane Wilson, with Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said.

The workshop showed participants what defines a brownfield and how it can be redeveloped. Discussion topics included state and federal resources, funding opportunities and grant writing and applications.

"The neat thing about Brownfields is that it's not just about cleanup, it's about putting a property back into the tax rolls and employing people. It's taking something polluted to something valuable," Sutherlin said.

For more about the Brownfields program and Louisiana Brownfields Association, email: sutherlin@ulm.edu


16 2016-07-25
Monroe

ULM Museum of Natural History: Exploring life


ant to learn the history of North Louisiana — and not just the above the surface details?

That’s what the Museum of Natural History is for.

Located in the first floor of Hanna Hall on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the museum’s mission is to promote and advance an understanding and appreciation of all aspects of natural history through collections, exhibits, research and education. The museum places a particular emphasis on North Louisiana’s natural history through the areas of biodiversity, paleontology, geology and archeology.

Museum exhibits include mounts of African, Asian and North American animals; rocks, gems and minerals; dinosaur fossils; artifacts from local native American tribes; a 240-gallon saltwater reef tank featuring tropical fish and corals; and a 150-gallon freshwater tank that simulates a tropical aquatic system.

In addition to individual visits, the museum offers tours for groups of any size with the expectations that any potential visitors contact the museum staff several weeks in advance and have one adult chaperon for every 10 children.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday , 10 a.m. to noon Fridays during university semesters and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month when ULM is in session.
16 2016-07-22
Monroe

Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps perform at ULM


MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) - The University of Louisiana Monroe is hosting the the Louisiana Stars and Bugle Corps at the university from July 17-22.


Courtesy: KNOE

The Louisiana Stars are in their third year of existence and include local band director Robbie Freeman in their permanent staff.

ULM Trumpet Professor Aaron Witek will serve as a brass consultant for the Stars during their residency at ULM.

The mission of the Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is to provide a superior educational performing arts program, representing Louisiana throughout the United States, to give youth an opportunity to develop musical skills, social skills, and partnership skills.

Students will develop a greater sense of responsibility, teamwork, work ethic, sacrifice, dedication, respect, and loyalty.

The Stars are a member of Drum Corps International (DCI). DCI is composed of member corps who have earned their membership through competition.

The drum corps will be performing on ULM's campus Thursday July 21 at 8:00 p.m. at Malone Stadium, followed by the DCI Regional Championships in San Antonio, Texas July 22-24.


For more information about the Louisiana Stars, visit their website a link is posted in the "related links" section www.louisianastars.org


16 2016-07-21
Monroe

ULM's Up ‘til Dawn members visit hospital, attend leadership seminar


MONROE, La. --

Members of the University of Louisiana Monroe’s St. Jude Fundraising organization Up ‘til Dawn (UTD) traveled to Memphis to visit the hospital and attend the Collegiate Leadership Seminar (CLS).

Executive Director Nirali Patel and Adviser Laura Jennings represented the group and were trained in how to better raise money and awareness for the hospital while at the three-day seminar.

Jennings, director of Student Life and Leadership, said that the event lets attendees see the difference Up ‘til Dawn is making firsthand.

“It opens up our hearts even more and gets us fired up to set a higher goal and do as much as we can for the kids,” Jennings said.

While at CLS, Jennings and Patel got the chance to listen to and meet executives from the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. Attendees also heard from St. Jude patients and toured the hospital.

Patel, a senior secondary education major, said that hearing from patients and seeing the hospital puts her work with St. Jude into perspective.

“To see kids battling cancer and telling us that they won’t be wasting their second chance—that is why I do what I do,” Patel said.

The two attended several workshops focused on outreach, fundraising and education of the hospital itself as part of their training.

Patel said, “I am extremely motivated to bring all the stories and advice I heard this weekend to campus. My hope is to make this one of the most successful fundraising years at ULM!”

CLS follows the group’s participation in the Up ‘til Dawn Executive Board Fundraising Challenge. After raising over $10 thousand since March, they sit at third place in the nation.

ULM UTD board members for the 2014-2015 school year are Nirali Patel of Monroe; Shelbi Penny of Walker; Silvienne Sint Jago of Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean Islands; Brianna Barron of Leonville; Courneisha James of St. Martinville; Olivia Barfield of Dry Prong; Eryn Robertson of Shreveport; Devin Melancon of Breaux Bridge; Gabbie Labat of Gonzales; Sera Andras of Houma; Katelyn Trahan of Denham Springs; Ariana Claire Waggoner of West Monroe; and Cristina Benavides of Brownsville, Tex.

For more information, or to help ULM Up ‘Til Dawn reach this year’s goal of $45 thousand, visit fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/UTD/UTD?pg=entry&fr_id=59144.


16 2016-07-20
Monroe

Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in residency at ULM


The University of Louisiana Monroe has announced the Louisiana Stars and Bugle Corps will be in residency at the university from July 17-22.

The Louisiana Stars are in their third year of existence and include local band director Robbie Freeman in their permanent staff. ULM Trumpet Professor Aaron Witek will serve as a brass consultant for the Stars during their residency at ULM.

The mission of the Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is to provide a superior educational performing arts program, representing Louisiana throughout the United States, to give youth an opportunity to develop musical skills, social skills, and partnership skills. Students will develop a greater sense of responsibility, teamwork, work ethic, sacrifice, dedication, respect, and loyalty.

The Stars are a member of Drum Corps International (DCI). DCI, formed in 1972, is the non-profit governing body for junior drum and bugle corps in the U.S. and Canada. Junior corps are composed of members 21 years of age and younger. DCI is composed of member corps who have earned their membership through competition.

During their week of residence, the drum corps will be rehearsing for 12 hours a day with the assistance of Aaron Witek.

The drum corps will be performing on campus Thursday July 21 at 8:00 p.m. in Malone Stadium, followed by the DCI Regional Championships in San Antonio, Texas July 22-24.

For more information about the Louisiana Stars, visit their website at http://www.louisianastars.org/.


16 2016-07-20
Monroe

ULM Foundation receives $60K from Christopher Youth Center


Representatives from the Christopher Youth Center presented the University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation with a $60,000 endowment at a press conference held on campus Tuesday.

The earnings from the investment will fund first-generation student scholarships awarded through the TRiO program office at ULM. TRiO is a group of federally funded programs designed to assist first-generation and income eligible students reach their full academic potential.

About 69 percent of the students at ULM would qualify as SSS [Student Support Services] students and 50 percent would be fully qualified for SSS, according to Executive Director of ULM TRiO Programs Catherine Estis.

“We try to meet these students’ academic and financial needs. This is where the Carol Christopher First Generation Endowed Scholarship is very significant in doing that, because it helps us help those students, especially in light of what’s happening at the state level with TOPS. I want to thank [Mr. Cain] for shining the light and helping our students,” Estis said at the press conference.

Located in Monroe, the Christopher Youth Center (formerly Our House) was established in 1990 by Dr. Carol Christopher as the first Safe Place program in Louisiana for runaway, homeless, throwaway, victimized, and non-adjudicated youth.

Christopher, a well-loved individual in the community, served as a faculty member in the Music department at ULM (then Northeast Louisiana University) and was a long-time supporter of ULM. ULM President Nick J. Bruno, who knew Christopher, said she was so “bright and so passionate about the mission of the center.”

“She was driven in a very positive way, and she could get people to do things they didn’t think they could. There is no question that what she has done, what she did, and what she continues to do is quite a legacy that will live many, many years beyond her,” Bruno continued.

When Christopher passed away in 2015, she left a sizable amount of funds to the Christopher Youth Center. Tony Cain, past president of the Center, indicated that when the board looked at various ways to distribute the funds, it was a “no-brainer.” Following discussions with the ULM Foundation, the Center decided to donate $60,000 and leverage it with a $40,000 match from the Louisiana State Board of Regents Support Fund Program to create a $100,000 endowed scholarship for ULM students who qualify as “first-generation” students.

Additionally, Cain announced that the Center is putting the “final touches” on providing a private annual scholarship through the organization for a ULM graduate student in social work as well as an annual scholarship for the ULM music program.

“So, not only are we investing through the Board of Regents but we are directly investing into other programs in the university because she believed in ULM and she loved ULM, as we all do. We are excited about having this opportunity to invest into ULM,” said Cain.


16 2016-07-20
Monroe

ULM social work professor weighs in on unity crisis


MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) - From the killing of three officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday to the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

ULM Social Work Professor Pamela Saulsberry says tragedies like these are anything but new.

"we've had this issue in some form or another since 1865, have we really addressed these issues," says Saulsberry.

She says that answer is no. Saulsberry says until we start talking about what's really going on emotions like fear and powerlessness will continue to lead to problems.

"Think of the power that individuals have if they know that has a whole more weight, and we also have to remember police are human beings too and can have feet of clay," says Saulsberry.

She has strong words for the black lives matter movement, saying it doesn't mean only black lives matter.

"And a person who helps give out the plates of food and they give me nothing or a smaller amount well I want my fair share too and the person who is helping out and other people have more than I have and they say everybody wants their fair share," says Saulsberry.


She says it's all about viewing the world through someone else's eyes and life experiences shape us and teach us how to act, but in the end we are all human.

"When I've looked at the videos that the world has seen if someone is choking you and you do like this then I'm not trying not to comply I'm trying to breathe or if you're hitting me and I do like this and they are saying comply comply and you're doing this that's a human reaction if you're protecting yourself," says Saulsberry.

She says there needs to be more talking and less ignoring of the problem and saying that's one way we can move forward.


16 2016-07-19
Monroe

Schools adopt teacher training program


Monroe City Schools is the first district in the state to use its own money to fund the training of mentors and supporting undergraduate elementary majors with stipends for completion of a clinical residency program without grant support.

The district held a training session Monday for mentor teachers. Twelve educators from Sallie Humble and Jefferson Upper elementary schools learned skills to assist college studentss who will join them for the upcoming school year.

Louisiana Tech clinical residents will arrive at their assigned TEAM schools in August and co-teach alongside their mentors from August to May completing more than 1,000 clinical hours.

The research-based framework for the clinical residency program, the TEAM Model was designed by Amy Vessel, Director of the Clinical Residency Research Center, and Dawn Basinger, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and former clinical director, in the spring 2015.


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"It is an exciting time to be part of the transformation of how we prepare teachers. This certainly brings prestige to our profession and aligns us with leading universities in the nation that are moving away from traditional student teaching to the residency program," Vessel said.

Vessel said this is a vast departure from a typical 10- or 15-week student teaching assignment. This year, she said all elementary education majors from Louisiana Tech will serve in a full-year residency.

Lisa Dumas, the curriculum coordinator at Sallie Humble, said the staff is really excited about the program and she wishes it had existed when she was in school.

The longer interactions, she said, will benefit the teachers, the student teachers and the students in the classroom while giving the college students a deeper understanding of classroom management, test making, etc.

White said this is the way the state and federal departments of education are moving.

Assuming all 10 classroom residency spots are filled, White said, the district will be able to hire 10 "rockstar" teachers next year who have trained under high-caliber mentors.

LaMonica Jones teaches sixth-grade English at Jefferson and is the president of the Monroe City Association of Educators. Jones said the program requires students to have 300 hours of time spent in a classroom before their residency and having an extra set of hands in the classroom to work with the children will be like having an interventionist.

Since 2014, Lincoln Parish Schools have worked alongside Louisiana Tech to establish this transformation of traditional student teaching in the elementary program. Ouachita Parish Schools began pilot clinical residencies in middle and high schools in the fall of 2015. Other North Louisiana school districts that have participated in recent mentor training include Claiborne and Union Parishes.

Ouachita Parish Schools, Vessel said, were a part of the Louisiana Tech University programs funded by Louisiana Believe and Prepare. The district has approximately 30 mentors from K-12 schools that were trained through La. DOE grants supporting the program.

Ouachita Parish Schools Superintendent Don Coker said he's excited about the teachers coming out of the program and participants will be offered incentives if hired for a full year upon completion.

Both Monroe City and Ouachita Parish schools will provide the clinical residents with the opportunity to substitute teach in their assigned co-teaching classrooms, Vessel said, and they will both provide new hires from the TEAM clinical residency program the opportunity to start full employment with the school district at a second year's teacher salary.

White and Coker said both districts plan to continue developing relationships with Louisiana Tech, the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Grambling State University to recruit qualified educators.
16 2016-07-14
Monroe

ULM construction receives $262,000 donation from industry


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - Representatives from the Louisiana Licensing Board for Construction Management (LLBCM) and the Contractors Educational Trust Fund (CETF) presented a donation totaling $262,000 to the University of Louisiana Monroe’s School of Construction Management during a press conference on the ULM campus Wednesday.

Vic Weston of the Contractors Educational Trust Fund (CETF), and a long-time serving member of the LLBCM, made the presentation to Dr. Ed Brayton, director of the School of Construction Management, and Dr. Ron Berry, dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences.

$100,000 of the donation came as a surprise announcement at the press conference. Weston explained that the additional funds were generated through fines levied against unlicensed contractors.

“Fines don’t go into a black hole. They go into education. So, as an end result, the contributions this year, from the Contractor’s Educational Trust Fund, are $100,000. Next year, the industry will go to the legislator and ask for a $100 fee per license, which will in essence more than likely triple [the donation]. You are doing great work for our industry and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about,” said Weston.


Past financial support from the LLBCM/CETF has gone to upgraded classroom technology, creating an outdoor construction practices lab, and to various endowments and building renovations. Brayton indicated that portions of the new funds will go toward to the construction of a new ‘Don Beech Entry Hall,’ which will display all endowed scholarship recipients from the program.

“I’ve never seen any contractor association that has contributed so much as this institution. We are still moving forward. We have a 2020 plan and we are working on this plan, which includes enrollment. Enrollment is going to be up this fall,” said Brayton.

Berry stated that this was a state-wide effort, that “a lot of people have made this happen.”

“It’s gifts like we’re going to hear about today that provide the energy, excitement and the level of appreciation that our faculty need from industry,” Berry continued. “We certainly also want to thank the contractors who paid the fees that led to this gift today.”

ULM Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Eric Pani, thanked the industry leaders for their continued support of ULM construction management students and faculty.

“This all goes into the students, into the faculty, into the program,” said Pani. “It’s an investment into the future. From the University, from Dr. Bruno, from the Foundation—thank you so much for the work that you do, for the gifts that you provide, and for the input that you give to the program through your contributions in the industry advisory council.”
___

About the School of Construction Management
The School of Construction Management was founded in 1966 and within 10 years the school became the first institution in the country to be accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE)—accreditation that the program continues to maintain today.

The School celebrated its 50th year anniversary in April.


16 2016-07-13
Monroe

ULM alumna serves as law clerk to Attorney General of Arkansas


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - University of Louisiana Monroe alumna Emily Helmick was recently selected to serve as a law clerk to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

Helmick was one of six, top-tier law students in the state of Arkansas chosen for the paid position through a competitive application and interview process. She clerked in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for the Summer Session I, which ran from May 23 to June 30.

“It is a great service-learning opportunity to have this group of law students in our office this summer,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “They are gaining valuable experience from some of the State’s top attorneys, as well as being exposed to the public service sector. Law clerks are a valuable asset to services provided at the Attorney General’s office.”

A second year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, Helmick graduated from ULM in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management and marketing. She is from Peja, Kosovo, and graduated from Prishtina High School in Prishtina, Kosovo in 2011.


While at ULM, Helmick developed a passion for the healthcare field and so working for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unity was the perfect fit for her, she indicated.

“The Medicaid programs in every state are so important to a lot of people and when you have people abusing the system with Medicaid fraud or abusing patients it’s very frustrating,” said Helmick. “These people at the Attorney General’s office step in and try to balance the scales against people who want to take advantage of the sick, the elderly, and the mentally impaired.”

Helmick did her first internship at ULM working with a local medical facility and she said it was that experience, coupled with all her work experience in the healthcare field to date, that really prepared her to work for the Attorney General.

She said one of the main reasons she pursued law school was because of her academic advisor, Dr. Paula Griswold, Association Professor of Health Studies, who suggested law school might be a good fit for her.

“I had a healthcare law class with Dr. Griswold who noticed my interest in the subject, and so she encouraged me to take the LSAT,” Helmick said.

When asked about her future plans, she expressed a keen desire to return to the healthcare field after law school.

“I think the healthcare industry is quickly evolving, and depending on what happens on the political side of things, in the next 20 years we might have a completely different healthcare system than we’ve ever seen. If we’re going to have an effective healthcare system, we need people who understand policies that comply with federal and state laws,” she said.

“I’d like to think that by working in the legal field I might be able to do something to help that move along.”


16 2016-07-07
Monroe

ULM Accounting program ranked nationally on CPA exam passage rate


The University of Louisiana Monroe Accounting program has earned the ranking of no. 28 for first-time passage rate on the CPA exam out of 266 medium-sized university programs across the U.S.

The ranking, published by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), shows that ULM graduates taking the CPA exam during 2015 had a 65.8% passage rate, compared to the overall national passage rate of 48.4%.

ULM is the only university in Louisiana to be listed in the rankings of the top 40 institutions among large, medium, and small institutions as reported by NASBA.

Michelle McEacharn, Director of ULM’s School of Accounting, Financial and Information Services, attributed the success of the program to the students, graduates and faculty.

“The no. 28 ranking provides evidence of what we have known to be true for many years,” said McEacharn. “Our students are hard-working and dedicated, with a true desire to learn and improve themselves. Our graduates are successful and recognized across the region for their commitment to improving the business world and the quality of work they do. And, our faculty are dedicated to providing the foundation that our students and graduates need to further their careers and provide value to the community.”

Ron Berry, Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences, added his congratulations and appreciation.

“The success rate on the CPA exam is a testament to the hard work of our faculty and students,” said Berry. “Congratulations to our new CPAs, and a sincere thanks to Dr. McEacharn and our faculty for their dedication to excellence.”

ULM’s Accounting program is accredited by AACSB-International, the premiere accrediting body for business and accounting programs in the world. The program is one of only a dozen in the world that has earned that accreditation with only an undergraduate program.

Accounting, rated as a five-star in-demand occupation by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, is a profession with diverse career opportunities. Job placement for ULM graduates in accounting is consistently at 100% within three months of graduation.

For more information about the Accounting program, visit ulm.edu/cbss/accounting.


16 2016-07-06
Monroe

ULM loses 'true friend' in Luffey


A legacy built through hard work, loyalty and service to others is what George Luffey achieved in higher education and athletics.

Luffey, a former Board of Regents member and University of Louisiana at Monroe football and baseball coach, died Tuesday. He was 87.

"He was a true friend and supporter of ULM," said the university's president, Nick Bruno.

Luffey was an outstanding athlete at Neville High School where he became the school's first football all-state player in 1945. He went on to have a perfect 22-0 pitching record over three years for the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) baseball team.

Luffey found a home at ULM, where he coached from 1954 through 1965 and produced the school's first baseball conference championship team in 1964. Luffey departed the coaching staff of then Northeast Louisiana State College in 1965, to head a small medical supply business he and his brother John Luffey purchased. He went on to become a member of the athletic Hall of Fame at both ULL and ULM.

The connection to ULM remained strong, and a passion for higher education landed Luffey as the first original member appointed to the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education in Louisiana. He went on to serve in that role for 18 years, including four years as the board's chairman.

"He had a huge heart that believed in education," Bruno said. "We were so pleased to award him with an honorary doctorate a few years ago." ULM bestowed the honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters upon Luffey during its December 2013 commencement ceremony.

Luffey was equally supportive of his hometown of Monroe over the years. In 1967, he became a member of the board of directors for the Monroe Little League and Dixie League baseball program. He also served as chairman of Monroe's recreational board for 17 years and provided leadership in the development of Chennault Park and its public golf course.

Luffey was awarded the St. Francis Medical Center Mother Gertrude Hennessy Humanitarian Award in 1994. He also received the George T. Walker Lifetime Achievement Award from ULM in 2008.

In 1971, Luffey established the George L. “Chip” Luffey Jr. students scholarship in memory of his son, “Chip.” He also established the George L. “Chip” Luffey Endowed Professorship in Kinesiology. Luffey would often reach out to statewide contacts to assist young people attain entrance into medical schools.

"He provided his time and treasure to higher education," Bruno said. "He helped countless students. If he knew of a need, he gladly helped.".

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home in Monroe.
16 2016-07-05
Monroe

ULM to host free junior high band camp


The Junior High School Band Camp, hosted by the University of Louisiana Monroe, remains scheduled for July 11-13.

The camp is sponsored by The Band House and is free to all band students who wish to participate.

The ULM Fine Arts Academy, which was scheduled to run concurrently with the Band Camp, has been cancelled.

For more information on the Band Camp, contact the Band House at 318-512-4823 or ULM's School of Visual and Performing Arts at 318-342-3811.

Junior High Band Camp schedule

Monday, July 11
9 a.m. Registration in ULM Band Building (BB) Lobby

Chair placement, room locations posted in lobby

10 a.m. Full band rehearsal, BB room 100

Noon Lunch in SUB

1 p.m. Electives

-Marching fundamentals – Brown Gym

-Music Appreciation – Bied 129

2 p.m. Full band rehearsal, BB 100

3 p.m. Sectionals – locations posted in BB lobby

4 p.m. Full band rehearsal, BB 100

5 p.m. Dismissal

Tuesday, July 12

9 a.m. Sectionals – locations posted in BB lobby

Band director forum # 1 with Paula Crider

10 a.m. Full band rehearsal, BB room 100

11 a.m. Band director forum # 2 with Paula Crider

Noon Lunch in SUB

1 p.m. Electives

-Marching fundamentals – Brown Gym

-Music Appreciation – Bied 129

2 p.m. Full band rehearsal, BB 100

Band director forum # 3 with Paula Crider

3 p.m. Sectionals – locations posted in BB lobby

4 p.m. Full band rehearsal, BB 100

Band director forum # 4 with Paula Crider

5 p.m. Dismissal

Wednesday, July 13

9 a.m. Sectionals – locations posted in BB lobby

10 a.m. Full band rehearsal, BB room 100

11:30 a.m. Finale Concert, BB room 100

12:30 p.m. Dismissal
16 2016-07-05
Monroe

ULM criminal justice program ranked no. 26 in nation


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice was ranked no. 26 in the nation by CollegeValuesOnline.com.

“The University of Louisiana Monroe’s online criminal justice degree program is one of the oldest in the state and has a proven record of success,” according to the ranking.

The ranking took into account various key factors to ensure that a student gets the best rate of return on their educational investment. The factors in determining the ranking were academic ranking, cost of tuition, and average first-year salary.

Other schools that made the list include Oakland City University (no. 27), Mississippi College (no. 28), Tarleton State University (no. 29), and Fayetteville State University (no. 30).

Not only did ULM receive one of Affordable College Online’s top criminal justice degree rankings in 2015, but it also has a high graduation placement rate post-graduation.

The online criminal justice program provides students with in-depth knowledge of three key areas of the criminal justice system: the police, the courts, and corrections.

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from ULM concentrates on providing students the opportunity to qualify for positions around the nation in the criminal justice field.

ULM is well known for offering a high-quality and low cost education that allows students the option to pursue a degree.

eULM is accredited by the Southern Associate of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, bachelor, masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees.

For more information about the ranking, visit collegevaluesonline.com/rankings/criminal-justice-programs.

For more information about online programs at ULM, visit ulm.edu/onlinedegrees.


16 2016-07-01
Monroe

Steven Pederson returns to ULM as director of athletic bands


Steven Pederson has been appointed Associate Professor of Music at the University of Louisiana Monroe where he will serve as Director of Athletic Bands, including the Sound of Today and Technical Fowls Basketball pep Band.

Pederson comes to ULM from Kentucky Wesleyan College where he served as Director of Bands and Orchestras. In 2015, he received the Kentucky Music Educators Association College/University Teacher of the Year award.

He previously taught at Centre College for eight years where he served as conductor of the orchestra, and was also on the conducting staff for the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras.

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His name might be familiar to some long-time ULM supporters, as Pederson served as Director of Bands and Tenured Associate Professor of Conducting at ULM from 1991-2000.

“Pederson brings a list of distinguishing performances throughout his career as well as an impressive record of recruiting young people to the ensembles he has directed,” said Derle Long, Director of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at ULM. “He is already working hard for ULM, as he is recruiting new students to the band program and getting logistics in line for when the band reports in August.”

During his time at ULM, Pederson directed and coordinated the entire wind program, conducted the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and University Band. He also directed the 220-piece Marching Band, which performed regularly at SEC stadiums throughout the south.

The band program tripled in size under Pederson’s leadership, and the number of all state performers increased dramatically.

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During his tenure at ULM, the bands recorded fifteen CDs of both traditional and contemporary works for the wind band and the marching band.

Pederson received his B.M.E. degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Music Education from Wartburg College in Iowa, and his M.A. degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Iowa. Mr. Pederson has also completed the course work and is a candidate for the D.M.A. degree in Conducting at the University of Kansas.

Pederson and his wife Toni return to Monroe after living in Kentucky for 16 years.


16 2016-06-30
Monroe

UPDATE: Wickstrom, ULM negotiating contract extension


ULM athletic director Brian Wickstrom has plenty on his plate this summer — from fundraising for various projects to the long-awaited unveiling of the end zone football facility at Malone Stadium.

His current contract status won't be one of them.

Wickstrom and ULM are negotiating a 12-month extension that will keep him at the university thru June 2017, pending approval from the Louisiana Board of Supervisors. His current contract expires on June 30.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress over my time at ULM and we’re in a position for a great future with great things to come," Wickstrom said. "Since I've been here, we've improved the student-athlete experience along with the operating budget and our facilities each year."


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While salary details in the extension have not been disclosed, Wickstrom's current contract pays him $145,000 annually along with a $50,000 per-year payment from the ULM Athletic Foundation.

ULM hired Wickstrom in the summer of 2013 from UC-Riverside, where he spent two years as athletic director. Wickstrom worked in the athletic departments at UTEP, Michigan, Santa Clara and Missouri prior to UC-Riverside.

“Overall, Brian’s three years, while not having been totally smooth, he’s worked through them and I think had a successful tenure. I'm pleased with the way the organization is working right now," ULM President Nick Bruno said. "I also know Brian has been very honest that he keeps his options open to other opportunities as they present themselves but that’s not unusual at any level.

“Brian said when we got here that he one day saw himself in a Power-Five school and I’d like to see that happen for him.”

Wickstrom applied for the vacant athletic director position at the University of Akron last August but removed himself from consideration. His name also surfaced for the same job at Tulane last November.

Bruno hired Millsaps College athletic director Josh Brooks as a special assistant that same month, days after then-football coach Todd Berry was fired. Brooks previously worked as a graduate assistant and director of football operations at ULM in the early 2000s and also served as assistant athletic director for internal operations at Georgia.

Brooks has since taken over the position of deputy athletic director from Kevin Price, who was part of a mass exodus from the department over the past year that included associate athletic director for external operations Brendan Hoffer, associate athletic director for business operations Bryant Carter and Hoffer’s successor, Richard Duran.

“Josh and I have been able to work well together in a short amount of time and I think we have similar styles,” Wickstrom said. “He’s really done a good job handling all the internal stuff and we complement each other well I think.”


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ULM has increased its athletic fundraising in each of Wickstrom’s three years as athletic director while making several facility upgrades that include new field turf at Malone Stadium and the James Mock Hitting Facility adjacent to Warhawk Field.

Working with the smallest athletic budget of any FBS school, Wickstrom spearheaded a fundraising effort that resulted in an 11,750-square foot end zone facility that is set to open in July.

The money to construct the $4.1 million facility all came from private funds.

Wickstrom was also instrumental in helping ULM men’s basketball receive invites to the CBI and CIT postseason basketball tournaments over the past two seasons. The men's basketball program also won the Sun Belt Conference Academic Award for three-straight seasons while the cumulative GPA of all student-athletes has increased each year.

The ULM Athletic Foundation is currently involved in ongoing litigation with the Aspire Group, a third-party ticketing firm, over a dispute of $500,000 the foundation alleges is owed from the guarantee agreement between the two parties. Wickstrom was contacted by Aspire and entered into an agreement with the company to handle ULM's athletic ticketing shortly after he was hired as athletic director.

"There’s no doubt that his legacy is going to be that end zone facility,” Bruno said. “He got us into two postseason basketball tournaments that, quite frankly, I don’t even know that we would have pursued prior to him coming.

“Over the last six months he and Josh (Brooks) have formed quite a team and things are working much better.”


16 2016-06-29
Monroe

General Robin Rand to speak at ULM


The University of Louisiana at Monroe and Chennault Aviation and Military Museum will host General Robin Rand on July 16. He will speak in Brown Auditorium on the campus of ULM at noon.


General Rand is a major part of Louisiana’s military force. He is a command pilot with over 5,000 flying hours, including more than 470 combat hours. He will be discussing his current command post and giving the audience a glimpse into the military life of an Air Force General.

Currently General Rand is the commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base. He is responsible for organizing, training, equipping all U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile and bomber forces. The command comprises of more than 31,000 professionals operating at nine wings.

General Rand was commissioned in 1979 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. General Rand's previous commands include the 36th Fighter Squadron, USAF Weapons School, 8th Fighter Wing, 56th Fighter Wing, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base, Iraq, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), and prior to this assignment, Air Education and Training Command.

For parking information, contact ULM police at 318-342-5350


16 2016-06-29
Monroe

ULM President's Academy draws to a close


MONROE, La. --

The President’s Academy at the University of Louisiana Monroe concluded its fifth year as a premier academic and career exploration camp for high-performing academic students.

The President’s Academy partners with regional employers to give students a real-world experience in their chosen career path. Career paths include law, computer science, medical science, and physical science.

"It has always been my intent to bring the best and the brightest to Monroe to work with our business partners and to see what our region has to offer,” said ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno. “We are interested in making sure that high school students will be exposed to careers through hands on experiences.”

Companies participating in the academy were CenturyLink, University Health Conway, St. Francis Medical Center, P&S Surgical, Escamilla and Poneck LLP, ANGUS Chemical Company, and Ouachita Council on Aging.

On campus, students were given a well-rounded college experience in course lessons and lectures, with lab experiments to accompany what they learned in the classroom.

Along with attending multiple lessons, students take their in-class and externship experience, and are divided into “X-Teams” to develop a solution and action plan to combat a fictional pandemic, which is presented to them at the beginning of the academy.

Students use their knowledge to create a solution to their project, and then present to a panel of judges on the final day of the academy.

The winning presentation group receives a scholarship that is applied to their upcoming semester at the university.

Students receive a one-hour college credit from attending the academy.

This year’s academy welcomed 56 students from the Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Arkansas areas.

“We hope the President’s Academy helps students cement their career decision,” Bruno said. “I want to encourage the students to continue the great work they have already done.”



President’s Academy Participants:

Jay Butler, Kyla Mccall, Logan Nunnery, Emma Orman, Mathew Ferris, Margaret Britton, Jenna Patterson, Trey Simpson, Taylor Moses, Aaron Wilson, Evan Herbert, Abigail Gardner, Nishiana Heard, Connor Casadaban, Nicholas Peno, Jude Aguillard, McKenna Kicey, Alexandra Holliday, Laine Keel, Lauryn Smith, Meghan Patton, Nathaniel McDavid, Megan Guilbeau, Hannah Sullivan, Daven Sipe, Benjamin Allen, Nicholas Saccaro, Kashalai Crockett, Logan Kitelinger, Kallia Cooper, Kristen Clement, Presley White, Michael Villordon, Laken Hancock, Caroline Moeller, Tucker McCann, Quinn Gordon, Bas Hollingsworth, Cleveland Lavalais, Jenny Bond, River Gordon, Sophia Thomasson, Mac Duncan, Shannon Johnson, Alden McCollum, Gerson Uriarte, Chloe Nelson, Derilyn Flanagan, Emma Simpson, Henry Nguyen, Keonna Breux, Lauren Ducote, Trenton Solieau, Krystn Bondad, Savannah Wise, Mathew Christian, Keira Johnson, Paige Sheffield, and Laysen Landrum.


16 2016-06-28
Monroe

ULM professors conduct training on dementia for local law enforcement


First responders across the U.S. are becoming increasingly aware of the challenges they face when interacting with patients suffering from dementia. Two professors at the University of Louisiana Monroe are making sure that first responders in northeast Louisiana are equipped with the proper training to make those interactions the most effective.

Dr. Karen Kopera-Frye, Biedenharn Endowed Chair and Professor in Gerontology, and Dr. Attapol Kuanliang, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, conducted a one-day training for multijurisdictional public safety units on June 22, 2016 at ULM's Campus Police building in Filhiol Hall.

The training is part of a U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance federal grant awarded to Co-PIs Kopera-Frye and Kuanliang entitled, “Project Found: Fostering Officer and University Networking for Dementia.”

Over 35 deputies, officers, EMS staff, and other agents from across northeast Louisiana attended the training.

The purpose of this federal grant is two-fold: 1) to train law enforcement and first responders on how to interact with elders they may come across wandering from dementia; and 2) to enroll loved ones suffering from dementia with Medic-Alert type free bracelets so they can be returned home quickly and safely.

The training, developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), involved sharing information about Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), communication strategies for public safety when encountering an elder suffering from AD, search and rescue strategies to find a missing elder with AD, and community resources to aid public safety endeavors.

The training involved a ‘train-the-trainer’ approach so that public safety attendees can share learned information with their agency staff.

“We had an overwhelming response and had to turn away individuals, but we will conduct training in early August to meet this need,” Kopera-Frye noted. “Dr. Kuanling and I are pleased at the response to this very important project and training in our community. It reflects the ever-increasing prevalence of AD among our community elders and the appetite for education about this issue among first responders in our community.”

Kopera-Frye and Kuanliang expressed their appreciation to the ULM Police Department for use of the facilities and ULM Police Director Tom Torregrossa and Assistant Director Mark Johnson for working with them on this important project.
16 2016-06-27
Monroe

Bry Sculpture Garden: The art of outdoor art


The University of Louisiana at Monroe is home to nationally recognized degree programs, champion sports teams, great crawfish boils, and art.

The Sculpture Garden was established in 2005 and hosts works from artists who are selected from a national call by committee. The garden is an outdoor exhibition area that forms a symbiotic relationship between art and nature. Louisianans are proud of our connection to the outdoors and the sculpture garden expresses that sentiment.

Bry Sculpture Garden offers new art work beginning in August with works on display for a two-year period. Six pieces are currently on display and include Quilts and Sheets – Aluminum by Greely Myatt, Everything – Steel by Nathan Pierce, Home – Bronze by Michael Warrick, Adrift – Steel by Durrant Thompson, Fisherman’s Wharf – Bronze by Gregory Johnson, and Cytokinesis – Steel by Aaron Hussey.

The garden is located in a triangular space in between Brown Hall, the band building, and Biedenharn Hall. There is no admission fee to view artists’ work and the garden is accessible to the public seven days a week. There is lighting so that the sculptures can be enjoyed at night. Social media for the sculpture garden is coming soon.
16 2016-06-27
Monroe

ULM receives national ranking for "best value online programs"


CollegeStart.org–an online resource for campus and online education–has ranked the University of Louisiana Monroe’s online platform, eULM, as one of the “Best Value Online Programs” in the nation, and no. 1 in the state.

“It’s (ULM) the top university in Louisiana and offers students an array of degree programs starting from associate to doctorate levels,” according to the ranking.

Other universities that made the list include the University of Auburn, University of Connecticut, Kansas State University, and Mississippi College.

The accredited online universities were selected based on the following criteria: graduation rate, cost, acceptance rate, enrollment rate, retention rate, student to faculty ratio, percentage of students receiving financial aid, and loan default rate.

eULM’s General Studies associate degree program prepares students for necessary careers in banking, sales, customer service, and clerical work.

Other online degrees are offered through the departments of Health Sciences, Education, Business, Humanities, and Behavioral Sciences.

Prospective students may pursue other programs such as Elementary Education, MA in teaching, Radiologic Technology, Dental Hygiene, Criminal Justice, and more. Doctoral programs in Education and Marriage and Family Therapy are also available for advanced students.

ULM is a high quality school with a low cost education. Being recognized on a national level for its affordability and its post-graduation success only enforces the growth of the university in the upcoming years.

Students seeking an online degree in fields offered are encouraged to apply.

For more information about the ranking, visit https://www.collegestart.org/rankings.

For more information about online programs at ULM and the application process, visit http://ulm.edu/onlinedegrees/.


16 2016-06-27
Monroe

UPDATE: Transition plan due next week for GSU


FRIDAY UPDATE: A spokeswoman with the University of Louisiana System says they'll a transition plan will be out next week regarding Grambling State University.

Dr. Willie Larkin announced his resignation. Cami Geisman, with the UL System, says Dr. Larkin is in place through June 30

She tells KTAL NBC 6/KMSS Fox 33 they are optimistic they'll find good leadership for GSU.

Geisman calls Grambling one of the most important HBCU's in the country and believes a strong leader will be found to take Grambling into the future.

--------------------------
The 9th president of Grambling State University is stepping down.

Following a board of supervisors meeting for the University of Louisiana system. Dr. Willie Larkin announced his resignation.

Larkin's resignation comes after months of university push back. Including a vote of no confidence from students and staff.

Larkin first took office at Grambling in June of 2015.

Since then he's dealt with low enrollment numbers and perpetual threats of budget cuts.

Larkin says "I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve here as the president of this wonderful university. Grambling University will succeed and it will survive."

Grambling State University faculty senate felt the university was headed in the wrong direction and made that vote of no-confidence.

Larkin says he's confident Grambling will have a bright future and also urges the importance of support
16 2016-06-24
Monroe

ULM President’s Academy students are heart electricians at P&S Surgical Hospital


Visiting high school students learned how to map the human heart, treat heart arrhythmia, and even understand the importance of following their own hearts recently at P&S Surgical Hospital.
Alvaro Manrique Garcia, M.D., a board certified cardiac electrophysiologist who specializes in the electrical system of the heart, encouraged the visiting high school students to “follow their hearts” when choosing a medical profession.
“Choose this profession because you love it, because you want to make people feel better. It’s so important to follow your heart when deciding what to do with your life.”
The 10 junior and senior high school students from Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi visited P&S Surgical Hospital’s Cardiac and Peripheral-Vascular Laboratories as part of the University of Louisiana at Monroe President’s Academy, a preparatory program for high-ability junior and senior high school students.
The young scholars—all of whom are interested in pursuing a medical profession—imagined their futures today when they performed simulated cardiac ablations on chicken breast tissue. A cardiac ablation, which is performed on adult patients of all ages, has the ability to transform a patient’s quality of life by eradicating areas in the heart that are producing abnormal electrical impulses and causing heart arrhythmia.
The students utilized three dimensional cardiac mapping, just as an electrophysiologist would do to capture a clear picture of the heart’s inner workings. The students also learned to locate where the irregular rhythm occurred and cauterize the particular cell causing the arrhythmia.
One such student was Kyla Mccall of Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Today’s hands-on experience, combined with Manrique’s words, solidified her future career choices, she said.
“When I was six years old, I found out that I had a heart murmur, so I’ve been in and out of cardiology offices. Dr. Manrique talked to us today about his specialty, and he really made me fall in love with it,” she said. “I didn’t know what field to go into, but I think he just convinced me to study cardiology.”
To put it simply, an electrophysiologist is an “electrician of the heart.” This type of cardiologist focuses on heart rhythm disorders, which can produce symptoms such as palpitations, light-headedness, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, and in extreme cases, collapse and sudden cardiac arrest.
Manrique, the son of two physicians, knew he wanted to be an electrophysiologist when he realized how the specialty could transform lives. He moved from Peru to the United States in 2004, and began working at P&S a year ago.
“I love electrophysiology because you can instantly determine what is wrong with a patient and permanently fix that problem through a minimally invasive procedure,” he said. “We have had several patients with heart arrhythmia, and they were limited physically. They would get very tired and very fatigued. After the ablations, their energy levels returned to normal, and they were able to do things they were not able to do before.”
P&S Surgical Hospital CEO Linda S. Holyfield said she appreciated the chance to host the PA students. Holyfield, a ULM nursing graduate, has been inviting ULM interns to work at P&S Surgical Hospital for many years. “Hands on education” is so important, she said.
“We welcome the opportunity to educate high school students about potential careers in healthcare. Electrophysiology is a great example of the innovation they can anticipate in their own professions. It’s so important to encourage our children to imagine the possibilities.”
President’s Academy Students at P&S

Jenny Bond, Cabot High School, Austin, Arkansas
James Butler, Corinth High School, Corinth, Mississippi
Kristen Clement, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy, Terrytown, Louisiana
Lauren Ducote, Mandeville High School, Mandeville, Louisiana
River Gordon, Northwest Rankin High School, Brandon, Mississippi
Evan Hebert, Kaplan High School, Kaplan, Louisiana
Laine Keel, George County High School, Lucedale, Mississippi
Kyla Mccall, Oak Grove High School, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Emma Orman, Magnolia Heights School, Olive Branch, Mississippi
Lauryn Smith, Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, Meridian, Mississippi
16 2016-06-23
Monroe

Study abroad program takes ULM students to Costa Rica


Nineteen students and two faculty members at the University of Louisiana Monroe recently took a two-week trip to San Jose, Costa Rica to enhance their Spanish language skills and learn about the culture.

Students attended language classes at the Instituto Profesional de Estudiantes Extranjeros (IPEE), for which they gained academic credit from hours invested in the program.

“The experience in the classroom was very rewarding. The teachers at IPEE were so kind and patient with us even though they spoke little English,” said ULM biology major Grant Gallien.

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At least one Spanish course was required before students could become eligible to study in Costa Rica. Prior to their trip, all students participated in five orientation sessions designed to introduce the culture of Costa Rica and the impact of culture shock.

Outside of the classroom, students participated in a number of excursions to the rainforest, an active volcano, insectariums, and other natural exhibits. These excursions helped students experience Costa Rica’s support for preserving natural habitats.

“It was a great learning experience to see the diversity and difference between the plant and animal life of the U.S. and Costa Rica. One of the things I was in awe by is the brilliant and vibrant colors of the different flowers the area had to offer,” said ULM biology major, Jasmine Nguyen.

They also experienced the locals' passion for soccer and strengthened their language abilities through conversations over meals with the local families that hosted them.

“My host family was very welcoming, and staying with them was a great way to learn about the local way of life and get some experience of the local culture,” said Nguyen.

For more information visit ulm.edu/studyabroad/spanish or contact Dr. Ruth Smith at rusmith@ulm.edu.


16 2016-06-23
Monroe

Summer Arts Camps at ULM Boost Future Talent


With summer in full swing, many parents are trying to keep education a priority for their children during these months before school returns.

The University of Louisiana Monroe's School Visual and Performing Arts hosts several camps designed to encourage students to continue their pursuit of art as well as academics. With many camps focusing on STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Director of VAPA Derle Long says there is a great need to emphasize the importance of arts education as well.

"What we try and do is offer camps on the artistic side of things - the humanistic, creative approach," explains Long.

With camps already in full swing, VAPA holds a junior high band camp July 11-13. Students will have a chance to work with university students and staff to sharpen their skills and hone their craft. This camp is being sponsored by the Band House, and is therefore free to students.

The week of August 1-5 VAPA hosts an Art Camp for ages 8-16. Students will have an opportunity to explore a variety of different styles and media. From drawing, painting, ceramics, and sculpture, this camp is designed to expose students to a wide variety of styles and ways of creating art.

"We're trying to make sure that we advocate all the time for the arts - not just music, but the visual arts, dance, and theater," says Long. "That's part of our mission to reach out to this area with the resources we have here, and make sure that people know that the arts has to be a part of your life every single day."

More information about the VAPA summer camps is available at 318-342-3811 or the VAPA website.


16 2016-06-23
Monroe

ULM President’s Academy students are heart electricians at P&S Surgical Hospital


MONROE, La (P&S Surgical Hospital News Release) - Visiting high school students to the P&S Surgical Hospital learned how to map the human heart, treat heart arrhythmia, and even understand the importance of following their own hearts.

Alvaro Manrique Garcia, M.D., a board certified cardiac electrophysiologist who specializes in the electrical system of the heart, encouraged the visiting high school students to “follow their hearts” when choosing a medical profession.

“Choose this profession because you love it, because you want to make people feel better. It’s so important to follow your heart when deciding what to do with your life.”

The 10 junior and senior high school students from Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi visited P&S Surgical Hospital’s Cardiac and Peripheral-Vascular Laboratories as part of the University of Louisiana at Monroe President’s Academy, a preparatory program for high-ability junior and senior high school students.

The young scholars—all of whom are interested in pursuing a medical profession—imagined their futures today when they performed simulated cardiac ablations on chicken breast tissue. A cardiac ablation, which is performed on adult patients of all ages, has the ability to transform a patient’s quality of life by eradicating areas in the heart that are producing abnormal electrical impulses and causing heart arrhythmia.


The students utilized three dimensional cardiac mapping, just as an electrophysiologist would do to capture a clear picture of the heart’s inner workings. The students also learned to locate where the irregular rhythm occurred and cauterize the particular cell causing the arrhythmia.

One such student was Kyla Mccall of Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Today’s hands-on experience, combined with Manrique’s words, solidified her future career choices, she said.

“When I was six years old, I found out that I had a heart murmur, so I’ve been in and out of cardiology offices. Dr. Manrique talked to us today about his specialty, and he really made me fall in love with it,” she said. “I didn’t know what field to go into, but I think he just convinced me to study cardiology.”

To put it simply, an electrophysiologist is an “electrician of the heart.” This type of cardiologist focuses on heart rhythm disorders, which can produce symptoms such as palpitations, light-headedness, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, and in extreme cases, collapse and sudden cardiac arrest.

Manrique, the son of two physicians, knew he wanted to be an electrophysiologist when he realized how the specialty could transform lives. He moved from Peru to the United States in 2004, and began working at P&S a year ago.

“I love electrophysiology because you can instantly determine what is wrong with a patient and permanently fix that problem through a minimally invasive procedure,” he said. “We have had several patients with heart arrhythmia, and they were limited physically. They would get very tired and very fatigued. After the ablations, their energy levels returned to normal, and they were able to do things they were not able to do before.”

P&S Surgical Hospital CEO Linda S. Holyfield said she appreciated the chance to host the PA students. Holyfield, a ULM nursing graduate, has been inviting ULM interns to work at P&S Surgical Hospital for many years. “Hands on education” is so important, she said.

“We welcome the opportunity to educate high school students about potential careers in healthcare. Electrophysiology is a great example of the innovation they can anticipate in their own professions. It’s so important to encourage our children to imagine the possibilities.”
___

President’s Academy Students at P&S

Jenny Bond, Cabot High School, Austin, Arkansas
James Butler, Corinth High School, Corinth, Mississippi
Kristen Clement, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy, Terrytown, Louisiana
Lauren Ducote, Mandeville High School, Mandeville, Louisiana
River Gordon, Northwest Rankin High School, Brandon, Mississippi
Evan Hebert, Kaplan High School, Kaplan, Louisiana
Laine Keel, George County High School, Lucedale, Mississippi
Kyla Mccall, Oak Grove High School, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Emma Orman, Magnolia Heights School, Olive Branch, Mississippi
Lauryn Smith, Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, Meridian, Mississippi
___

P&S Surgical Hospital is a joint venture among physician specialists and St. Francis Medical Center.


16 2016-06-22
Monroe

ULM police department acquires two new Segway® vehicles


MONROE, La. (ULM Press Release) --

Police officers at the University of Louisiana Monroe have a new way of getting around campus, thanks to the acquisition of two new battery-powered personal transporters (PT).

Known as the SE-3 Patroller by Segway®, the company’s largest security and first three-wheel PT, the vehicle is equipped with an integrated lighting system, rear wheel drive, and 12v power outlet for charging equipment.

“These new vehicles are part of our continuing effort to enhance police presence on our campus,” said ULM PD Director Tom Torregrossa. “We want students to know we are here, and so it is our hope that the Segway® PTs will serve to build closer officer-student relationships.”

All ULM police officers will be eligible to operate the new PTs after completing a 45-minute training course.

The PTs will be used for special events, sporting events, routine patrol, directed patrols (areas where there is a specific need for officers to deal with certain situations), building checks, parking-lot and night patrols.

“So far, we have had extremely positive feedback from students, and during last week’s PREP session, numerous parents also expressed both positive feedback and gratitude,” said Torregrossa.

The new PTs have officially been put into operation as of this week.

“Mobility and visibility are our goals. If you see us on campus, come talk to us,” said Torregrossa.
16 2016-06-17
Monroe

ULM scores 100 percent on 2016 GRAD Act report


The University of Louisiana Monroe passed the 2016 GRAD Act performance accountability process and related legislative data audit with no negative findings.

The GRAD Act was approved by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal in June 2010. As a result, the Board of Regents entered into six-year performance agreements with each of the participating institutions. In the agreements, the institution commits to meeting specific performance objectives in exchange for increased tuition authority and eligibility to participate in certain autonomies.

Additionally, according to the report published by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor last week, ULM’s preparation of data used to compile the annual GRAD Act report was found to be “sufficiently reliable” on the basis of a combination of assessments, sample testing, and other criteria.

“I am very pleased to see that all nine of our campuses prepared data that was sufficiently reliable, and have no additional comments,” University of Louisiana System Interim President Dan Reneau said in a letter addressed to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.

This marks the final GRAD Act report per the six-year agreement, which was put into place just as ULM president Dr. Nick. J. Bruno came into office six years ago. Since then, ULM has successfully increased retention, graduation, and applicable licensing rates according to the targets set at the outset of the program.

“We have worked hard to increase the success of our students and enhance the overall growth of our university,” said Bruno. “It’s not easy to move numbers related to retention and graduation, but we have made concerted efforts to do just that over the last six years.”

Complete past reports are available from the Louisiana Board of Regents regents.la.gov/page/grad-act.
16 2016-06-15
Monroe

ULM radar gets FCC approval


The FCC approved a frequency for the Doppler Weather Radar at the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Tuesday.

Eric Pani, ULM vice president of academic affairs, said the approval process took about four months and faced delays because there were concerns that the proposed radio frequency could interfere with a radar in Slidell or an FAA tower in Monroe. The FCC assigned a different frequency than the one proposed.

According to university officials, the next step will be for Enterprise Electronics Corporation — the company hired to manufacture and erect the radar — to send a technician to adjust the radar frequency and to install a filter to keep that frequency within tolerance. It could be operational by mid-July.

"This process has been very complicated, and we want to thank Congressman Ralph Abraham for the help he and his staff provided in routing the paperwork through the necessary federal agencies," Pani said. "Everyone agreed that radar data will help protect northeast Louisiana residents, so there was a desire to expedite the approval."


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Pani said Abraham's office helped ensure that federal agencies communicated with each other about the process and kept the paperwork moving.

Monroe lies between NOAA weather radars in Shreveport and Jackson, Mississippi. Monroe, Pani said, is just within the effective range for both. Having a radar here, he said, will make a tremendous difference regarding the amount of information available locally.

“It was important to me that we do whatever we could to help ULM activate this radar because it is going to give Northeast Louisiana more weather data, data that will save lives during tornadoes and other storms. I’m glad to see that this radar will finally become a reality,” Abraham said.


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Pani said the university is contractually obligated to share with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and plans to work on relationships to share the information locally.

From an academic standpoint, Pani said he doesn't know of another undergraduate meteorology program with similar technology. He said being able to train students in real time will give them an opportunity to think on the fly that can't be replicated with a simulation. He thinks this opportunity will draw more students to the university's meteorology program.

"We've been working on this for 20 years," he said.

About ULM’s Doppler weather radar

In 2012, ULM was awarded a $3 million grant through GOSHEP to acquire a Doppler weather radar.

The ULM weather radar is a scanning polarimetric Doppler radar operating at S-band with a beam width of 0.95°. In addition to being an education and research tool for the Department of Atmospheric Science, the radar will fill a low-level NEXRAD coverage gap over northeastern Louisiana and southeastern Arkansas.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe contributed to this report.

Follow Bonnie Bolden on Twitter @Bonnie_Bolden_ and on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1RtsEEP.
16 2016-06-15
New Orleans

St. Tammany college notes for June 15, 2016


UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT MONROE: Meredith Scelfo, of Covington, a 2012 graduate of Mandeville High School, has been honored as the Outstanding Graduate in Construction Management by the College of Business and Social Sciences at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in December 2015 and is a field engineer with DeAngelis Diamond Construction in the health care division.


16 2016-06-14
Monroe

Inspired to inspire: local artist, ULM instructor uniting the Twin Cities


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - As a young girl, Brooke Foy would watch her father, a contractor and builder, create things with his own hands.

The banging of a hammer, the shrill whine of a power tool, and the rapid movement of a saw were all familiar sounds.

Her father’s tools soon became instruments of her own mind, as she developed a passion to create things for herself.

Today, she is uniting the Twin Cities through her works of art and infectious passion for life.

A native of West Monroe, Foy attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to play soccer and major in architecture.

But she had a change of heart.

“I completed just enough art classes to realize that architecture had too many rules and restrictions,” said Foy. “I loved to make, take photos, and use power tools.”

Foy made the decision to transfer to the University of Louisiana Monroe to major in art. After graduating from ULM with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, she then moved to Memphis, Tenn. to attend the University of Memphis, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture just three years later.

After brief stints in Memphis and Austin, TX, she made her way back to northeast Louisiana, where she accepted a position to teach art in ULM’s School of Visual and Performing Arts.

“We are very proud to have Brooke on our faculty,” said Lisa Miller, ULM Assistant Vice President of Marketing, Recruitment and Communication. “She is full of life, passionate about teaching, and incredibly talented as an artist—traits that make her stand out both on campus and within the community.”

At ULM, Foy teaches all of the art history, art appreciation, and studio ‘3D’ classes (sculpture and 3D). The students, she says, are what make ULM such a great place to teach.

“Teaching at ULM has been the best experience for me,” she said. “It is my first full time position and I could not be happier to be here teaching such a wonderful group of students.”

Her drive, passion for teaching, and enthusiasm in the classroom make her a campus favorite.

“Brooke definitely makes learning fun,” said Heather Nicole Ramsey, a senior Art major from West Monroe. “As an artist, Brooke is very inspiring. As an art instructor, she is constantly coming up with new and exciting ways to get her students to learn.”

Since coming back to the Monroe area, Foy has had a heartfelt desire to see the cities of Monroe and West Monroe come together.

“I have a vision for our community. I am trying to help others see the beauty in all things and to know what it means to be united,” she said.

Many locals see the Ouachita River as the “great divider” between Monroe and West Monroe, but Foy wants to change this perception.

“We don’t need a divide; we need bridges,” she said.

A year ago, she started a local art company called ARROW Public Art, which stands for “Artists Radically Reinventing Our World.” The main focus of ARROW is to bring together ideas and to establish partnerships within the community in an effort to unite the Twin Cities.

One of the recent projects of ARROW is the creation of a 20-foot street medallion in the middle of Antique Alley in downtown West Monroe. This medallion, which depicts a steamboat and cotton around the words “Historic West Monroe,” was the brainchild of the Downtown West Monroe Revitalization Group, whose mission is “to further the common good and general welfare of the people who frequent Downtown West Monroe and for bringing back civic betterment and social improvements,” according to the group’s website.

“Brooke is a go-getter,” said Alana Cooper, President and CEO of the Monroe and West Monroe Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “She is the conduit that connects both cities together through her art. Her projects, like the medallion project, are helping to revitalize both downtown districts and to bring together schools, families, and businesses.”

Foy has also coordinated the painting of murals, public art projects, facilitated a gallery in downtown Monroe and a community garden, run art camps for kids, and much more. One of her highlighted projects from last year was "The One Mile of Love" project, where she and a team of artists repainted the Trenton Street levee wall with 270 drawings.

And her work is not going unnoticed.

On March 1, she was awarded the “Rising Professional Award” for her creative leadership at ULM’s inaugural Women’s Symposium. Three days later, she was awarded the Edmund Williamson Artist of the Year Award at the 31st Annual Artworks Awards of the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council.

According to Foy, she has no intention of slowing down.

“I love taking on new projects, coming up with new ideas, and collaborating with like-minded people and groups who share my vision,” she said.

One of her upcoming projects includes the restoration of four Coca-Cola “ghost” murals in Monroe and West Monroe. “There are two in Monroe and two in West Monroe, and my focus will be on cleaning them and repainting them back to their original, bright colors,” said Foy.

She also has plans to spice up ULM’s campus with artworks similar to what she’s doing in the community, including a street medallion. One unique project has already been realized. In April, Foy publicly unveiled a new turtle sculpture that will reside in Bayou Park. The sculpture highlights the many different turtle species that live right on campus in the beautiful Bayou DeSiard.

“I want people to realize that we need art,” Foy said. “We need to bring some vibrancy to our community. The little things make a difference. People cannot even imagine the impact until it’s done.

One might say there is a little taste of art in all of us.

For Foy, the sky is the limit.


16 2016-06-10
Monroe

Monroe native to intern at LIVESTRONG


LIVESTRONG has selected Ashley Day of Monroe to serve as a 2016 summer intern.

Day, daughter of Jason and Krista Day, is a Neville High School graduate and a senior at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology along with a minor in business.

As a public relations and development intern she will be assisting with creating business development opportunities, donor stewardship, external communications, media relations and Team LIVESTRONG recruitment tactics.

LIVESTRONG offers non‐paid internships to students and recent graduates interested in gaining experience in a nonprofit setting. The summer intern class consists of interns from across the country. Interns work directly with an employee at LIVESTRONG in the following areas: shared services, development and fundraising, programs, government relations and external affairs, and marketing.


Interested applicants should complete an intern application at www.LIVESTRONG.org. Applications for fall internships are currently being accepted. The deadline for the fall semester is Aug. 19, 2016.
16 2016-06-10
Monroe

Warhawk spirit soars in PREP competition


Incoming students at the University of Louisiana at Monroe participated in the PREP Spirit Competition Thursday at Scott Plaza on campus.

Sixteen groups were paired into eight teams that were led by student PREP staff. The teams competed against one another for the best ULM song or chant. Scholar students attending ULM this fall are participating in the first orientation session that began Wednesday.
16 2016-06-09
Monroe

ULM sends six contestants to 2016 Miss Louisiana Pageant


The University of Louisiana Monroe will send six contestants to the 53rd Annual Miss Louisiana Pageant in Monroe on June 23-25 at the Monroe Civic Center’s W.L. Jack Howard Theater.

The six ULM contestants are:

· Sarah Torregrossa
· Samantha Vaughn
· Jo’ Hilliard
· J’lyn Henderson
· Baylea Huffman
· Christina Gray

ULM is no stranger to Miss Louisiana. For the last 12 years, the university has hosted the contestants for the Miss Louisiana Pageant. Providing housing accommodations, rehearsal space, dining options and a short commute to Monroe’s Jack Howard Theater, ULM has become the hub for all things Miss Louisiana.

On June 19, ULM will welcome all 32 contestants and the Miss Louisiana Organization to its campus.

Among the contestants representing ULM is Sarah Torregrossa, the 2016 Miss University of Louisiana Monroe.

“Being crowned Miss ULM was a dream come true for me, but it was just the beginning,” said Torregrossa. “I have dedicated my entire adult life to becoming Miss Louisiana and have diligently prepared for the responsibilities that come with the crown. I am very much looking forward to this pageant.”

The Miss ULM Pageant is a preliminary to the Miss Louisiana Pageant and is sponsored by ULM’s Campus Activities Board and Student Government Association. As the winner of the 2016 Miss ULM Pageant, Torregrossa is automatically qualified to compete in the 2016 Miss Louisiana Pageant.

Miss ULM is a serious commitment, according to Laura Jennings, ULM’s Director of Student Life and Leadership. “We consider this to be a job. Miss ULM is the ambassador for the university. Sarah [Torregrossa] has already made 50 appearances throughout the year, and a lot of people don’t realize how much preparation actually goes into it.”

Jennings has seen all six ULM contestants compete over the years. “Just watching them grow and mature over time has been a wonderful experience,” she expressed.

ULM is a corporate (“diamond”) sponsor for the Miss Louisiana Pageant and it also hosts all the meetings leading up to the main event. “At these meetings, the contestants turn in all their paperwork for competition, submit ads for the program book, take headshots, and go through what pageant week is going to be like,” said Jennings.

The winner of the state pageant is guaranteed a spot in the 2016 Miss America Pageant, to be held in Atlantic City, N.J. in early September.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Miss Louisiana Organization,” said Lisa Miller, ULM Assistant Vice President of Marketing, Recruitment and Communication.

“This is an exciting time for these six young ladies and for our university, which they so proudly represent. We wish them all the best.”
16 2016-06-08
Monroe

ULM online psychology program nationally ranked


MONROE, La (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe’s online bachelor’s program in psychology was ranked no. 27 in the nation by CollegeSource.net

The online psychology program provides students with a strong and diverse representation of the field of psychology.

A Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from ULM focuses on providing a multifaceted and diverse overview of the field of psychology. Students who complete this program will be equipped for graduate school or immediate field work.

The site ranking took into account several key factors to ensure that the student gets the best rate of return on your educational investment. The factors in determining the ranking were academic ranking, cost of tuition, and average first-year salary.

Other schools that made the list include the University of North Dakota (no. 31), University of Central Florida (no. 35), Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (no. 38), and Cleveland State University (no. 41).

ULM is well known for offering affordable education that provides prospective students the opportunities to pursue a college degree. In recent years, the online division, eULM, has become widely known across the nation not only for its low-cost but also for the quality of degrees offered.

“I am very pleased that the quality of ULM’s online programs has resulted in a high national ranking, and that the university continues to garner recognition,” said Dr. Eric Pani, vice president for academic affairs.

eULM is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees.
16 2016-06-06
Monroe

ULM Honors Program preparing students for success


MONROE, La (ULM) - So many faces, so many families, came together at ULM’s graduation commencement. Many students were singled out for special recognition during the ceremony for not taking the traditional route to graduation.

A designated number of these graduates dress in more than just a black, floor-length robe; they add on colored cords as an embellishment in honor of exceeding the status quo. To the honors graduates, walking across the stage means more than obtaining a degree.

Since its inception in 2006, the Honors Program at ULM has grown from 30 students to currently more than 100 students. The success of the program is due to the academic offerings and wide range of benefits.

Some of the benefits include early registration for classes, close contact with faculty, scholarships to study abroad, research opportunities, exciting extra-curricular activities, and smaller classes.

The Honors Program is designed to enrich students’ educational experience with lessons of leadership, scholarship, and creativity.

“Participation in the honors program offers a challenging yet rewarding college experience within a small community of active and engaged students and faculty,” said Dr. Joshua Stockley, Honors Program Director.

Whittney Plunkett, the 2016-17 President of the Honors Program, has applied her leadership skills not only within the program, but also within the community. A political science major, she is involved with the Wesley Foundation and volunteers for many other organizations.

“You don’t necessarily have to be on the leadership council to be a leader in the program. It’s how you carry yourself and work as a team. It’s less about the position and more about how you work with others around you,” said Plunkett.

The program encourages involvement on campus as well as excelling outside the classroom. Many students in the program volunteer at nursing homes and several recently provided aid during the recent flood disaster relief.

Students are required to participate in four honors options within their major. Honors options encourage students to work one-on-one with a university professor within their major and develop a paper, project, or presentation to submit at the end of the term.

Honors options are designed to turn a regular class into an honors level course through a more demanding curriculum and course load for a student. “Honors options allow me to work on projects with my professors. It lets me apply my knowledge in my field of concentration and push the boundaries of what I already know in that field,” said Plunkett.

Plunkett is planning to graduate in December and pursue law school in fall 2017. “In anticipation of law school, I can honestly say that my honors options have prepared me for the course load,” said Plunkett.

The Honors Program offers three different types of certificates: honors in major, honors in the college, and honors in the university. This program also encourages students to apply for scholarships throughout their college career. Honors scholarships are available on a competitive basis for students pursuing honors certificates in their major, college, or university.

“The scholarships we hand out to students help ease the financial burden that comes with attending college,” said Stockley. “Since receiving scholarships are competitive, students push themselves harder in order to qualify and receive them.”

Every year, members of the Honors Program have the opportunity to attend the Louisiana Collegiate Honors Conference.

At this year’s annual conference, a panel entitled “Building Community in Honors” was conducted.

The panel addressed the importance of reaching out to the community through locally sponsored events and community service. The majority opinion was that the community shapes the student body, and that the more involved an individual is the more positive the atmosphere will be in the present and the future.

Annually, the Honors Program holds an honors banquet to award the students who go above and beyond the expectation set for them. Many of the guests who attend include faculty members, parents, honors program alumni, and friends and family of students in the program. Students who received honors within their college include: Christine Foto, Lindsay Moore, Maggie Jones, Kaitlin Minchew, Shelby Russell, and Sarah Sellers.

Completing an honors thesis is the final accomplishment of honors graduates. To complete an honors thesis, a student must find a topic of interest and a teacher as a mentor. After their topic is approved, the student must generate a 15-20 page paper and a short presentation in front of a panel at the Louisiana Collegiate Honors Conference.

“Doing a thesis takes pretty much the whole year to complete,” said Plunkett. “You have to go through multiple rough drafts and practice presentations before you get it right. But in the end all the hard work is worth it.”

Students who completed an Honors thesis include: Lara Crawford, Kady Coulon, Shelby Russell, Rachel Maddox, Cameron Irby, and Lucas McHan.

The spring 2016 semester highlighted the many graduates in the Honors Program who have big plans for their future. Some of the student’s plans after graduation are as follows: Lara Crawford, attending medical school at the University of Arkansas; Kady Coulon, attending Law School at Michigan State University; Lucas McHan teaching math at Episcopal Collegiate; the #2 ranked private school in Arkansas; and Lindsay Moore and Christine Foto plan to attend ULM School of Pharmacy in the fall. The program is wishing these graduates the upmost success in their future.

The Honors Program is expecting a surplus of new freshmen in the fall and expects to grow exponentially in the upcoming years.
16 2016-06-02
Monroe

America’s “fastest-growing sport” comes to ULM


The annual Mid-South Regional pickleball tournament took place over Memorial Day weekend at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Participation was limited to members of the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA). The tournament brought around 160 competitors of this tennis-like sport who sought qualification for the USA Pickleball Open Championship.

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“Pickleball” is a rapidly-growing sport that combines elements from tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It is played with a paddle and plastic ball on a badminton-sized court. The sport was recently featured on a segment of NBC Nightly News, which dubbed it as “the fastest-growing sport in America.”

“We were in Baton Rouge the first two years, but we outgrew the venues,” said Tom Burkhart of the Baton Rouge Recreational Department.

Burkhart tried organizing the tournament at Mandeville, La. before choosing ULM, and he admits he is satisfied with this decision.

“We’ve all been treated really well here,” said Burkhart. “ULM has been friendly and helpful, as it not only provided the venue but also allowed people to park their RVs.”

It was Burkhart’s initiative and the assistance of Scott Bruscato of the Monroe Convention Center that brought this year’s tournament to ULM.

Bruscato thinks one of the reasons Monroe was chosen is its proximity to other states. “Monroe is kind of the interstate corridor with close proximity to Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas,” he said.

In addition to location, Bruscato said ULM’s high-quality facilities with 16 courts played a role in the decision-making process.

“ULM helped provide the facility, but they also helped with some manpower, and they’ve been great as far as their contribution,” Bruscato said.

There weren’t many local people competing at the tournament, as the sport hasn’t gained much popularity in northeast Louisiana. At least not yet. Pickleball is no doubt up-and-coming, but it is seeing exponential growth across the country.

“It’s a great anti-aging sport, and it’s very interesting, especially for the retirement communities,” said Alice Tym, who in the 1960s was ranked the no. 13 tennis player in the world.

Tym served as the head coach of the Yale University women’s tennis team from 1979-82. The Lady Bulldogs won two Ivy League championships under her leadership in 1980 and 1981.

Tym is 73, but it is evident that she still likes to win. She stays active competing in four different sports, but pickleball is her favorite.

She accomplished her goal in Monroe, as she qualified for the USA Pickleball Open Championship.

She has traveled the world, but Louisiana holds a special place in her heart.

“The hospitality here is the best of any tournament. The food is always the best and people are incredibly friendly,” said Tym, adding that she hopes to visit the bayou next year.

“I want to take a swamp ride and see all the local birds and Cypress trees,” she said.

Jerome Davis, a 65 year-old ULM alumni from West Monroe, says it felt great coming back to campus. “It’s been a while since I’ve been here, and it feels great to be back,” Davis said.

Davis attended the event to watch his friend who participated in the tournament. After being a spectator, he expressed interest in pursuing the sport leisurely.

“This is definitely a sport that would keep me active,” Davis said.

To learn more about the “fastest-growing sport in America” and the USA Pickleball Association, visit usapa.org .
16 2016-06-02
Monroe

eULM history program ranked no. 8 in nation


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s online master’s program in history was ranked no. 8 in the nation according to GradSource.com.

The online history program gives the student valuable knowledge that can be applied to law, politics, and citizenship.

The site ranking was based on tuition rates, prominence, and flexibility. Other schools that made the list include University of North Alabama (#2), Emporia State University (#7), Hawaii Pacific University (#10), and Louisiana Tech University (#11).

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“This new ranking shows how competitive and what a great value an eULM degree is,” said Dr. Monica Bontty, ULM History Program Head and Graduate Coordinator.

GradSource.com looked at various affordable online master’s programs in history and compared student success rates across programs. A comparison of data concluded that ULM is one of the best value online programs.

ULM is well known for its low cost and high quality education. However, being recognized on a national level for its affordability enforces the growth in the online history program that ULM continues to experience.

Graduate history programs typically contain history core classes as well as classes covering the specifics of student’s chosen specialty. Curriculum that is common for an online master’s degree in history are: historical methods, comparative history, historical theory, research methods, and many others.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than history can still enroll in the graduate-level history program.

For more information about the ranking, visit http://www.gradsource.com/online-masters-degree/history/.

For more information about online programs at ULM, visit ulm.edu/eulm.

16 2016-06-02
Monroe

New Music on the Bayou concerts set


The New Music on the Bayou festival runs Thursday-Saturday in Monroe and Ruston. The festival was created by music professors at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Louisiana Tech University.

The music at the festival will represent a wide range of styles, from traditional classical to jazz/blues, avant-garde, experimental and film score. Most of the compositions, all original, run about 6-10 minutes in duration, with the longest about 15 minutes.


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The compositions will be performed by area musicians, who for the most part are music professors at ULM and Tech. Instruments at the festival will include percussion, brass, woodwind, piano, strings, as well as vocalists. The composers whose works will be performed come from across the United States and from a number of foreign countries,

The performances are open to the public and are free with the exception of Saturday at Dixie Center for the Arts, which is $20, which includes announcement of award winners and a reception.

Concert sites include:

Thursday: 6:30 p.m., The Palace, DeSiard Street

Friday: 1 p.m., Masur Museum of Art and 7:30 p.m., Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall at ULM

Saturday: Noon, Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge and 7:30 p.m. Dixie Center for the Arts in Ruston


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Want to go?

What:New Music on the Bayou Festival

When: Thursday-Saturday

Where: Various sites in Monroe and Ruston

Cost: Free except for Saturday’s concert at Dixie Center for the Arts, Ruston, $20.

Info: 342-3811. Online at newmusiconthebayou.com
16 2016-06-01
Monroe

Grambling State University Flooding Update


Grambling, La --

It was at Grambling State University back in March where the campus was hit with major flood damage.

Some of the buildings that were hit the worse were Woodson Hall, Charles P. Adams, Favort Student Union, the auditorium and the mens gym.

Right outside is a temporary gate to block people into walking into erosion pits. FEMA along with many engineers are aware of the damage.

The damages that you see here are not covered through the campus budget but once a deductible is established the staff will then be able to activate their insurance claims.

As for the repairs of the infrastructure, we were told this will be an ongoing process.

16 2016-06-01
Monroe

ULM's SBDC and client receive U.S. Small Business Administration awards


BATON ROUGE, La. (Press Release) --

Northeast Louisiana represented well at the annual Louisiana Small Business Awards in Baton Rouge on May 4. The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at University of Louisiana at Monroe (LSBDC at ULM) was named 2016 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Financial Services Champion, and Direnzic Technology and Consulting, LSBDC at ULM client, was named SBA Minority Business Champion.

SBA District Director Mike Ricks thanked Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Secretary Don Pierson for their support of small business, and said although large business is a large economic impact, "we really can't not recognize the small business owners as well as it's a key component to the state economy and the nation as well."

Ricks announced that during 2015 fiscal year the LSBDC at ULM exceeded its capital infusion goal by more than 50 percent.

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"The center is making clients more aware of credit history through workshops and how to improve scores and history," Ricks said. "It seized the opportunity for growth by nurturing bank contacts."

LSBDC at ULM Center Director Virendra Chhikara said it's always an honor to represent Northeast Louisiana and ULM and added that the center's accomplishments are beginning to resemble its vision for this part of the state.

"We strive to educate small business owners in each aspect of their business and push them along to continue to grow and drive the region and state economy," Chhikara said. "Finance is a major factor in starting and growing a business, so it's important for us to work with lenders and understand what they need from entrepreneurs so we can better serve our clients."

ULM Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences Dr. Ronald Berry said, "ULM's SBDC has played a significant role in the health and vitality of the small business community and our region's economic development for many years."

"I offer congratulations to the ULM SBDC team for this recognition and my sincere appreciation for the outstanding work they do every day to improve the success of small businesses," Dr. Berry said.

Ieshea Jones, founder and owner of Direnzic Technology and Consulting, has pushed the company to three years of gradual growth.

Ricks said she has been developing her cyber security framework solutions for specific process models and added that she was named one of the 2014 Silicon Bayou 100 which recognizes the most influential, innovative and active people for technology and entrepreneurship in Louisiana.

"Direnzics' focus is a very new concept that most businesses don't recognize until its too late," Ricks said.

Jones had no idea she was nominated for the award, let alone the award winner. She said the award came at a time of extreme turmoil for me as a business owner.

"I'd been struggling with recovering from the flood in northeast Louisiana and this award was a welcomed distraction. What a blessing," Jones said.

"I am honored to have been named this year's Minority Small Business Champion by the SBA," Jones said. "As both an African American and woman-owned business in the technology space, I epitomize the very essence of a minority. I understand the struggle, the stress, the concern shared by small business men and women and I'm excited to be able to show and tell my fellow entrepreneurs that 'You Can Do It! Just keep the faith, don't give up, it's tough but worth it.'"
16 2016-05-31
Monroe

Letters to the editor: Your voices


LA Opera appreciates support of new arts organization

(Editor’s note: Louisiana Opera presented “The Magic Flute” May 20 and 22.)

As the director of an emerging new arts group affiliated with the University of Louisiana at Monroe, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Monroe News-Star for their sponsorship for our last three productions, which has helped us to build and grow.

The Louisiana Opera is one of only three professional producing organizations in Louisiana, yet it is difficult to establish a base for a new arts organization in our day and age. One must try to make known your identity and your mission, tasks that are challenging when you are limited in finances.

The Louisiana Opera casts professional singers from throughout the country, but these performing artists are also educators at universities, enriching the environment at ULM during rehearsal week as mentors to those ULM students involved in the productions on stage or behind the scenes.

We believe that these mentorships will make a difference for our students, while also attracting focus from the region and beyond. After all, guest artists visiting Monroe also regularly perform featured roles with the New Orleans, Shreveport, Houston, Dallas opera houses.

Our community can only recognize this gift to Monroe through the efforts of our generous volunteers and of course — The Monroe News-Star.

Dr. Mark Ross Clark

Professor of Music and Theatre

The University of Louisiana at Monroe

Founding director of the Louisiana Opera

16 2016-05-31
Monroe

Letters to the editor: Your voices


LA Opera appreciates support of new arts organization

(Editor’s note: Louisiana Opera presented “The Magic Flute” May 20 and 22.)

As the director of an emerging new arts group affiliated with the University of Louisiana at Monroe, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Monroe News-Star for their sponsorship for our last three productions, which has helped us to build and grow.

The Louisiana Opera is one of only three professional producing organizations in Louisiana, yet it is difficult to establish a base for a new arts organization in our day and age. One must try to make known your identity and your mission, tasks that are challenging when you are limited in finances.

The Louisiana Opera casts professional singers from throughout the country, but these performing artists are also educators at universities, enriching the environment at ULM during rehearsal week as mentors to those ULM students involved in the productions on stage or behind the scenes.

We believe that these mentorships will make a difference for our students, while also attracting focus from the region and beyond. After all, guest artists visiting Monroe also regularly perform featured roles with the New Orleans, Shreveport, Houston, Dallas opera houses.

Our community can only recognize this gift to Monroe through the efforts of our generous volunteers and of course — The Monroe News-Star.

Dr. Mark Ross Clark

Professor of Music and Theatre

The University of Louisiana at Monroe

Founding director of the Louisiana Opera

16 2016-05-27
Monroe

ix ULM alumni honored by national college fraternity


MONROE, La (ULM) - Six alumni from the University of Louisiana Monroe were inducted as members of Kappa Alpha Order (KA)'s Horace H. White Province Court of Honor at a dinner and investment ceremony held at The Shreveport Club in Shreveport, La. on May 6th.

KA’s Horace H. White Province Court of Honor is designed to recognize and honor alumni in Louisiana for their continuing interest, support, and participation in the fraternity. Membership is bestowed upon KA alumni who have distinguished themselves by their continued service and interest in the fraternity, its active or alumni chapters, and those who have brought credit to themselves and KA in their public or private life.

The following ULM alumni were recently inducted:

Adam A. Elam, DPT (Initiated in 2009)
E. Hershel Floyd, Jr. (Initiated in 1970)
Ryan A. Richardson (Initiated in 2009)
D. Brook Sebren (Initiated 2009)
Thomas A. Scurria (Initiated 1969)
Gary W. Williams (Initiated 1971)

These six inductees join many other ULM alumni who are also members of this Court of Honor: Terry Bostwick, Dr. William Bourn, Robert Canterbury, Andy Conlee, Jeff Foote, Jr., Michael Gray, Joe Jacobs, Wes Loflin, Chip Lyman, Mike McDonald, David McLemore, Clay Oakley, John Overton, Dr. Jack Parker, Mike Penn, Larry Pettiette, John Pierce, Bob Rowan, Johnny Savage, Wesly Scoggin, Luther Glynn Tubbs, and Roy Walters.

“KA has made a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of young men on the campus of ULM for over 60 years,” said Brook Sebren, who currently serves as Commander of the Horace H. White Province, a volunteer for the fraternity providing guidance and support to the active and alumni chapters in Louisiana. “These inductees remain very passionate about KA, have gone on to accomplish much in their lives, and are very deserving of this accolade.”

Kappa Alpha Order is a national men’s fraternity with over 130 chapters and 160,000 initiated members since its founding in 1865 on the campus of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, VA. The Gamma Nu chapter of Kappa Alpha Order was founded on ULM's campus in 1956.

Louisiana is home to ten active chapters and over 7,000 living alumni. Since the establishment of the Horace H. White Province Court of Honor, less than 100 KA alumni have been selected for this prestigious honor, a large portion of which are alumni of ULM.

“I am forever grateful for the wonderful college experience that the fraternity provided me during my time at ULM, and I believe any other member of this court would echo just that,” added Sebren.
16 2016-05-25
Monroe

ULM’s online nursing program ranks no. 24 in nation


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s online nursing degree program has been ranked no. 24 in the nation by CollegeValuesOnline.com.

It was the only university in the state of Louisiana to receive a spot in the ranking.

The eULM program has reached a peak in affordability and has continued to help make education possible for a variety of students. The online nursing degree program gives working registered nurses the option to pursue an undergraduate nursing degree with flexible learning and a career-focused education.

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“The eULM nursing program is uniquely designed for registered nurses (RN) who are motivated to expand their knowledge in an accelerated and intensive program,” said Paula Thornhill, director of eULM. “Registered nurses can often earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 12 months, which shortens the time for career advancement and earning potential.”

The site ranking was based on the price of tuition and college graduation rate. Other schools that made the list include Southeast Missouri State University (#28), University of Hawaii at Manoa (#23), Ball State University (#21), and University of Central Florida (#25).

As a part of their methodology, CollegeValuesOnline.com collected a multitude of data from colleges that offer affordable online RN programs. A comparison of the graduation rates and cost to attend the school demonstrated that ULM’s online RN program is one of the best value online programs for 2016.

eULM is well known for its low cost and high quality education. However, being recognized on a national level for its affordability enforces the growth in the online nursing program that ULM continues to experience.

Ashley Archer, a 4th semester nursing student, was eager and excited about the current and future opportunities of the online program. “When applying to ULM I was pleased to see that ULM’s cost of tuition was significantly lower to most 4 year public universities,” said Archer. “It’s exciting to see that more students will have the opportunity to pursue this degree without having to commute and be able to dedicate more time to their families.”

READ MORE: Three professors retire from ULM

In addition to the RN to BSN program, eULM is now offering students the opportunity to pursue a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in Gerontological Clinical Nurse Leader. Lead by faculty in the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing, this online degree program prepares graduates for management decision making skills required by healthcare agencies that provide care for gerontology patients.

For more information about the ranking, visit, http://www.collegevaluesonline.com/rankings/rn-programs-online-more-best-values/.

For more information about online programs at ULM, visit ulm.edu/eulm.

16 2016-05-19
Baton Rouge

Tulane, UL-Monroe grad among Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court shortlist


At least one of the 11 people on Donald Trump’s shortlist for U.S. Supreme Court has close ties to Louisiana — U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William H. “Bill” Pryor Jr., of Alabama.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made the surprise release Wednesday of a list of people he would consider nominating to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, if elected and if that seat remains open when the next president takes over.

Political pundits have speculated that the New York billionaire and reality television star is hoping to quell concerns that he would not nominate a conservative jurist.

Pryor, a former attorney general of Alabama, has degrees from Northeast Louisiana University, now known as the University of Louisiana at Monroe, as well as Tulane University in New Orleans. Pryor was a law clerk for New Orleans native Judge John Minor Wisdom, who served on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Others on Trump’s list include Steven M. Colloton, of Iowa; Allison Eid, of Colorado; Raymond W. Gruender, of Missouri; Thomas Hardiman, of Pennsylvania; Raymond Kethledge, of Michigan; Joan Larsen, of Michigan; Thomas Lee, of Utah; David Stras, of Minnesota; Diane Sykes, of Wisconsin; and Don Willett, of Texas.

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The presidential election won’t take place until Nov. 8. Trump has emerged as the likely GOP nominee, following the exit of all other Republican candidates.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continue to spar over the Democratic nomination, with Clinton in the lead.

The next president could have an opportunity to fill multiple vacancies on the high court in the coming four years — for now the most high profile being that of Scalia, who died in February.

President Barack Obama has nominated U.S. Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland for the post, but several conservatives, including Trump, have urged the Senate to delay confirmation to give the next president a chance to fill the opening.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.

For more coverage of Louisiana state government and politics, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog .
16 2016-05-19
Monroe

Three professors retire from ULM


A retirement party in honor of Dr. Terry Jones, Dr. Edward ‘Gene’ Eller and Mr. Gary Ratcliff was held at the University of Louisiana Monroe on Wednesday, May 11.

All three professors retire from the university after having served for decades in higher education.

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Dr. Terry Jones, a native of Winn Parish, has served ULM for 25 years as a professor in the History program. He earned his Ph.D. in history from Texas A&M University. Jones has contributed greatly to the study of Civil War History in Louisiana. In 2014, he was awarded the Dr. Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr. Award by the Civil War Round Table of Central Louisiana, and since 2011, he has had 27 articles published as part of the New York Times online “Disunion” series.

According to Jones, his retirement is bittersweet.

“I’m excited about having more time to hunt, fish, and travel but I can't help but wonder if I will be losing part of my identity,” said Jones. “I have been known as a ULM professor for a long time and it will be a bit strange not to have that connection any longer.”

Dr. Edward ‘Gene’ Eller has served ULM for 25 years as a professor in the English program. He received his Ph.D. in English from Southern Illinois University. At ULM, he has taught courses in World and American literature, composition and poetry. He served as a moderator for the Honor’s College Quiz Bowl, director of technology for his college and program, and was recognized as the “Favorite Teacher” by the Baptist Student Union.

“I am looking forward to change my lifestyle. My wife Susan and I started together in the country and now are going back to the woods to live the life, chickens and all,” said Eller.

Mr. Gary Ratcliff has taught in the ULM Art department for 40 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Greenville College and his master of fine arts from East Texas State University. His work in ceramics was featured in an exhibition hosted by Northwestern State University’s (NSU) Department of Fine and Graphic Art in 2014. For the last 40 years, he has taught all levels of pottery at ULM and actively participated in the Monroe community as a ceramics demonstrator and workshop performer.

“I will miss the students and my coworkers, but I am excited to have a chance to set up my own pottery and focus on marketing of the ware I create,” said Ratcliff.

According to Dr. Sandra Lemoine, Dean of the College of Arts, Education and Sciences, the retirement of Jones, Eller and Ratcliff should be seen as a celebration of their careers.

"These scholars have contributed much to ULM, our students, and our College. We are indeed sad to see them go, but we celebrate their long careers and the lasting impact they have made on our university.”
16 2016-05-18
Monroe

Cast Members talk about 'The Magic Flute' by Mozart at ULM May 20, 22


"The delightful favorite 'The Magic Flute' by Mozart will be presented by the Louisiana Opera on Friday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, May 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Louisiana Monroe.

The music and theatre masterpiece intended for the entire family is a great comedy with beautiful music and a new script in English. The performers are professional artists both familiar and new to the Monroe public.

The pianist is once again Richard Seiler, costumes are designed and coordinated by Margaret Hall, and the stage director/supratitle composer is Mark Ross Clark.

General admission tickets are only $15 for ULM faculty and staff, and all students are discounted to $5, making this performance great for the entire family. Tickets are available for purchase during office hours in the VAPA office, 105 Biedenharn. Call 342-3247 for information."
16 2016-05-16
Houma/Thibodaux

Keep positive, Abraham tells ULM graduates


Nearly 825 students from the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s spring 2016 graduating class earned degrees on Saturday in ULM’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

It was one of the largest graduating classes in the history of ULM.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Abraham focused his speech around attitude and sacrifice.

Abraham recounted the story of a 13-year-old patient named Mary during his third year on pediatric service. Despite struggling with cystic fibrosis, Abraham recalled that every day before the medical team would leave, Mary would give thema smile and a hug. He encouraged the graduating class to live life with the right kind of attitude.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham's speech to the graduates reflected
U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham's speech to the graduates reflected on the theme of attitude and sacrifice. (Photo: Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Servi, Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Servi)
“So when life hits you head on, remember Mary,” Abraham said. “She was able to present us with happiness and show us how to live life when faced with adversity.”

Abraham also addressed the theme of sacrifice, offering special recognition of first responders and military personnel and veterans.

In a final message to the graduates, Abraham offered some personal advice.

“Use [your diploma] for what it’s for…to bring positive, constructive change to the world. We expect you to be practical, principled problem solvers. We want you clear and concise in your direction, we want you bold and strong in your commitment, and we want you resolute in your conviction.”

ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno gave special recognition to students who have interesting or inspiring graduation stories.

“All of our students are special, but some have gotten to this point from a very interesting road and I’d like to share that with you,” said Bruno.

Members of ULM's Class of 2016 celebrate at the spring
Members of ULM's Class of 2016 celebrate at the spring commencement. (Photo: Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Servi, Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Servi)
Among those recognized were: Angela Dempsey Hedrick (bachelor of science in health studies), Tammy Prud’Homme (associate of general studies) and Mary Cox (bachelor of science in nursing).

Bruno also recognized all military personnel and veterans, student athletes, and those who earned their degree within three years.

Several honor graduates were also recognized during the ceremony. They are designated as summa cum laude (3.900–4.000), magna cum laude (3.750–3.899) and cum laude (3.500–3.749).
16 2016-05-16
Monroe

ULM committed to future in FBS football


The University of Idaho’s decision to leave the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision continues to reverberate not just among the Sun Belt Conference, but through the entire landscape of college football’s Group of Five.

Idaho announced its intention to return to the Football Championship Subdivision after its Sun Belt football membership was dropped by the conference, along with New Mexico State. Since that time, faculties at Eastern Michigan and the University of Massachusetts have urged their university leadership to take similar approaches with their struggling football programs.

ULM and Idaho have a few things in common when it comes to football. In addition to card-carrying membership in the Sun Belt, the two schools were once national championship contenders at the FCS level, but that’s where the similarities end.

ULM will not be making a similar institutional move back to FCS as long as President Nick Bruno is in office.

“I feel we’re where we need to be,” Bruno said. “The Sun Belt is a good fit for us and there are things external to us in Louisiana that could affect us in one fell swoop, but I don’t see that happening, and I’m committed to staying in FBS.”


ULM’s turbulent history in FBS mirrors what has transpired at its former Division I-AA contemporary in the Pacific Northwest. The Warhawks are 90-164 (.354) in the 22 years since “Operation-1A” and have just one winning season and bowl appearance to show for it.

ULM BUDGET FOR ATHLETICS
ULM's total revenue generated by athletics has grown in the past two years.
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Mark Henderson and Adam Hunsucker/The News-Star
Idaho are just 67-162 (.293) with four winning seasons and two bowl appearances in its 20-year run in FBS, which ends in 2018. The Vandals will be the first school to drop down to FCS since 1982.

While a certain segment of the ULM fan base has long believed going back to FCS would be the catalyst for a return to the program’s most successful era in the 1980s through /early '90s, the financial impact would be catastrophic to the entire athletic department.

ULM vs. Texas StateBuy Photo
University of Louisiana at Monroe hosts Texas State for a special pink out game to raise breast cancer awareness Saturday. The Bobcats defeated the ULM Warhawks 22-18 on JPS Field at Malone Stadium. (Photo: EMERALD MCINTYRE/ THE NEWS-STAR)
ULM relies on the money generated by football through guarantee games and Sun Belt membership to operate the athletic department. Without it, the university would be forced to find another million-dollar revenue stream or cut sports.

“Dr. Bruno and I have both answered different individual questions at donor events and breakfasts, so it’s just an educational process of putting it out there,” ULM athletic director Brian Wickstrom said. “It’s really about being transparent with the revenues and showing them it’s a no-brainer to stay at the FBS level.”

Trading millions for thousands

The business of college football is booming like never before, thanks in large part to television revenue that continues to skyrocket each year.

While the Power-Five conferences see the bulk of those dollars, the money trickles down to the Group-of-Five in the form of guarantee games — known colloquially around ULM circles as “money games” — that are often broadcast nationally on the ESPN family of networks.

ULM is set to receive a total of $2.6 million in revenue from guarantee games and Sun Belt membership in 2016. The payouts ULM generates from playing at Oklahoma and Auburn next fall total $1.2 million, while the athletic department will receive $400,000 for playing at New Mexico.

The $2.6 million in 2016 revenue accounts for more than 20 percent of ULM’s 2015 athletic budget and made it possible for the Warhawks to schedule a rare home season opener with FCS Southern University next fall.

Along with the rest of the Sun Belt, ULM receives $1 million from conference membership annually — a $750,000 cut from the College Football Playoff, $150,000 from the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and $100,000 in football television revenue.

“When you look at the financials of it, you give a lot when you drop down. It outweighs the savings, and that’s why it’s not an option.”

Current NCAA rules allows only one FCS win per season to count toward an FBS team’s bowl eligibility, which creates limited demand — and payouts — for FCS opponents.

Wickstrom said dropping from the FBS’s 85 football scholarships to 63 in FCS would cut some costs, but only net a total of $330,000 in savings.

“That’s the reason you don’t drop down. That $1.2 million drops to about $400,000, and you’re not playing New Mexico at all,” Wickstrom said.

When ULM football coach Matt Viator took his McNeese State team to LSU last season in a game that was ultimately canceled, the Cowboys received $500,000. The Tigers were McNeese’s lone FBS opponent in 2015.

“We were doing cartwheels to get $500,000 I can tell you that,” Viator said. “Coming from another state school, the same hurdles ULM has had over the years we had at McNeese. Budget cuts are always the elephant in the room in Louisiana and it forces you to get creative, but having that type of money coming in will definitely be a resource for us.”


THENEWSSTAR.COM
Bruno ‘excited’ to begin search for next ULM coach

Nine total schools — Appalachian State, Charlotte, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Massachusetts, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Texas State and Texas-San Antonio — have either created new football programs or made the jump from FCS since 2012 to get a piece of the pot. Coastal Carolina is set to join the Sun Belt’s football ranks beginning in 2017.

According to a report from CBSSports.com, Idaho’s lack of another potential conference affiliation was the deciding force in its move to FCS, where it will compete in the Big Sky Conference beginning in 2018.

New Mexico State chose to stick it out in FBS as an independent.

ULM, UL Lafayette and Arkansas State are the only original football members that remain in the Sun Belt from its inaugural fall in 2001.

“There’s a small portion of us that are in that older group and we know we have a home here,” Bruno said.

“We’re lucky because there are teams that want to get to FBS but there’s no room. I call it a coveted thing where we’re getting a nice distribution from the conference and that amounts to more dollars coming in.”

Athletic renewal

Viator’s introduction as ULM’s new football coach last December created a buzz around campus that was only augmented by Bruno’s plan for a renewed financial commitment to athletics.

Bruno, Wickstrom and deputy athletic director Josh Brooks are in the middle of constructing a strategic plan that will increase ULM’s athletic budget toward the middle of the pack in the Sun Belt over the next few years.

According to a financial report from USA Today, the athletic budget at ULM in 2015 was $12.8 million. Current Sun Belt members spent an average of $25 million in athletic budget in 2015.

“We know we can’t get to the middle of the pack in a year. The first thing is to keep our strategy of building the critical mass of the university and that’s what’s happening,” Bruno said.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
Sun Belt drops Idaho, NMSU as football members

“There’s so much uncertainty in Louisiana right now. The Legislature is all over the place, so for us to maintain a stable budget for coach Viator in his first year I think is a positive thing.”

Athletic department revenue increased for the second-straight year under Wickstrom to $12.9 million — all despite a lackluster 2-11 football season in 2015.

ULM has gone from playing three guarantee games a year down to two since Wickstrom took over the athletic department in the summer of 2013. The next task on Wickstrom’s agenda is for the Warhawks to play six home games each year instead of five.

In addition to more favorable schedules and continued revenue growth, ULM completed a weight room renovation inside JPS Field at Malone Stadium in 2015 and are set to open its football field house in early June.

“My goal is to help our football coaches get to six wins and be bowl eligible,” Wickstrom said. “It’s been tough with the last two seasons, but we’ve been able to maintain some enthusiasm for the most part and now we have to continue getting new people involved.”

Despite the lingering cloud of another round of budget cuts to higher education, ULM is paying Viator $400,000 in total compensation — his predecessor Todd Berry made $360,600 in 2015. The university is also paying the salaries of Viator and his staff out of its general fund.

“What I’m excited about is the vision I think that’s been laid out and some of the commitments that we do have already,” Viator said.

“I’m convinced the object here is to have a consistent winner and the rest is up to us.”

Winning remains the solution

The first thing to know about Viator is he’s always prepared. It comes with his pragmatic nature.

When Viator sat down with the ULM brass last December, he had a list of questions he needed answered if there was any possibility of taking over the Warhawks.

“I felt like that that I tried to do my due diligence on ULM in a short amount of time and the prospects of what I felt like our chances were to succeed here,” Viator said. “I could tell the people were very passionate about having a successful program, not just in football but all of athletics, and so far I’ve been very pleased.”

The residual optimism from Viator’s hire showed up at ULM’s annual “Night of Champions” fundraising event on April 28, which saw the athletic foundation set a record by raising over $105,000 in one night.

Despite the continued increases in athletic revenue and resources, Bruno and Wickstrom both know at some point, ULM can’t continue to grow until it puts a consistent winner on the field.

Men's basketball ticket sales rose for the second-straight year, but overall athletic ticket sales declined in 2015 for the second-straight year and fifth time in the last decade. The average attendance at Malone Stadium fell to 11,731 last football season — the lowest since ULM expanded to five home games in 2007.

Bruno understands that the very nature of athletics dictates being a winner, and he feels like ULM has the right plan and the right coach to succeed at the FBS level.

“You can’t hide from it because everyone can see it on the scoreboard,” Bruno said. “What I’ve learned after spending as much time over the last six months with athletics is that it’s critical to have all those systems in place.

“Now we’ve developed the whole package that we really haven’t had before and I feel confident in the direction we’re headed.”

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker

Revenue streams

2016 Guarantee Game Revenue - $1.6 million total

Oklahoma: $600,000

Auburn: $600,000

New Mexico: $400,000

2016 Sun Belt Conference Distribution Revenue - $1 million total

College Football Playoff: $750,000

Television: $100,000

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: $150,000

Total Revenue from FBS Membership: $2.6 million

Savings From Dropping to FCS: $330,000
16 2016-05-12
Monroe

ULM to award over 820 degrees Saturday


MONROE, La (ULM) - On Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m., the University of Louisiana Monroe’s spring 2016 commencement ceremony will take place in ULM’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Degrees will be conferred by ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno to students in ULM’s three colleges and graduate school.

Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, representing the 5th District of Louisiana, will serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

Several honor graduates will also be recognized during the ceremony. They are designated as summa cum laude (3.900-4.000), magna cum laude (3.750-3.899) and cum laude (3.500-3.749).

It is anticipated that 820 degrees will be awarded Saturday.

To learn more about Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, how to watch the commencement ceremony online, or just more information about the commencement itself, a link to an earlier story has been posted in the MORE STORIES section.

16 2016-05-09
Monroe

Adam Clampit, Anja Elias dedicated to improving live


When Adam Clampit was a child, he wanted to be a rodeo cowboy; he was fascinated by the competition and excitement. Now a 29-year-old registered nurse at P&S Surgical Hospital, he enjoys a similar adrenaline rush — ensuring everything runs smoothly in the operating room, where he spends between eight-12 hours of his day.

A West Monroe native and former football player at West Ouachita High School, Clampit said he is “competitive by nature.”

“I watched medical televisions shows in high school and was intrigued by the thrill and excitement of the OR. Anything can go wrong at any minute, and of course, a lot can go right. I knew if I was going to be something, I wanted to be the best, and I knew the OR was where I wanted to be.”

Clampit said he was drawn to the “competitive and successful” bachelor of science in nursing program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He graduated in 2010, and after a brief stint at Morehouse General Hospital, he began working at P&S as an OR Circulator — a nurse who rotates among the operating rooms and ensures patients are prepared for surgery and physicians are equipped with the correct supplies.

He describes his days in the OR as “constant momentum.”

“You never see the same thing twice, and I love that. My favorite part of the job is the final outcome — helping the patient live a better life. When you can help a bariatric patient transform his life with a weight loss surgery or improve another patient’s quality of life with a knee replacement, that’s extremely rewarding.”

Helping people improve their lives is exactly what attracted Anja Elias, P&S cardiac and peripheral vascular lab manager and registered nurse, to the nursing field.

A Neville High School graduate, the Monroe native earned a bachelor of science in nursing degree from then-Northeast Louisiana University in 1988. She recently celebrated her 15-year work anniversary with P&S.

Her 25 years of experience working with heart procedures have allowed her to observe an evolution in technology.

“Years ago, a cardiac patient would need eight-10 hours of bed rest following a procedure. Now, because of our advanced technology, they may need as little as two hours, and in some cases, they can get up immediately.”

These technology advancements contribute to the passion she has for her career, she said.

“Patients come to us, fearing for their lives and believing they are going to have a heart attack. Today’s technology makes it possible to easily improve their lives. For example, with our electrical physiology ablations, our physician can pinpoint the exact location within the heart causing an arrhythmia. So our patients, who came in sluggish with very limited physical activity, leave our hospital feeling better almost immediately. The patients are so relieved. It’s an incredible transformation, and I feel fortunate to be a part of that.”

P&S Surgical Hospital is a joint venture among physician specialists and St. Francis Medical Center.


May 2-12 is National Nurses Week, sponsored by the American Nurses Association, www.nursingworld.org.
16 2016-05-09
Monroe

ULM students win competitive summer internship stipends


Two University of Louisiana Monroe English majors, Lauren C. Haigler, of Haughton, La., and Shelby N. Russell, of West Monroe, La., have each won a Summer Internship Stipend from Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society.

The stipends each amount to $1500, providing funding for for current undergraduate and graduate student members accepting non- or low-paying summer internships. The awards are competitive, and only a limited number of stipends were awarded.

Lauren and Shelby will be working with Dr. Jana M. Giles, of the English Program in the School of Humanities, as editorial interns for the academic research journal, Conradiana, for which Dr. Giles serves as Managing Editor. Conradiana is dedicated to the study of the works of the British and Polish modernist novelist, Joseph Conrad. Giles is also the faculty sponsor for the ULM Beta Zeta chapter of Sigma Tau Delta.

“I am just thrilled to be able to work with such bright and capable young people this summer on producing a premiere academic journal. I was hoping for at least one of them to win, but never expected to have such an embarrassment of riches as two interns at once,” said Giles.

The internship must involve working for an "organization" while being directed by a supervisor/mentor within that organization, and the internship’s duties must be consistent with the applicant’s level of education, area of study, and career goals. Financial need is taken into consideration in addition to internship length.

The good news doesn’t stop there, however. Lauren Haigler also won a $1000 Regents Scholarship: Southern Region from Sigma Tau Delta.

“I hope this will encourage more students from ULM to apply for nationally competitive scholarships and internships,” said Giles.

“They can win if they try.”
16 2016-05-09
Regional/National

Winners announced in 2016 Louisiana-Mississippi APME contest


HATTIESBURG, MISS.
HATTIESBURG, Mississippi (AP) — Winners of the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Media Editors contest were announced Saturday in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Louisiana-Mississippi APME awards recognize outstanding performance in journalism. The Louisiana-Mississippi APME college competition recognizes outstanding performance in college journalism.

2016 Louisiana-Mississippi APME Contest Results

Margaret Dixon Freedom of Information Award: 1, Wesley Muller, Gulfport Sun Herald, "Federal Probe into Bay St. Louis Finances"; 2, Bonnie Bolden, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Neville Situation Remains Unclear"; 3, Vershal Hogan, The Natchez Democrat, "Square on Carter Project".

Frank Allen Award: Jonathan Bullington and Michael DeMocker, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune.

C.P. Liter Award: Michael DeMocker, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune.

Mark Twain - Louisiana: The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune.

Mark Twain - Mississippi: The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger.

Louisiana-Mississippi APME winners list in DIV IV:

Spot News: 1, Alyssa Schnugg, Oxford Eagle, "Oxford's Elvis Dies at Age 51"; 2, Steve Beavers, Zack Steen and Jebb Johnston, The Daily Corinthian, "Corinth Police Officer Shot"; 3, Bridget Mire and Meredith Burns, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Soaked".

General News: 1, Bryn Stole, Greenwood Commonwealth, "Rosa Investigation at Dead End"; 2, Bryn Stole, Greenwood Commonwealth, "Killer Served Just Half of Sentence"; 3, Tim Kalich, Greenwood Commonwealth, "Ferguson Releases Videos".

Features: 1, Stephanie Rebman, Oxford Eagle, "Immortalizing People"; 2, Cassandra Favre, The Picayune Item, "Powerful Prayer"; 3, David Monroe, Greenwood Commonwealth, "Servant of God".

Business: 1, Alyssa Schnugg, Oxford Eagle, "FNC Being Sold for $475 Million"; 2, Rob Sigler, Oxford Eagle, "Subcontractors Try to Keep Up With City, County Housing Boom"; 3, Lyndy Berryhill, Oxford Eagle, "Locals Making Friends, Earning Money with Airbnb.com".

Continuing Coverage: 1, Jacob Batte and Aaron Gordon, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Oil Slump"; 2, Jonathan Olivier, Chris LeBlanc and Jacob Batte, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Coastal Land Loss"; 3, Bryn Stole and Tim Kalich, Greenwood Commonwealth, "Billing Problems Hamper Town".

Public/Community Service: 1, Maki Somosot, Brett Barrouquere and Caroline Hilton, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Report Details Fatal Explosion at Local Gas Plant"; 2, Bridget Mire, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Juvenile Detention"; 3, Stephanie Rebman, Oxford Eagle, "Fake IDs Becoming Easier to Detect".

Investigative: 1, Jacob Batte, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Port Spends $250,000 on Lawsuit"; 2, Jacob Batte and Aaron Gordon, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Gulf Oil Spill 5 Years Later"; 3, Bridget Mire, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Rise of Independents".

Spot Sports: 1, Kelly McElroy, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Saving the Day: Vandy Goalie Lifts Terriers to State Title"; 2, Brent St. Germain, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Freshman Suffers Head Injury During Practice"; 3, Bill Burrus, Greenwood Commonwealth, "Dandy Dozen".

Sports Enterprise/Feature: 1, Davis Potter, Oxford Eagle, "Jimmy Murphrey — The Face of Athletics at Lafayette High"; 2, Teddy Renois, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Out of the Rubble: Colonels Overcame Odds to Win 2005 SLC Title"; 3, James Pugh, The Chronicle, "Luke Leggett Dies".

Sports Columns: 1, Davis Potter, Oxford Eagle, "Ole Miss Rebels Coverage"; 2, Bill Burrus, Greenwood Commonwealth; 3, Danny Smith, Starkville Daily News.

Editorials: 1, Tim Kalich, Greenwood Commonwealth; 2, Michael Gorman, Thibodaux Daily Comet; 3, Mark Boehler, The Daily Corinthian.

Personal Columns: 1, Tim Kalich, Greenwood Commonwealth; 2, Dart Spiers, The Picayune Item; 3, Keith Magill, Thibodaux Daily Comet.

Headlines: 1, Brett Barrouquere and Staff, Thibodaux Daily Comet; 2, David Monroe, Greenwood Commonwealth; 3, Stephanie Stroud, Thibodaux Daily Comet.

Layout & Design: 1, Rob Sigler, Oxford Eagle; 2, James Pugh, The Chronicle; 3, Jason Niblett, The Chronicle.

Photo Spot News: 1, Bryn Stole, Greenwood Commonwealth, "Boyfriend Charged in Woman's Slaying"; 2, Andy Lo, Greenwood Commonwealth, "Deadly Days"; 3, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Blaze Battlers".

General News Photo: 1, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Sinkhole Repair"; 2, The Chronicle, "Thousands Enjoy Downtown Weekend"; 3, Eloria Newell James, The Chronicle, "I Miss My Baby".

Features Photos: 1, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Slipping and Sliding"; 2, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Rebel Red and Blue"; 3, Tim Kalich, Greenwood Commonwealth, "Fat Tuesday Frolic".

Multi-Photo: 1, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Southern Still Life"; 2, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Sacred Art Tour"; 3, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "No Horsing Around".

Portrait/Personality: 1, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Puncher's Chance"; 2, Abby Tabor, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Zydeco Krewe"; 3, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Emily Robinson".

Sports Action Photo: 1, Abby Tabor, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Defending Their Turf"; 2, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Region's Best"; 3, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Just Inches Short".

Sports Features Photo: 1, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Johnny Hill Last Game"; 2, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "Houghton Celebrates; 3, Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, "State Champs".

Website: 1, Oxford Eagle; 2, Caroline Hilton, Thibodaux Daily Comet.

Online Package: 1, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Oil and Industry Special Section"; 2, Chris Heller and Caroline Hilton, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "Living on a Vanishing Island"; 3, Chris Heller, Caroline Hilton and Meredith Burns, Thibodaux Daily Comet, "A New 'Cajun Man' - Popular swamp tour changes hands".

Louisiana-Mississippi APME winners list in DIV III:

Spot News: 1, Lauren Tobin and Justin Vicory, McComb Enterprise-Journal, "Stewart Indicted"; 2, Lauren Tobin, McComb Enterprise-Journal, "Spread Like Wildfire"; 3, Lauren Tobin and Matt Williamson, McComb Enterprise-Journal, "Landmark Lost".

General News: 1, Lindsey Shelton, The Natchez Democrat, "Shining the Light: The Parchman Ordeal 50 Years Later"; 2, Meredith Burns and Jacob Batte, The (Houma) Courier, "We are Stronger: Rita Remembered"; 3, Sarah Cook, The Natchez Democrat, "What is Next for the Eola?"

Features: 1, Jan Griffey, The Vicksburg Post, "Life After Loss: Widower Recounts Wife's Battle Against Breast Cancer"; 2, Sarah Cook, The Natchez Democrat, "For Never Saying No"; 3, Ellen Ciurczak, Hattiesburg American, "Music Makes a Difference".

Business: 1, Haskel Burns, Hattiesburg American, "Hercules Plant: Then & Now"; 2, Jacob Batte, The (Houma) Courier, "Low Oil Prices"; 3, Meredith Burns, The (Houma) Courier, "Building Standards".

Continuing Coverage: 1, The Vicksburg Post, "Miss Mississippi"; 2, Josh Edwards and Staff, The Vicksburg Post, "Jaelyn Young"; 3, Matt Williamson and Justin Vicory, McComb Enterprise-Journal, "Senate District 37 Challenge".

Public/Community Service: 1, Haskel Burns, Ellen Ciurczak, Yolanda Cruz and Tim Doherty, Hattiesburg American, "Battle Over Bellevue"; 2, Jacob Batte and Aaren Gordon, The (Houma) Courier, "Oil Spill Anniversary"; 3, The Vicksburg Post, "Breast Cancer".

Investigative: 1, Vershal Hogan, The Natchez Democrat, "How Much from Hydro Plant?"; 2, Sarah Cook, The Natchez Democrat, "Are Natchez Salaries Inflating?"; 3, Vershal Hogan and Sarah Cook, The Natchez Democrat, "Does Recycling Need to be Recycled?"

Spot Sports: 1, Ernest Bowker, The Vicksburg Post, "Bad Weather Ups Challenge of Field Maintenance"; 2, Ernest Bowker, The Vicksburg Post, "Super Hero - Vicksburg Native Malcolm Butler Seals Super Bowl XLIX Victory for Patriots"; 3, Teddy Renois, The (Houma) Courier, "Remembering Hamilton: Nicholls Mourns Loss of Former Student".

Sports Enterprise/Feature: 1, Jason Munz, Hattiesburg American, "Jabarri is Who We Play For Now"; 2, Kelly McElroy, The (Houma) Courier, "No One Fights Alone: Vandy Football Player Honors Local Woman"; 3, Jason Munz, Hattiesburg American, "Making Things Happen".

Sports Columns: 1, Stan Caldwell, Hattiesburg American; 2, Jason Munz, Hattiesburg American; 3, Ben Sutton, Hattiesburg American.

Editorials: 1, Slim Smith, The (Columbus) Commercial Dispatch; 2, Jack Ryan, McComb Enterprise-Journal; 3, Michael Gorman, The (Houma) Courier.

Personal Columns: 1, Slim Smith, The (Columbus) Commercial Dispatch; 2, Jack Ryan, McComb Enterprise-Journal; 3, Keith Magill, The (Houma) Courier.

Headlines: 1, Robyn Jackson, Hattiesburg American; 2, Matt Williamson, McComb Enterprise-Journal; 3, Jason Munz, Hattiesburg American.

Layout & Design: 1, Richard Mullins and Merry Eccles, Hattiesburg American; 2, Ben Hillyer, The Natchez Democrat; 3, The (Houma) Courier, "Oil Spill Anniversary Series".

Photo Spot News: 1, Eli Baylis, Hattiesburg American, "Same Sex, Same Rights"; 2, Justin Sellers, The Vicksburg Post, "Burnt House"; 3, Eli Baylis, Hattiesburg American, "Captured".

General News Photo: 1, Justin Sellers, The Vicksburg Post, "Passed Out in Court"; 2, Ben Hillyer, The Natchez Democrat, "Patiently Waiting for the Last Votes"; 3, Ben Hillyer, The Natchez Democrat, "Hail to the Heroes".

Features Photos: 1, Justin Sellers, The Vicksburg Post, "Ash Wednesday"; 2, Justin Sellers, The Vicksburg Post, "First Day of School"; 3, Matt Williamson, McComb Enterprise-Journal, "Sax in Silhouette".

Illustration: 1, Benjamin Oliver Hicks, The (Houma) Courier, "Hot Demand"; 2, Sam Gause, The Natchez Democrat, "Extra Point Proven"; 3, Chris Heller, The (Houma) Courier, "Promising Future".

Multi-Photo: 1, Matt Williamson, McComb Enterprise-Journal, "Top Notch"; 2, Matt Williamson, McComb Enterprise-Journal, "Movements of Praise"; 3, Paula Merritt, The Meridian Star, "Celebration".

Portrait/Personality: 1, Justin Sellers, The Vicksburg Post, "Shadows of the Past"; 2, Justin Sellers, The Vicksburg Post, "Dentist at Halloween"; 3, Justin Sellers, The Vicksburg Post, "Blues Artist".

Sports Action Photo: 1, Ernest Bowker, The Vicksburg Post, "Vikings Cruise"; 2, Sam Gause, The Natchez Democrat, "At the Buzzer"; 3, Paula Merritt, The Meridian Star, "Play Ball".

Sports Features Photo: 1, Justin Sellers, The Vicksburg Post, "It's Teeball Time"; 2, Justin Sellers, The Vicksburg Post, "Offensive Player of the Year"; 3, Chuck Barnes, McComb Enterprise-Journal, "Ott Honored".

Website: 1, Hattiesburg American; 2, The (Houma) Courier"; 3, The Vicksburg Post.

Online Package: 1, Caroline Hilton and Chris Heller, The (Houma) Courier, "Living on a Vanishing Island "; 2, Caroline Hilton, Meredith Burns and Chris Heller, The (Houma) Courier, "A New 'Cajun Man' - Popular Swamp Tour Changes Hands"; 3, Caroline Hilton, Kate Mabry and Chris Heller, The (Houma) Courier, "Gawk at the Gators: They're Waiting for you in Gibson".

Louisiana-Mississippi APME winners list in DIV II:

Spot News: 1, The (Lafayette) Daily Advertiser, "Real-Life Horror"; 2, Bonnie Bolden, Scott Rogers, Greg Hilburn, Sean Isabella and Kaleb Causey, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Wildlife Agent Shot"; 3, Jim Beam, Lake Charles American Press, "Budget Casualty".

General News: 1, Scott Rogers, The (Monroe) News-Star, "State on Track for Legal Crisis"; 2, Bonnie Bolden, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Leadership Pick a Moment of Truth"; 3, Zack Orsborn, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Nettleton Skeet Shooting Competition Raises Money".

Features: 1, Sean Isabella, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Doughnuts, Faxes & Family"; 2, Alison Bath, The (Shreveport) Times, "Despair, Hope, Joy"; 3, The (Shreveport) Times, "For Sabra ".

Business: 1, Zack Orsborn, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Tupelo Encourages Minority Owned Business Growth"; 2, Greg Hilburn, The (Monroe) News-Star, "IBM to Create 400 Jobs"; 3, Greg Hilburn, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Ouachita Wants, Needs".

Continuing Coverage: 1, The (Lafayette) Daily Advertiser, "Lafayette Theater Shootings"; 2, The (Shreveport) Times, "Red River Flood"; 3, Glenn Guilbeau, The (Lafayette) Daily Advertiser, The Les Miles "Near-Firing Saga.

Public/Community Service: 1, Jeff Benson and Vickie Welborn, The (Shreveport) Times, "Offering an Apology"; 2, Michaela Morris, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Will the Doctor Be In? "; 3, Greg Hilburn and Bob Lenox, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Where the Jobs Are".

Investigative: 1, Michaela Morris, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Will the Doctor Be In?"; 2, Megan Wyatt, The (Lafayette) Daily Advertiser, "Restaurant Inspections: Good Enough? "; 3, Adam Hunsucker, The (Monroe) News-Star, "ULM Dead Last".

Spot Sports: 1, Tabby Soignier, Sean Isabella, Adam Hunsucker and Cody Futrell, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Signing Day"; 2, Brett Hudson, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Neville Repeats Titles"; 3, John Pitts, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Nixon's the One".

Sports Enterprise/Feature: 1, Sean Isabella, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Doughnuts, Faxes & Family"; 2, Glenn Guilbeau, The (Lafayette) Daily Advertiser, "Leonard Fournette's Neighborhood Saved Him from Katrina"; 3, Kevin Connelly, The (Shreveport) Times, "Concussion Proof?"

Sports Columns: 1, Parrish Alford, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal; 2, Kevin Foote, The (Lafayette) Daily Advertiser; 3, John Pitts, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

Editorials: 1, Kathy Spurlock, The (Monroe) News-Star; 2, Mark Henderson, The (Monroe) News-Star; 3, John Guidroz, Lake Charles American Press.

Personal Columns: 1, M. Scott Morris, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal; 2, Justin Phillips, Lake Charles American Press; 3, Jim Beam, Lake Charles American Press.

Headlines: 1, Nick Walsh, Lake Charles American Press; 2, John Pitts, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal; 3, Rhett Manuel, Lake Charles American Press.

Layout & Design: 1, Donna Price, Lake Charles American Press; 2, Donna Price, Lake Charles American Press; 3, Nicole Moller, Lake Charles American Press.

Photo Spot News: 1, Lauren Wood, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Store Crash"; 2, Thomas Wells, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Christmas Tornado"; 3, Adam Robison, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Bus Wreck".

General News Photo: 1, Kirk Meche, Lake Charles American Press, "Slain Trooper"; 2, Adam Robison, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "It's a Fire"; 3, Kirk Meche, Lake Charles American Press, "Wild Blue Yonder".

Features Photos: 1, Kirk Meche, Lake Charles American Press, "Dance Fever"; 2, Margaret Croft, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Sprucing Up"; 3, Thomas Wells, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Hiding Under Her Umbrella".

Illustration: 1, Adam Robison, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Water to Wine".

Multi-Photo: 1, Adam Robison, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Wes' Day"; 2, Kirk Meche, Lake Charles American Press, "Track Town"; 3, Adam Robison, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Full Service".

Sports Action Photo: 1, Thomas Wells, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "On the Floor"; 2, Rick Hickman, Lake Charles American Press, "Lady Saints"; 3, Lauren Wood, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Tripped Up".

Sports Features Photo: 1, Thomas Wells, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Sneaking a Peek"; 2, Rick Hickman, Lake Charles American Press, "In the Chute"; 3, Kirk Meche, Lake Charles American Press, "Kinder Celebrates".

Website: 1, The (Monroe) News-Star; 2, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

Online Package: 1, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Storm Stories: 2014 Tornado One-Year Anniversary"; 2, Sean Isabella, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Strong Roots"; 3, Zack Orsborn, Thomas Wells and Lauren Wood, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, "Spinning Right Around: Area Record Stores Benefit From Vinyl Boom".

Best Blog: 1, Sean Isabella, The (Monroe) News-Star, "On the Sidelines"; 2, Adam Hunsucker, The (Monroe) News-Star, "Both Teams Played Hard".

Louisiana-Mississippi APME winners list in DIV I:

Spot News: 1, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Mother and Children Murder-Suicide Stuns Cops and a Community"; 2, Therese Apel and Anna Wolfe, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "Delta State Shooting: Suspect Dead"; 3, Rebekah Allen, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Petition Drive Falls Short by 71".

General News: 1, Clarion-Ledger and Staff, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "Hurricane Katrina 10 years later"; 2, Kate Royals, Sarah Fowler, Geoff Pender, Katie Eubanks and Clay Chandler, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "States Must Allow Same-Sex Marriage"; 3, Therese Apel, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "One Year Later Jessica Chambers Case Far From Cold".

Features: 1, Jonathan Bullington and Michael DeMocker, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "The Last Murder: A Katrina Cold Case"; 2, Billy Watkins, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "Who would Want to Shoot Kris?"; 3, Jed Lipinski, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "As Nudism Fades in Louisiana, One Campground Nakedly Perseveres".

Business: 1, Katherine Sayre, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Closing Costs: As a Chemical Town Expands, a Louisiana Town Vanishes"; 2, Ted Griggs, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Mid City Hospital Still Faces Obstacles"; 3, Sarah Fowler, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "Costco in the Works Since '14".

Continuing Coverage: 1, Jerry Mitchell, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "Mississippi's Prison Crisis"; 2, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Theater Shooting"; 3, Clay Chandler, Jerry Mitchell, Geoff Pender, Royze Swayze and Daniel Pauling, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "Mississippi State Flag".

Public/Community Service: 1, Richard Webster and Brett Duke, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "The Poisoned Promises of Agriculture Street"; 2, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Call Waiting"; 3, Diana Samuels and Kathleen Flynn, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Burden of Proof: Lyndsi Lambert's Story".

Investigative: 1, Steve Hardy, Maya Lau and Gordon Russell, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Angola Warden Resigns"; 2, Geoff Pender, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "State Auditor Under Federal Probe"; 3, Mollie Bryant, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, "JSU Firings, Suits Raise Questions".

Spot Sports: 1, Ross Dellenger, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "More For Les"; 2, Evan Woodbery, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Saints Release Junior Galette, Who Says Move Was Terrible Call"; 3, Randy Rosetta, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "LSU Can't Get Last Shot to Fall in Gut-Wrenching Loss to Top-Ranked Kentucky".

Sports Enterprise/Feature: 1, Ross Dellenger, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "I'm the Last Hope"; 2, Jeff Duncan, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Tom Benson's Wildly Successful Life Has Been Marred by Tragedy"; 3, Luke Johnson, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Hud's Vision".

Sports Columns: 1, Ted Lewis, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Time Out"; 2, Rod Walker, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Time Out"; 3, Jeff Duncan, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "New Orleans Sports Columns".

Editorials: 1, Paul Hampton, Gulfport Sun Herald, "Singing River Health System"; 2, Terri Troncale, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune; 3, Danny Heitman, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Carnival's Answer to Tyranny".

Personal Columns: 1, Paul Hampton, Gulfport Sun Herald; 2, Geoff Pender, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger; 3, Billy Watkins, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger.

Headlines: 1, Charles Chauff, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate; 2, Charles Chauff, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate; 3, Arthur Jaramillo, Gulfport Sun Herald.

Layout & Design: 1, Jay Martin, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate; 2, Jay Martin, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate; 3, Charles Chauff, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.

Photo Spot News: 1, Michael DeMocker, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Street Fight"; 2, Michael DeMocker, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Comforting the Wounded"; 3, John McCusker, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Algiers Homicide".

General News Photo: 1, John McCusker, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "First Day of School"; 2, Tim Isbell, Gulfport Sun Herald, "Coast Salutes its Military"; 3, Matthew Hinton, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Shaking her Tailfeathers".

Features Photos: 1, Matthew Hinton, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Darryl DancingMan504 Young"; 2, Scott Threlkeld, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Caught Crane"; 3, Bill Feig, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Sea of Flags".

Illustration: 1, David Grunfeld, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Smoking Ban Illustration".

Multi-Photo: 1, Matthew Hinton, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Funeral of a Fallen Officer"; 2, Ted Jackson, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Determined to Succeed: Sean Talley's Story".

Portrait/Personality: 1, David Grunfeld, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Po-Boy Man"; 2, David Grunfeld, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Nudist Portrait"; 3, Matthew Hinton, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Mardi Gras Indian".

Sports Action Photo: 1, Matthew Hinton, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Dunking on the Suns"; 2, David Grunfeld, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Gumby Man"; 3, Brett Duke, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Anthony Davis Dunkmaster".

Sports Features Photo: 1, Patrick Dennis, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "High Fives"; 2, Travis Spradling, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Coming Up for Air"; 3, Hilary Scheinuk, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Field Paint".

Website: 1, Advocate Digital Team, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate; 2, Gulfport Sun Herald; 3, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune.

Online Package: 1, Anita Lee, Amanda McCoy and Justin Mitchell, Gulfport Sun Herald, "Me and Mama are Gonna Die: Dispatchers Saved Lives of Desperate Katrina Callers"; 2, Gulfport Sun Herald, "Hurricane Katrina Anniversary"; 3, Miles Thorpe, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Cutting Class: Higher Education in Louisiana".

Best Blog : 1, Jeff Asher, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Behind the Numbers"; 2, Justin Mitchell, Gulfport Sun Herald, "Throwing Shade"; 3, Scott Rabalais, Sheldon Mickles, Ross Dellenger, Les East and Marcus Rodrigue, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "TigerTracks".

Louisiana-Mississippi APME winners list in College:

College Breaking/Spot News: 1, Lana Ferguson and Logan Kirkland, The Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi, "Former Student Sentenced for Noose Incident"; 2, Rachel Maxwell, The Tech Talk, Louisiana Tech University, "Students Hold Vigil for Nepal"; 3, Sam Karlin, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "President Obama Visits New Orleans for Katrina's 10th Anniversary".

College Enterprise/Investigative: 1, Sam Karlin, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "Students Claim Tigerland Bars' Dress Codes are Discriminatory, Target Black Patrons"; 2, Mark Robinson, The Maroon, Loyola University, "Facing the Job Market"; 3, Kaci Cazenave, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "Druggings Prevalent in Tigerland, According to Students, SHC Officials".

College Sports Breaking News: 1, Brandon LaGarde, The Gramblinite, Grambling State University, "Robinsons Reunite"; 2, James Bewers, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "LSU Community Puts Fandom Aside, Welcomes South Carolina"; 3, Christian Boutwell, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "Inclement Weather Forces LSU to Cancel Season Opener".

College Sports Enterprise/Feature: 1, Morgan Prewitt, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "LSU Softball Team Embraces SEC Style of Bows, Glamour"; 2, Kassandra Merritt, The Gramblinite, Grambling State University, "Married to the Game"; 3, Dylan Rubino, The Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi, "The New Chad Kelly".

College Features: 1, Clara Turnage, The Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi, "Walking Away"; 2, Sam Karlin, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "Lone Democrat John Bel Edwards Vies for Governorship on Higher Education Platform"; 3, Blake Branch, The Tech Talk, Louisiana Tech University, "A New Level of Excuses".

College Editorials: 1, Lauren Stroh and Gage Counts, The Maroon, Loyola University; 2, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "Students, Leaders Must Rally Against Critical Budget Cuts.

College Personal Columns: 1, Clara Turnage, The Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi, "I Know Heritage and the Mississippi Flag Isn't It"; 2, Justin DiCharia, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "The Stigma of Mental Illness Needs to Go"; 3, Cody Sexton, The Tech Talk, Louisiana Tech University, "The Two Party Parody; Couldn't Think of a Tidal; The Real American Snipers are Filmmakers".

College Spot News Photos: 1, Courtland Wells, Student Printz, University of Southern Mississippi, "First Day of Same-Sex Marriage in Mississippi"; 2, Zoe Geauthreaux, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "Clinton"; 3, Devin Dronett, The Tech Talk, Louisiana Tech University, "Nepal Vigil Photo".

College Feature Photos: 1, Courtland Wells, Student Printz, University of Southern Mississippi, "Euroha Parade"; 2, Hunt Mercier, Student Printz, University of Southern Mississippi, "Special Olympics"; 3, Haskell Whittington, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "Modest Mouse".

College Sports Photos: 1, Javier Fernandez, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "Les Miles"; 2, Javier Fernandez, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, "Rain"; 3, Jordan Cameron, The Gramblinite, Grambling State University, "G-Men Take First SWAC Win".

College Layout and Design: 1, Caroline Arbour and April Ahmed, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University; 2, Karla Rosas and Naasha Dotlwala, The Maroon, Loyola University; 3, Caroline Arbour, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University.

College Website: 1, The Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi; 2, Mary Graci, The Maroon, Loyola University"; 3, The Tech Talk, Louisiana Tech University.

College General Excellence: 1, The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University; 2, Nia Porter and Mary Graci, The Maroon, Loyola University; 3, The Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi.

College News Bureau - News: 1, Megan Ferrando, The Lion's Roar, "Lions Aids Nepal After Tragedy".

College News Bureau - Features: 1, Gwendolyn Ducre, The Hawkeye, University of Louisiana at Monroe, "Logan 'Knox' Down Handicap Barriers"; 2, Ashley Lyons, The Hawkeye, University of Louisiana at Monroe, "Professor's Horror Becomes Dream Come True"; 3, Ashley Lyons, The Hawkeye, University of Louisiana at Monroe, "Below Rises Above Cancer".

---

Online:

This list of winners is posted online at:

http://discover.ap.org/contests/louisiana-mississippi-apme

SPORTS

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/article76298702.html#storylink=cpy
16 2016-05-05
Monroe

The New Music on the Bayou Festival


MONROE, La (ULM) - Composers from around the U.S. and beyond are coming to the Monroe/Ruston area from June 1st through June 4th to have their music performed at the New Music on the Bayou Festival.

Monroe concert venues will include the Masur Museum of Art, The Palace, and the Biedenharn Recital Hall of the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Ruston venues will include Louisiana Tech’s F. Jay Taylor Visual Arts Center as well as the Dixie Center for the Arts.

Daytime sessions will be filled with rehearsals (open to the community) allowing performers and composers to exchange artistic ideas as they prepare the selected compositions for afternoon/evening concerts.

Earlier this year, Festival coordinators issued a “call for scores,” which received over 100 submissions from composers around the globe. Forty-five of those pieces, which include combinations for instruments and voice, were accepted. Composers, from distances as far as Italy and as close as Bossier City, will be available for discussion with community members following each concert.

There will be a short performance of nature-inspired music at the Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, June 4 at noon. This event is meant to recognize the uniqueness of the area and to highlight the “nature theme” of the Festival. A $500 composition prize sponsored by Friends of Black Bayou will be awarded to the piece that best demonstrates the connection between music and the natural world.

The last two concerts will be followed by receptions offering audiences the opportunity to meet the composers and performers. The final concert at the Dixie Center for the Arts in Ruston is a ticketed event and will include the announcement of the composition award winners. All other events are open and free to the public.

The New Music on the Bayou Festival has been made possible in part by contributions from the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, Ecoutez Press, the Monroe Symphony League, and your 24 local State Farm agents.

More information about the Festival can be found at newmusiconthebayou.com including a complete schedule and list of participants.

16 2016-05-03
Monroe

Two ULM Alumni to be Featured on The Balancing Act


MONROE, La (ULM) - University of Louisiana Monroe alumni Hope Anderson (B.A., '10) and Joey Trappey (B.B.A. '05, M.Ed. '07) will be featured on The Balancing Act® airing on Lifetime® Television, Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Anderson graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in mass communications. In 2008, she was crowned Miss ULM, and then in 2011, she was crowned Miss Louisiana. Anderson is a dynamic speaker and registered dietician who resides in Nashville, Tenn.

Trappey graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in business and again in 2007 with a Master’s degree in education. He was a member of the ULM football team from 2001-2005, serving as team captain from 2003-2005. He is the owner of two popular Monroe eateries: The Fieldhouse and Trapp’s.

Anderson and Trappey will speak about their experiences as students and offer words of advice to those who are contemplating pursuing higher education.

The segment is scheduled to air Tuesday, May 3 and 10 at 7:30am (ET/PT).
___

About the Balancing Act:
Entering its 8th season, The Balancing Act continues to empower women in all aspects of their lives. The mission at The Balancing Act is simple - to help today’s modern woman balance it all by bringing them positive solutions to enrich and empower them. Entertaining, educational and trusted by women, viewers can tune in to America’s premier morning show, The Balancing Act, on weekday mornings, Monday through Friday, at 7:30 am (ET/PT) on Lifetime Television.

16 2016-05-03
Monroe

ULM Concert Choir performs Saturday


The University of Louisiana at Monroe Concert Choir presents STARS: A ULM Choral Fundraiser on Saturday.

The concert will be in Brown Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

Songs by Sister Sledge, Amy Winehouse, Kool and the Gang, The Carpenters and more will be performed.

The choir is under the direction of Deborah Chandler and Julian Jones.

ULM students with ID admitted free, $5 for faculty and general admission tickets are $10. Tickets are available at the door.
16 2016-05-03
Monroe

LSBDC celebrates National Small Business Week throughout May


MONROE, La (LSBDC at ULM) - Louisiana Small Business Development Center hosted at the University of Monroe will be celebrating National Small Business Week throughout the month of May. The center has partnered with the West Monroe West Ouachita Chamber to give thanks to small businesses in the community.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes National Small Business Week May 1-7, 2016.

The celebration will kick off by recognizing Small Businesses throughout Northeast Louisiana through social media and onsite
visits. A series of outreach workshops have been scheduled during the second week of May including a Lunch and Learn, “Importance of Business Retention,” May 12, at 11:30 located at the WMWO Chamber.

A series of Lunch and Learn workshops have been scheduled May 16-19 including, Financial Success in Your Small Business, Growth and Sales Strategies, #NELAMILLS: Meet the Millennials Part 2, and Brand Your Business. The week will conclude with an awards ceremony hosted by the center in Stubbs Hall on the ULM campus for small businesses that have taken advantage of the LSBDC organization.

Small businesses will also be recognized at the WMWO Chamber's Annual Small Business Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 10 at noon at the West Monroe Convention Center. Guest speaker will be Rande Kessler, director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center. Tickets are $15 each, and reservations can be made by calling the Chamber at 325-1961.

The list keeps going… The Thomas H. Scott Awards, honoring small businesses who make a true impact on the community, will be presented at the ULM Conference Center on May 19. This event will be hosted by the Monroe Chamber, Scott Companies, among a host of key small businesses in Northeast Louisiana.

Across the nation and in Louisiana, small businesses have a huge impact on the economy. The La. Association for Business and Industry reports there are more than 424,000 businesses in Louisiana, employing more than 892,000 people. Small businesses make up more than 97 percent of Louisiana's employers, providing more than half of the state's private workforce in 2012.

The LSBDC gives a big thanks to all small businesses for their commitment to their business and the community. Small businesses create jobs for our residents, and sales tax generated by these businesses help fund schools, parks, roadways and other vital services.
16 2016-05-02
Monroe

Noble wins Best of Photography at Lafayette Show


Joni H. Noble, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Visual and Performing Arts, brought the University of Louisiana at Monroe another victory from the Big Easel Competition in Lafayette.

“I was so excited to win the Best of Photography award.” Dr. Noble said, “The competition is always competitive and it’s good to know that my work is rated highly among the judges.”

The Big Easel is a national juried invitation-only art competition for original fine art, with no prints or reproductions allowed. The showcase features many artists mainly from south Louisiana, Massachusetts, Georgia and Texas.

Last year during the competition she received recognition for her “Rectilinear” series, which is a collection of acrylic paintings created with pixilating techniques. The year prior, in 2014, Noble’s work, “Hampton Court Palace Gardens,” won the award for Best Photography.

This year Noble continues her wining streak with a new piece form her backyard home in Monroe, titled, “St. Valentine’s Day.” In which she received the Best Photography in show award.

Her usual work is closely related to all of her study abroad classes, and normally involves landscapes from Europe. However, this year’s piece was a dried flower that was shot in black and white and then hand-colored with oil.

“The message conveyed in this shows that beautiful art is available wherever one is,” Noble said. “Yes, there are beautiful landscapes in Europe, but my own backyard in Monroe, Louisiana, produced this winning photograph and I’m very grateful.”

Noble received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Louisiana at Monroe; a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Louisiana Tech University; and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Art Education from the University of Texas at Austin.

She has taught at ULM since 1997, and is a member of the National Art Education Association, the Louisiana Art Education Association, Kappa Delta Pi, and Phi Lambda Theta.

16 2016-05-02
Monroe

Campus initiative to draw attention to budget crisis


MONROE, La (ULM) - A day of mass emailing called Mission: Maroon is being planned for May 2 by ULM leadership in response to the possible losses that Louisiana higher education and healthcare are facing in the next fiscal year.

Katherine Dawson, Coordinator of Online Programs, said the day will be a specific day for students, faculty, staff, alums and the community to contact their state legislators and ask for action to support higher education and healthcare in Louisiana.

“The tone of the event isn’t to gripe at the state legislators, it’s an opportunity to speak up and have our voices heard. We want to let as many legislators as possible know that there are voters who care about higher ed and healthcare,” Dawson said.

A rally will take place in Scott Plaza on May 2nd from 11:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Those who cannot come out to the Quad are encouraged to participate at home. Contact information for legislators may be found at http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx.

The Staff Senate, Faculty Senate and Student Government Association will host the day.

An estimated 30,000 Louisiana college students may lose their funding next year, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ most recent budget proposal. Under the proposal, higher education would also see a six percent cut, and four state hospitals would be closed.

Dawson said that President Nick Bruno has continuously encouraged students to reach out to legislators, but many emails sent within a short time frame may be more impactful. Plans for the day are big, with hopefully thousands of emails sent to legislators.

On May 3, the day after the event, representatives and business leaders from Northeast Louisiana will travel to Baton Rouge for Northern Exposure to meet at the State Capitol and discuss issues affecting the area.

**Author: Olivia Barfield - Originally published in The Hawkeye
16 2016-05-02
Monroe

ULM holds Phi Kappa Phi initiation


The annual Phi Kappa Phi initiation was held April 17, 2016 at 3 p.m. in the ULM Library Conference Center.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective multidisciplinary collegiate honor society. It was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine to recognize excellence in all academic disciplines.

The ULM chapter received its charter in 1970. Each spring, the chapter invites to membership the top 7.5% of the junior class, the top 10% of the senior class and graduate students, and outstanding faculty and alumni.

“This is a great achievement for these initiates, as they are becoming part of an elite group of individuals who have shined in their academic pursuits,” said Cynthia Robertson, secretary for the ULM chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

“Since Phi Kappa Phi is interdisciplinary in scope, we see in the initiation ceremony a wide range of future successful professionals, including teachers, scholars, scientists, health care providers, and entrepreneurs,” added Dr. Chris Michaelides, president of the ULM chapter. “It really is an extraordinary gathering of high-achieving students and a great opportunity for us to recognize their outstanding achievements.”

This year’s initiates are:

FACULTY

Jeffrey E. Anderson (Monroe)

Wendy Bailes (West Monroe)

Katie Dawson (Monroe)

Caitlin P. McKeighan (Monroe)

Richard D. Seiler, Jr. (Farmerville)

GRADUATE STUDENTS

Kaylen V. Guillot (Marksville)

Hannah K. Schmidt (Clinton)

Abby Little (Baskin)

Adrian D. Storey (Arcadia)

SENIORS

Amanda G. Bartet (West Monroe)

Allison N. Burney (Monroe)

Magen R. Cox (Grayson)

Donnet M. Good (Sterlington)

Sarah R. Harris (West Monroe)

Ashley M. Hines (Calhoun)

Grace Jeanfreau (Alexandria)

Walter I. Kipp (New Iberia)

Kylie R. Kukowski (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

Kersten Lee (Minden)

Jacob E. Lester (Monroe)

Connor McCain (Winnsboro)

Adrienne Robinson (West Monroe)

Harmony L. Russ (West Monroe)

Kylen Smith (Shelbyville, TX)

Seth P. Tackett (Oak Grove)

Jillee B. Waits (Oak Grove)

Hamilton S. Winters II (West Monroe)

JUNIORS

Kelsey M. Coon (West Monroe)

Sydney N. Davis (Mesquite, TX)

Grant Gallien (West Monroe)

Joshua Glatter (Morgan City)

Ellison Jackson (Monroe)

Mattie Kincannon (West Monroe)

Lauren Lewis (Alexandria)

Caitlin I. Lingoni (Marrero)

Kristin Little (Minden)

Kaitlin Neal (Monroe)

Taylor Sharkey (Kentwood)

Ellie Starnes (Monroe)

Jenny L. Ware (Monroe)

Allison Willard (Sterlington)

16 2016-04-29
Monroe

Scripture Sleuth


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's arguably the most influential book ever written. The Bible is a collection of historical texts and for Christians the written word of God. So where did it come from and how has it survived the test of time? Both questions for biblical scholars like Dr. Brice Jones at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). He's garnered national attention for his research having been interviewed by the New York Times and the Telegraph.

Today the Bible is available with just the touch of a finger and in hundreds of translations.

"When people pick up the Bible, they don't realize that the text they're reading is preserved in ancient manuscripts," Jones said.

Dr. Brice Jones studies these ancient manuscripts. Think "Indiana Jones." Only, this isn't the movies; it's the real thing.

"So it's not just the King James Version or New Revised Standard Version. The early Christians had no concept of this kind of Bible," Jones said.

Jones travels the world looking for writings that have yet to be translated.
In his new book "New Testament Texts on Greek Amulets from Late Antiquity" he analyzes 24 manuscripts from ancient Egypt. He discovered them in an the Egyptian town of Oxycontin, all from the new testament and written in Greek.

"These are the fingerprints of ancient people who took the Bible very seriously. They used them, they read them and lived them out," Jones said.

Only copies of the original manuscripts are available at the ULM library, but Jones says there's nothing better than touching the actual papyrus and seeing the ink up close.

The Biedenharn's Bible Museum is also home to dozens of rare bibles, some that date back hundreds of years. Museum Director Ralph Calhoun said they have a very wide assortment.

"We have Bibles that people aren't going to see without going to a large town and really maybe even some large cities. You aren't going to find a collection as good as ours," Calhoun said.

About 30-thousand people pass through the doors of the Biedenharn's doors every year, and they come from all over.

Jones has traveled the world for his studies. He says the translation of the Bible has come a long way in 2000 years.

"The King James Version as great of a translation as it was in the 17th century, it was not a very good translation and we know that today because we've discovered thousands more Greek new testament scripts," Jones said.

Thanks to scholars like Jones who do this kind of work, there are only more translations to come.

"Situating the Bible in its historical context has always been fascinating to me and it's a story that needs to be told and we don't hear it enough," Jones said.
16 2016-04-28
Baton Rouge

Clinton native inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society at UL-Monroe


Clinton native Hannah Kelly was recently inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, which recognizes excellence in all academic disciplines.

Kelly, a 2007 graduate of Silliman Institute, was initiated at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and joins the 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be inducted into Phi Kappa Phi annually, a news release said.

Membership is by invitation only and requires being nominated and approved by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors having at least 72 semester hours are eligible for membership.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and headquartered in Baton Rouge, Phi Kappa Phi’s Honor Society has chapters on more than 300 college and university campuses in the U.S. and the Philippines.

16 2016-04-27
Monroe

eULM’s Masters in Public Administration named among nation’s most affordable


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s online master’s degree in Public Administration has been named one of the nation’s most affordable by GradSchoolHub.com.

ULM came in at the #9 spot, outranking 21 other schools, including Clemson University, University of Missouri, University of Colorado, University of South Florida, University of Illinois, among others.

The ranking company examined 84 schools that offer an online master’s degree in public administration. From this pool of schools, the company selected those that had earned rankings from major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report. The schools were ranked based on the most current tuition and fees published by the NCES College Navigator.

“Occupations requiring a master’s degree are the fastest growing and will remain that way over the next couple of decades,” said Dr. Joshua Stockley, professor of Political Science at ULM and co-cordinator of the MPA program. “Individuals with an MPA are not only in high demand, but are well paid. When coupled with our affordability, it is clear that ULM’s MPA degree is a very sound financial investment.”

eULM offers one associate degree, sixteen bachelor degrees, eighteen master degrees, and two doctoral degrees. The online program has received numerous national recognitions and rankings.

The Online College Plan ranking can be viewed at http://www.gradschoolhub.com/best/affordable-online-masters-public-administration-2016/

For more information about eULM, visit ulm.edu/eulm.
16 2016-04-27
Monroe

Former West Monroe/ULM Track standout competes in Boston Marathon


(KNOE 8 Sports) - On some days, you'll find ULM director of recruitment Seth Hall hard at work in his cubicle. But there's another spot on campus he's particularly fond of.

"Just like anyone knows, in order to do something really great you gotta do some hard work behind the scenes that people don't see," Hall said. "So running in the Grove, this is where a lot of hard work is done."

Hard work that eventually paid off. The former West Monroe and ULM Track standout turned those hours in the Grove into a spot on one of running's biggest stages: the Boston Marathon.

"(There's) literally thousands of people on both sides of the road for all 26 miles," Hall said of the experience. "But at the finish line, I'm just talking wall to wall people screaming, cheering."

The West Monroe native ran the marathon with a time of 3:04.28, and said by the end of it all, he was just ready to cross that finish line.

"I was just relieved," Hall said. "My body was killing me. I mean, every muscle in my legs were just screaming and hurting. But then I just started thinking about what an accomplishment it was, how much work I put into it (and) how hard it was to get there."

Hall isn't shy about his love for his alma mater, and said it was an honor to represent the Warhawks in such a historic event.

"There were athletes running that will be in the Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, and I got to race in the same race that they're running in," Hall marveled. "And of course, because I love ULM, I'm wearing ULM stuff everywhere. It's just so cool to kind of put us on the map just a little bit, get us exposed in the Boston area."

When he's not busy running marathons, Hall works to recruit future Warhawks to come experience ULM. He said having that Boston Marathon medal certainly doesn't hurt his efforts.

"Just this week, I was going back and forth with a guy who we're recruiting to come run track and field here," Hall said. "I was a little late on responses to him and I said hey, I'm sorry that I'm late, but actually I'm in Boston. I just ran the Boston Marathon, something that I hope you'll do one day, and something that ULM will set you up to do one day."

"Honestly, I got there because of ULM people. So I can say 100 percent, I went there because of ULM."
16 2016-04-22
Monroe

ULM honors five community leaders with awards at ‘Evening of Honor’


The University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation recognized five community leaders with the presentation of the ‘Warhawk Ambassador Award’ during an evening of honor last night on ULM’s campus.

The Warhawk Ambassador Award was presented to George Campbell (Chairman, North Louisiana, Regions Bank), Tim Green (Partner at Allen, Green and Williamson, LLP accounting firm), Malcolm Maddox (Senior VP Commercial Lending Manager for IberiaBank), Mayor Jamie Mayo (Mayor of Monroe), and James Moore, Jr. (business executive, hotel owner and developer).
16 2016-04-21
Monroe

Monroe Mayor receives ULM Warhawk Ambassador Award


MONROE, La (City of Monroe) - Mayor Jamie Mayo has been named the recipient of the ULM Warhawk Ambassador Award from the ULM Foundation for Ambassador Service, based upon recommendations by faculty/staff/administration for his years of service in active roles that may include:

a. Advocacy
b. Bringing alumni into active roles
c. Service on Boards, Committees, Teams
d. Monetary and In-kind-gift donations
e. Faculty/Staff/Administration support
f. Assisting students through internships, job fairs, and other interactions

Mayor Jamie Mayo comments, "Like so many others, I chose a life of public service to make a difference in the city that I'm so proud to represent. I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the ULM Foundation. I am thankful to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Bruno and the university faculty, staff, students and other alumni to help further the positive efforts of a great school that is dear to my heart. I am truly appreciative to receive this prestigious award."

Mayor Mayo was recognized at a program held at ULM on Tuesday evening.
16 2016-04-19
Monroe

ULM’s Hawkeye wins TV, social media awards in NYC


The Hawkeye, the student-run newspaper at the University of Louisiana Monroe, returned to the College Media Association’s conference in New York City last month and brought home two national awards.

The team of writers, editors, photographers and videographers earned second place for “Best Television Newscast” and third place for “Best Facebook Page.” This is the first time The Hawkeye won an award for its Facebook page. It was the second year in a row that ULM won second place for its television newscast, “Hawk-E News.”

“This was my first semester running the Hawkeye’s Facebook page and I really wanted to see it become more interactive with students,” said Ashley Lyons, multimedia director of the Hawkeye. “I think social media is an important tool for journalists and I’m glad our efforts were recognized.”

Gwendolyn Ducre, editor-in-chief of the Hawkeye, said travelling to New York was an amazing experience and taught the Hawkeye staff how important it is to encourage peers to engage in more news.

“News is our profession, but it’s also part of human conversation and so we must be more attentive to what is being said in our community,” Ducre said. “We are constantly reporting on other organizations and their accomplishments so it’s humbling to be a product of ULM’s many successes.”

The Hawkeye competed in CMA last year and brought home third place for “Best Newspaper—four-year school, 5,000-10,000 students,” second place for “Best Television Newscast,” and first place for “Best Radio Promo.”
16 2016-04-19
Monroe

Abraham to serve as ULM Spring Commencement speaker


The University of Louisiana Monroe’s annual spring Commencement Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14 in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Several honor graduates will also be recognized during the ceremony. They are designated as summa cum laude (3.900-4.000), magna cum laude (3.750-3.899) and cum laude (3.500-3.749).

Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, representing the 5th District of Louisiana, will serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

“It’s an honor for me to have been invited to speak at ULM’s commencement,” said Dr. Abraham. “I appreciate the Class of 2016 for allowing me to share in this important milestone in their lives.”

A native of Richland Parish, Abraham earned a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from LSU in 1980 and practiced for 10 years before eventually seeking his Doctorate of Medicine, which he earned at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport in 1994. As Abraham likes to say, he wanted to be able to “treat anything that walks on two or four legs.”

He is a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee and is the chairman of the subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, a position rarely achieved by freshmen members of Congress. His position on the subcommittee will provide him an important role in implementing effective and efficient reforms to Department of Veterans Affairs while holding the administration accountable. He is also on the HVAC subcommittee on Health.

Abraham is a veteran himself after serving in the Army Reserves, in which he achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant, and the Mississippi National Guard. He also volunteers with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Air Force's Civil Air Patrol.

He also serves on the Agriculture Committee. The 5th District is one of the largest row crop districts in the nation, and many of the district’s farmers raise livestock. Abraham’s position on the House Committee on Agriculture, including the General Farm Commodities & Risk Management and the Nutrition subcommittees, puts him in the best position to make sure Louisiana’s farmers are well-represented on the federal level. Abraham has spent a lifetime working on his farm, building miles of fences, driving open-cab tractors, herding cattle and breaking wild horses. He understands firsthand the hard work that America’s farmers put in daily.

Abraham was elected to represent Louisiana's 5th District in December 2014. He is serving a two-year term and is eligible for re-election in December 2016.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Abraham join us as this year’s Spring commencement speaker,” Dr. Nick J. Bruno, ULM’s president. “He is in fact no stranger to ULM. He has served as a guest speaker at our annual Veterans Day event, hosted one of our students as an intern in Washington, and assisted the university in securing a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the TRiO Student Support Services program (SSS) at ULM. We are all looking forward to his visit here.”

For those who cannot attend, the live webcast can be found at http://www.ulm.edu/commencement/. Shortly after the conclusion of the event, a full recording of the event will be archived for viewing.

For seating and guest information, visit http://www.ulm.edu/registrar/commencement.html.
16 2016-04-19
Monroe

ULM’s online marketing degree named country’s most affordable


The University of Louisiana Monroe was recently recognized by AffordableSchools.net, a leading higher education resource, for having the most affordable online bachelor’s degree in marketing.

"ULM is committed to providing adult learners the opportunity to earn their education at an affordable cost,” said Paula Thornhill, director of eULM. “In today’s economic climate, affordable education is a necessity and we are making sure that we do our part in making that happen.”

The site ranking is determined by a variety of factors, including price of in-state and out-of-state tuition, as well as net price. ULM ranked number one out of twenty affordable universities. Other schools that made the list include Missouri Southern State University (#2), Troy University (#6), Indiana State University (#11), and the University of Memphis (#15).

As part of their methodology, AffordableSchools.net collected various data for colleges offering a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A comparison of the latest recorded in-state and out-of-state tuitions showed that ULM was found to be the most affordable with the lowest net price.



The online marketing degree is accessible to students who are not able to attend classes and facilitates an opportunity for their education.
16 2016-04-14
Monroe

ULM to conduct clean water research


The University of Louisiana Monroe and the Ouachita Parish Police Jury are entering into a memorandum of understanding to conduct clean water research.

This partnership and future research comes at a pivotal time, as much of Louisiana’s bodies of water are affected by pollution. In some areas water may be unsafe for humans to drink or bathe in, and fish may be unsafe for human consumption.

The purification of water can be expensive, but a less costly way to filter pollutants from water entering lakes, rivers and bayous exists through the use of wetlands.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
ULM historian publishes book on ancient biblical manuscripts

A natural wetland exists at the former Calhoun research station where ULM and OPPJ have agreed to conduct research. Water passing through the wetland drains into Cheniere Lake. The current wetland will be used as well as constructed artificial wetlands using native plants on site. The goal of the research is to find effective and low-cost water purification systems that can be used in both farming and semi-urban communities.

An added benefit to the community is the inclusion of K-12 students and teachers from the region, and especially those from Calhoun Elementary and Middle Schools. They will be involved in the research and use the site for educational purposes.

“ULM has identified three desired outcomes from this research project,” said Dr. Eric Pani, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “First, that a sustainable supply of clean water will be available to the region. Second, that students from area schools will pursue higher education degrees in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, meeting workforce needs in the region and filling high-income jobs. And third, the creation of new small businesses that commercialize discoveries made from the research site.”

Committed partners for this project include the LSU AgCenter, Southern University AgCenter, Hanbat National University in Korea, and Ouachita Parish Schools.


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ULM is still seeking more partners for the project.

Those interested in participating should contact Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee in the Biology Department or Dr. Kevin Baer in the Toxicology Department.
16 2016-04-14
Monroe

ULM Wind Ensemble final performance Thursday


The University of Louisiana at Monroe Wind Ensemble will present the final performance of the semester on Thursday at 7:30 pm in Brown Theater.

The Wind Ensemble is comprised of student musicians and conducted by Derle R. Long, Director of ULM’s Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA). Guest conductor Jason Rinehart, Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at ULM.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
ULM brings comedians John Mulaney and Damon Wayans, Jr. to Monroe

The performance is free.

The repertoire selected for this performance includes Head Rush by ULM alumnus Jay Bocook, Symphony for Band by Vincent Persichetti, Festive Overture by Dimitri Shostakovich, and Variations on a Hymn by Louis Bourgeois by Claude T. Smith.

For more information, contact the VAPA office at 342-3811.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
16 2016-04-14
Monroe

ULM "Walks a mile in her shoes"


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Students and faculty at ULM showed their support for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence...one step at a time.

Male students and faculty slipped on high heels for the 'Walk a Mile In Her Shoes' event.

Organizers say it's a way to show solidarity among genders and show support for victims.

After the walk there was a candlelight vigil. Survivors shared stories and students were able to open up about personal experiences.

A moving atmosphere and one ULM junior Ansell Jordan said was refreshing.

"People need to realize that abuse isn't a female thing, it's a human thing and everyone is going to go through it in same form or fashion," he said.

Organizers say this is the first year the've thrown the event, but after the response they say they plan to do it again next year.
16 2016-04-13
Monroe

ULM students bag food for needy families


Students of the University of Louisiana at Monroe got hands-on experience volunteering Tuesday at the West Ouachita Senior Center.

Volunteers from Paula Griswold’s social epidemiology class filled brown paper bags with food staples as part of the center’s quarterly U.S.Department of Agriculture commodities food distribution.

“We’ve worked on several projects [with the senior center] throughout the years,” Griswold said. “They’re invaluable for these students. We’ve talked about all of these things in class…the aging process, senior centers, seniors in their community and the value of seniors, even in their own families. And this is a way for them to connect the dots.”

Jeanette Ellington, director of the senior center, said the afternoon, which included a tour of the center, was mutually beneficial for students and seniors.

“I’m a former school teacher, so I love intergenerational activities,” Ellington said. “I love having the youth in the building and interacting with seniors. I think it’s also a positive reciprocal project. The students also love helping the seniors. They’ve contributed a lifetime, so why not give back to them in their bonus years.”

Ellington said the commodities distribution feeds hundreds of indigent families in west Ouachita and more senior citizens will be eligible for pickup this year as the new income guidelines are higher.

Jake Monnin pushes a cart of canned vegetables intoBuy Photo
Jake Monnin pushes a cart of canned vegetables into the multi-purpose room at the West Monroe Senior Center. (Photo: Ashley Mott/The News-Star)
“[We have] 30,000 seniors in Ouachita Parish,” Ellington said. “We’re the eighth largest in the state with seniors over age 60. I know many are gainfully employed but many are disabled, retired and their income is very fixed. The cost of inflation has reduced their income purchasing power.”

Ellington said in addition to receiving both perishable and nonperishable food items, applicants would also receive a pack of heavy plastic bags this month to assist with cleanup efforts.
16 2016-04-13
Monroe

ULM brings comedians John Mulaney and Damon Wayans, Jr. to Monroe


John Mulaney and Damon Wayans, Jr. will perform live at the Jack Howard Theater at the Monroe Civic Center on April 21 at 8 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the ULM Campus Activities Board as part of Spring Fever, a week full of fun, food, and events for the ULM community.

John Mulaney is best known for his standup comedy career, writing for Saturday Night Live, and his collaborative work with comedian Nick Kroll. Mulaney has also starred in his own show on Fox (named after him) and his Netflix special, "The Comeback Kid."

Damon Wayans, Jr. is a standup comedian and actor, best known for his roles in New Girl, Let's Be Cops, Happy Endings, and more. He is a member of the famous Wayans family of comedians.

Tickets are $15 for ULM Students and $25 for the public.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are available at www.ulm.edu/springconcert.

16 2016-04-13
Monroe

Autism Center opens on ULM's campus and is accepting patients


MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) April is Autism Awareness month and several groups across the country are planning events to bring attention to the disorder that affects 1 in 68 children, and what you may not know is that ULM has their very own Autism Center.

They actually just recently started accepting patients, and currently have 10 patients and are accepting more with recommendation.

The center serves children and teenagers from 1 to 18 years old.

Autism spectrum disorder or autism is a brain disorder.
Dr. David Irwin calls it a nerve developmental disorder.

He said people who suffer from Autism show different signs.
Some people with Autism have poor communication and social skills and some have feeding and swallowing problems.

Dr.Irwin said the center's goal is to be a resource for children and families by helping them with accurate diagnosis services and much more.

"We will help them with constellations and follow up services for treatment. Also educate and help professionals and parents know more about what Autism is? And how work with somebody who has Autism Spectrum Disorder", Dr. David Irwin said.

Dr. Irwin said researchers use to say 1 out of 150 children suffered from Autism, but now he believes more people are becoming more aware about it, and that's their goal to educate and clear up myths.

"Some of the myths that surround Autism is that the child does not want to communicate with someone, but actually the method and the way they communicate is so different then the way we typically expect", Dr. David Irwin said.

For more information on the center or how to become a patient; visit their website.

There's a link posted in the "related links" section.

16 2016-04-13
Monroe

U.S. Air Force Band in concert


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monday night, ULM hosted the U.S. Air Force Band in concert at Brown Auditorium. And in case you missed it, you can watch the sights and sounds from the evening.
16 2016-04-12
Monroe

NELA Horn Ensemble to present concert at ULM


MONROE, La. (ULM Press Release) --

The Northeast Louisiana Horn Ensemble will present a free concert on Wednesday, April 13th at 7:30 P.M. in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Dr. James Boldin, Associate Professor of Music at ULM, will be directing the ensemble. The musicians are made up of University students, high school students, and members of the community.

The performance will be made up of two parts, the first consisting of several original and arranged works for various ensembles of two, three, and four horns. The second half will feature a large ensemble for twelve or more players.

For more information about the NELA Horn Ensemble, contact Dr. James Boldin at 318-342-1591

To contact ULM’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, call 318-342-3811.
16 2016-04-12
Monroe

Rid yourself of household hazardous waste Saturday


MONROE, La. (Ouachita Green) - Ouachita Green will host the annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection event this coming Saturday, April 16th. The event will be from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on the ULM campus at Brown Stadium located at 518 War Hawk Way.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection event gives the citizens of Ouachita Parish and surrounding communities the opportunity to properly dispose of their household hazardous chemicals and recyclables.

Given the recent devastation caused by recent flooding, event organizers feel this year's attendance will be exceptionally high. It is important for those planning to drop off items to arrive as early as possible due to potentially long lines.

Volunteers are needed to help with the event. If anyone 16 years old and up would like to volunteer, they should contact Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Deputy Wayne Heckford at (318) 355-3517. Volunteers will meet at Brown Stadium at 8:30 am Saturday prior to the event.

This collection of household hazardous waste materials is limited to residential participants only. Accepted items include:
• Hazardous household products - medications, oil and latex paint, batteries, motor oil, household chemicals and pesticides, etc.
• Electronic Waste - computers, printers, TVs, radios, etc.
• Recyclable materials - paper, cardboard, plastics and white goods/scrap metal.
• Sharps - needles will be accepted but participants will be required to transfer the needles to a provided container at the collection site.
• Tires - up to a 20 inch rim; limited to five tires per household.

Prohibited materials include ammo, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and explosives.
16 2016-04-12
Monroe

From splash hire to scandal, questions of maturity hold true with Summitt's resignation


Tyler Summitt wanted to address the elephant in the room two years ago.

Sporting a boyish look with a blue suit and red tie to resemble the colors of the Lady Techsters' women's basketball program, the then 23-year-old coach at Louisiana Tech joked he wasn't 15 "even though I look it."

Thus began a theme of how Summitt was mature beyond his years — four words that began to define Summitt even before he set foot on the court for his first Division I game

"I’m 23 and if that’s my biggest weakness, that’s great, because inevitably, no matter what I do that’s going to change," Summitt said back on April 2, 2014.


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Summitt out at La. Tech after engaging in relationship

Two years later, it ended up being his biggest weakness and his ultimate downfall.

Bombshell news hit Ruston, and later the national media, when Summitt abruptly resigned last Thursday due to an inappropriate relationship. Rumors have since swirled about which player the relationship was with, and while nothing is confirmed, the fact remains Summitt, who is now 25, gave in to temptations in a position of power while married to his high school sweetheart.

Shocking is one way of putting it. Unbelievable and unsuspecting is another.

On the exterior, Summitt, who carried himself as a Christian man with a faith-based life, had a squeaky-clean image to go along with his youthfulness.

He said all the right things. He was well liked in the media. He regularly Tweeted religious thoughts. He went out of his way to publicly support his mother — legendary coach Pat Summitt — in her battle with Alzheimer's.

On the court, he was tough and rugged and demanded the best out of his players.

Little did anyone know most of the values and principles used in his introductory press conference would prove to be invalid. He failed to live up to his own standards.

In this April, 2, 2014 file photo, Tyler Summitt talks
In this April, 2, 2014 file photo, Tyler Summitt talks to reporters during his introductory press conference. He resigned from his position last Thursday. (Photo: Douglas Collier/The Times, The Shreveport Times)
Summitt, who went 30-31 during his two seasons, was hired as the spark plug the Techsters needed to revitalize an otherwise stagnant program.

The foundation was built on five core principles — belief, family, character, competition and toughness. Summitt failed in at least two of the categories with family and character due to his decision to engage in the inappropriate relationship.

"I’m all about relationships. I told (Tech president) Dr. (Les) Guice and (athletic director) Tommy (McClelland) if they wanted just an X’s and O’s basketball guy, I wasn’t the right candidate. I’m about these young ladies and them succeeding on and off the court," Summitt said at his introductory press conference.

Pinpointing where things went wrong is difficult, especially after numerous people sold Summitt's character and religious background to McClelland during the hiring process in March 2014.

At the time of the hiring, McClelland said he kept hearing the same things about how much of a home-run hire it would be. McClelland went as far to say the decision wasn't to hire Summitt because once the initial interview took place, the decision was over.

Tech thought it had found its coach for the future, giving Summitt a five-year deal worth $175,000 annually.

"I would go to coach after coach and I would say ‘are you sure?’ and they said ‘I’m telling you. He’s one of the great coaching minds,'" McClelland said in April 2014.

Even the public was hooked. Media, like CNN, New York Times and 60 Minutes, flocked to Ruston to tell Summitt's story, how a coach who hadn't yet turned 25 could be the piece of the puzzle to raise the Techsters back to prominence.


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The jolt in the arm soon wore off.

“None of this matters in two years if we’re not winning,” McClelland said in 2014. “He’s gotta win. He’s gotta get competitive, but the process is there.”

Tech won 16 games during Summitt's first year followed by a 14-16 campaign in 2016. At one point, Tech was 12-9 and 7-3 in Conference USA before falling apart down the stretch.

Summitt cited inexperience as one of the main reasons for the Techsters running out of gas, but looking back, Summitt's wrongdoing could have caused internal turmoil. Parents of Tech players even went as far to say as much during a recent interview with USA TODAY Sports.

The timeline of the relationship is unclear and questions still linger — when did Tech know, how long did the relationship last and was the incident isolated, to name a few.

Most will assume, in hindsight, Summitt was destined to fail. From the onset of the hire, questions of maturity and if a man only a few years removed from his 21st birthday could lead a group of young women to success.

At the time, it was worth a try, but Tech swung for the fences and failed. Instead of proving his doubters wrong, Summitt proved his doubters right.

Two years ago, Tech thought Summitt could help the program reach new heights.

Few could have predicted this outcome, but the reality is harsh — Tech's women's basketball program has once again taken a step back.

What's left is the road to recovery for all parties involved. And it's a long way from the summit.
16 2016-04-11
Monroe

Autism help at ULM


April is Autism Awareness Month and the Autism Center at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (AC-ULM) is available to offer high quality services for individuals from 1 to 18 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families in northeast Louisiana.

The Autism Center at ULM was established with support from the Living Well Foundation and has as its mission to be a comprehensive resource for individuals with ASD and their families.

A variety of services are offered, at little or no cost, by highly qualified faculty in the Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy programs at ULM. For further information, please go to www.ulm.edu/autismcenter or contact Dr. David Irwin, 342-3190.

David Irwin, Ph.D.

Director of the Autism Center

Monroe
16 2016-04-11
Monroe

At the library


“Lunch and Learn: The causes and effects of stress” is the topic at noon Thursday at the Anna Meyer Branch of the Ouachita Parish Public Library, presented by the University of Louisiana at Monroe Marriage and Family Counseling Department. Also on Thursday, Tom Pearson, KNOE meteorologist, will present “Severe Weather Presentation” at 1 p.m. at the West Ouachita Branch and Biedenham museum curator Ralph Calhoun will speak about the museum’s plants at 2 p.m. at the Sterlington Branch.
16 2016-04-11
Monroe

ULM historian publishes book on ancient biblical manuscripts


Not many people get to say they work hands-on with ancient biblical manuscripts. But one historian at the University of Louisiana Monroe is an exception.
Dr. Brice C. Jones, a biblical scholar, specializes in a field of research known as papyrology—the study of ancient written artifacts. The discipline involves deciphering ancient handwriting in a multitude of languages, translating unpublished texts, and making these texts known to other scholars and the world.

Think “Indiana Jones,” except this isn’t the movies; it’s the real thing.

Jones has discovered and translated numerous ancient texts, some of which have generated national media attention. In November 2015, the New York Times interviewed Jones about a third-fourth century papyrus of the Gospel of John that he identified on eBay. This fragment had been put up for sale on eBay by a seller who did not know what he had. Jones spotted it, identified it as an authentic text from the Gospel of John, and made it public through a blog post that went viral.


In March 2015, Live Science wrote a piece that featured a 2,100 year-old Greek tax receipt written on pottery that Jones discovered in the McGill University Library the year before.

In December 2014, an article in The Telegraph dubbed him “an internet scrolls sleuth,” a reference to his work in tracking down the sales of ancient manuscripts via online auction sites such as eBay, Sotheby's, Christie’s, and Bonhams.

“The study of ancient papyri is a fascinating field of historical inquiry, because these artifacts are the fingerprints of real people from a bygone era,” Jones told The Telegraph. “Each time I study a new papyrus, it is as if I am peeking over the shoulders of the scribe who wrote it,” Jones continued.

This type of detective work in antiquities isn’t a skill that is learned overnight. It requires years of advance study of ancient languages, highly technical editorial skills, knowledge of the social and historical contexts, and a very sharp eye. Many times, the manuscripts Jones studies are ridden with dirt, worm holes, and extremely faded ink.

“The study of ancient manuscripts is like putting together a puzzle,” said Jones. “The difference is that some pieces of the puzzle are often missing and so it requires a lot of effort to make sense of what is preserved.”

Most of these manuscripts are written on papyrus—a tall, fibrous reed plant that grew along the shallow banks of the Nile River in Egypt. According to Jones, this material is almost exclusively preserved in Egypt, whose arid climate prevents moisture from damaging or destroying the papyrus.

Jones’ new book, New Testament Texts on Greek Amulets from Late Antiquity, analyzes 24 papyri of Egyptian origin. They are all written in ancient Greek and contain a citation of the New Testament. These range in date from the third to seventh centuries AD.

Known as “amulets,” these scriptural fragments were used by early Christians as part of a protective ritual. It may seem foreign to people today, but this practice was quite common in antiquity.

“In modern times, when people become ill or afraid, they seek the help of a medical health professional,” explained Jones. “In antiquity, people would often appeal to ritual artifacts that they considered sacred. In other words, these artifacts were used as a means to solve their personal problems, which often included (among other things): demons, fevers, scorpions, headaches, disease, the evil eye, protection, and the like.”

While this ritual practice was commonplace in the ancient Mediterranean world, there is one thing that set the Christian practice apart: Christian amulets cited passages from the Bible.

“We find various citations of the Old Testament, the Gospels (especially the Lord’s Prayer), the apostle Paul, as well as various prayers to God, doxologies, and liturgical phrases,” said Jones. “This clearly demonstrates that early Christians viewed scripture as a powerful tool for invoking divine power. In other words, scripture was for them a living text, imbued with a power to heal, thwart evil, and so on.”

In his book, Jones provides the Greek text of each manuscript, a colored image of the artifact itself, and a thorough analysis of the text and the artifact.

This is the first book ever published devoted to analyzing the textual significance of citations of scripture on ancient Christian amulets.

And according to several respected scholars in Jones’ field, it is a welcomed addition.

“Amulets provide a completely different perspective on the transmission of the biblical text in antiquity,” said Dr. Sofía Torallas Tovar, Associate Professor of Classics and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. “Jones has produced a significant monograph that gives attention to this category of early Christian manuscripts that has previously been neglected, especially within New Testament studies. He succeeded in understanding and explaining magisterially the intricacies of a complex phenomenon in all its aspects."

According to Dr. Theodore de Bruyn, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, “Jones’ study demonstrates how a careful study of amulets can contribute to our understanding of the transmission and reception of the text of the New Testament. Jones’ study is valuable for its methods, findings, and descriptions of the materials.”

Jones received his Ph.D. in Early Christianity from Concordia University (Montreal) and his M.A. in New Testament from Yale University.
16 2016-04-08
Monroe

U.S. Air Force Concert Band to present concert at ULM


The United States Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants will present a free concert on Monday, April 11, 2016, at 7 p.m. in Brown Theater on the ULM Campus.

While the concert is free, a ticket is required for admission. Tickets will be available in the VAPA Office beginning Tuesday, March 15th, at 7:30 a.m. There is a limit of 4 tickets per person; no reserved seating.

The United States Air Force Concert Band is the premier symphonic wind ensemble of the United States Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., it is the largest of six musical ensembles that comprise The United States Air Force Band. Featuring 53 active duty Airmen musicians, the Concert Band performs throughout the United States via biannual tours, live radio, television and Internet broadcasts, as well as at local concerts across metropolitan Washington, D.C. Additionally, Concert Band members perform in smaller chamber ensembles at official military and civilian functions, education outreach events and local concert venues.







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The Concert Band performs a wide variety of music ranging from classical transcriptions and original works to solo features, light classics, popular favorites and patriotic selections. Remaining true to the Air Force's pioneering spirit, the ensemble is renowned as a champion of new works for band, with dozens of world premieres to its credit. It is in constant demand by many of the world's most highly-respected professional musical organizations, including the American Bandmasters Association, Music Educators National Conference and The Midwest Clinic.

The Singing Sergeants is the official chorus of the United States Air Force. Featuring 23 active duty Airmen musicians, the Singing Sergeants presents more than 200 performances annually performing a wide range of musical styles, from traditional Americana, opera, and choral standards to modern Broadway and jazz. The Singing Sergeants regularly perform with their instrumental combo and in smaller configurations, such as duets, Barbershop quartets and specialized musical ensembles, at military and civilian ceremonial and diplomatic functions, education outreach events and local concerts throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C.







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As part of The U.S. Air Force Band, the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants honor those who have served, inspire American citizens to heightened patriotism and service, and positively impact the global community on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and the United States. The excellence demonstrated by these Airmen musicians is a reflection of the excellence displayed by Airmen stationed around the globe. Each member is proud to represent all Airmen, whose selfless service and sacrifices ensure the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America.

16 2016-04-08
Monroe

ULM’s online marketing degree named country’s most affordable


MONROE, La (ULM) - The University of Louisiana Monroe is continually striving to make education more affordable while raising the standard of academic excellence, and those efforts are not going unnoticed.

ULM was recently recognized by AffordableSchools.net, a leading higher education resource, for having the most affordable online bachelor’s degree in marketing.

The site ranking is determined by a variety of factors, including price of in-state and out-of-state tuition, as well as net price. ULM ranked number one out of twenty affordable universities. Other schools that made the list include Missouri Southern State University (#2), Troy University (#6), Indiana State University (#11), and the University of Memphis (#15).

As part of their methodology, AffordableSchools.net collected various data for colleges offering a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A comparison of the latest recorded in-state and out-of-state tuitions showed that ULM was found to be the most affordable with the lowest net price.

ULM is known for its low cost and high quality education. However, being recognized on a national level for its affordability enforces the growth that ULM continues to experience.

The online marketing degree is accessible to students who are not able to attend classes and facilitates an opportunity for their education. ULM has established a reputation that sets eULM apart from other online degree programs.

"ULM is committed to providing adult learners the opportunity to earn their education at an

16 2016-04-08
Monroe

ULM toxicology students attend, win awards at international conference


MONROE, La (ULM) - Six Ph.D. and three B.S. students from the ULM Toxicology Department participated at the 2016 meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) in New Orleans last month.

SOT is an international organization of professional toxicologists working in academia, industry, government regulatory agencies, risk assessment and consulting. This was the 55th annual meeting and approximately 7,000 attended the annual meeting.

Bree St. Germain, Taylor Snell and Sydney Wade from Donaldsonville, Farmerville and Bogalusa, LA, respectively, participated in several networking and recruiting events hosted by the SOT for undergraduate students and viewed cutting-edge research in scientific sessions and posters.

Graduate student Vivekkumar Dadhania was the 3rd place recipient of the 2016 Graduate Student Award from the Molecular and Systems Biology Specialty Section. Mr. Dadhania also received a Supplemental Training for Education Program Award from the SOT Graduate Education Subcommittee.

Graduate student Joshua T. Salley won the outstanding poster award from the Mixtures Specialty Section for his poster “Use of Partial Least Squares Regression to Identify GC/MS Spectral Peaks Correlated with Toxicity Outcomes in Rats of Crude Oil from Various Sources.”

Graduate students Hanin F.A. Hussin and Vivekkumar Dadhania won the SOT Graduate Student Travel Support Awards. Ms. Hussin and Mr. Dadhania presented posters “Comparison of 1H-NMR Fingerprints of Echinacea Purpurea Extracts with Stimulation of Myelopoiesis in Rat to Identify Active Constituents” and “Wnt/Catenin Signaling Drives Thioacetamide-Mediated Heteroprotection against Acetaminophen-Induced Lethal Liver Injury,” respectively.

The major professor of Mr. Dadhania is Dr. Harihari M. Mehendale, and of Mr. Salley and Ms. Hussin, Dr. Sharon A. Meyer of the ULM Department of Toxicology.

According to Dr. Meyer, “This meeting was an extraordinary opportunity for the Toxicology students to present their research to leaders of the field and network for the purposes of being recruited for employment and for exploring career options. The ULM Toxicology Department is very proud of the outstanding performance of our students before this prestigious international audie

16 2016-04-08
Monroe

Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant set this weekend at ULM


Twenty-Nine of the most beautiful, talented and intelligent teens in the state will make their way to Monroe on Friday to compete in the 2016 Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. “We are very proud of the young ladies who are competing this year. They are all smart and accomplished leaders at their schools and in their communities. They truly represent the mission of the organization, to promote healthy living, scholarship and community involvement.” We have a great show planned that will feature all the contestants along with our Fleur de Lis Princesses, a mentoring program for girls 5-10 years old,” stated Amanda May, MLOT Choreographer and Miss Louisiana 2007.

The pageant will hold one preliminary on Saturday and finals on Sunday at Brown Auditorium on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The University of Louisiana at Monroe and the Miss Louisiana Organization are joining forces to produce the Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. Tickets will be sold prior to the show each night.

On stage competition includes fitness in sportswear, talent, evening wear and on stage question. Each contestant will also have a private interview with the judges. The winner will go on to compete for the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in Orlando, Florida.

The Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will award nearly $13,000 in cash scholarships at this year’s competition. Over $140,000 in scholarship assistance has been awarded through the Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen history which began in 2004.

The Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant is part of the Miss Louisiana Organization which has a volunteer based Board of Directors that works to share the accomplishments of the 35 contestants and provide scholarships to further their education. In 2015, the Miss Louisiana Organization will make available over $600,000 in cash and in kind tuition scholarships. And, they will provide over $60,000 in cash and awards. Miss America offers millions in cash and scholarships annually through their local, state and national partners, making them the number one provider of scholarships to young women in the world.

16 2016-04-08
Monroe

ULM Rad Tech faculty, students attend 2016 LSRT Mid-Winter Seminar


ULM Rad Tech faculty, students attend 2016 LSRT Mid-Winter Seminar
The News Star 11:31 p.m. CDT April 7, 2016
635931912242506627-ulm-copy.jpg

(Photo: ULM)
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The ULM Department of Radiologic Technology attended the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists (LSRT) 2016 Mid-Winter Seminar on Feb. 27th at Louisiana State University in Alexandria.
ULMBuy Photo

ULM (Photo: THE NEWS-STAR)

Approximately 250 radiologic technologists and student technologists attended the seminar which consisted of student and technologist lectures, educational workshops and student competitions.

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Brett Bennett, ULM Radiologic Technology Department Head, currently serves as the Executive Secretary of Finance. Bennett presented a lecture titled “Equipment Maintenance and Operation.”

Dr. Andy Allen, Department of Radiologic Technology Clinical Coordinator, currently serves as Chairman of the Marketing and Advertising Taskforce of the LSRT. Dr. Allen presented a lecture titled “Review of Patient Care.”

Lacy Davis, Department of Radiologic Technology, presented a lecture titled “Current Profession Trends and Advocacy Issues.”

The presence of ULM was also enhanced by the participation of its 45 professional students. Students attended general education lectures and ARRT Registry Review lectures, as well as the LSRT Student Advisory Council meeting and Student Bee Competition.

Radiologic Technology Junior student Randy DeArmond was elected Chair of the LSRT Student Advisory Council, and Junior student Shelby Nicholson was elected as the Vice Chair.

Junior Radiologic Technology students also took the top two rankings in the Student Bee Competition with Ikia Celestine in 1st place and Darashai Brock in a close 2nd.

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“State Societies around the country are struggling with membership because of the apathy of current radiographers, so the ULM Radiologic Technology program is trying to expose our professional students to the society to see the benefits of continuing education, networking, and collaboration,” said Bennett.” It also gives the students an opportunity to compete against students from other programs. I am proud of the contributions of the ULM Radiologic Technology faculty members and students.”
16 2016-04-08
Monroe

ULM’s online marketing degree named country’s most affordable


ULM’s online marketing degree named country’s most affordable
The News Star 6:02 p.m. CDT April 7, 2016
635956524243151107-badge-20pt-affordable-onln-bach-300px.png

(Photo: Courtesy image)
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The University of Louisiana Monroe is continually striving to make education more affordable while raising the standard of academic excellence, and those efforts are not going unnoticed.

ULM was recently recognized by AffordableSchools.net, a leading higher education resource, for having the most affordable online bachelor’s degree in marketing.

The site ranking is determined by a variety of factors, including price of in-state and out-of-state tuition, as well as net price. ULM ranked number one out of twenty affordable universities. Other schools that made the list include Missouri Southern State University (#2), Troy University (#6), Indiana State University (#11), and the University of Memphis (#15).

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U.S. Air Force Concert Band to present concert at ULM

As part of their methodology, AffordableSchools.net collected various data for colleges offering a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A comparison of the latest recorded in-state and out-of-state tuitions showed that ULM was found to be the most affordable with the lowest net price.

ULM is known for its low cost and high quality education. However, being recognized on a national level for its affordability enforces the growth that ULM continues to experience.

The online marketing degree is accessible to students who are not able to attend classes and facilitates an opportunity for their education. ULM has established a reputation that sets eULM apart from other online degree programs.

"ULM is committed to providing adult learners the opportunity to earn their education at an affordable cost,” said Paula Thornhill, director of eULM. “In today’s economic climate, affordable education is a necessity and we are making sure that we do our part in making that happen.”

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The program has reached a peak in affordability and has helped make education a possibility for nontraditional prospective students.

To learn more about ULM’s online marketing degree, visit ulm.edu/onlinedegrees/.

To view the complete ranking, visit http://affordableschools.net/20-affordable-online-bachelors-degrees-marketing/.
16 2016-04-07
Monroe

TOPSy-turvey: 23 bills target state scholarship program


The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students could be in for some major changes in this legislative session. Twenty-three bills, not counting House Bills 1 and 2, which determine the budget and capital outlay plans, look to change — or eliminate — the program that provides free tuition money to Louisiana scholars.

Senate Bill 214, pending in the finance committee, and HB 512, pending in the appropriations committee, are constitutional amendments that, if passed, would eliminate the Millennium Trust. The Trust includes the TOPS Fund, the Health Excellence Fund and the Education Excellence Fund. TOPS receives 100 percent of the money received from the multistate tobacco settlement agreement and one-third of annual interest on the trust.

All other bills are pending in House or Senate education committees.







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What schools will be affected?

Four bills would shift where TOPS money can be used. The bills largely focus on proprietary and cosmetology schools and technical programs.

SB 169 would drop private colleges, proprietary and cosmetology schools and technical programs at colleges and universities from TOPS.

HB 848 and HB 914 also would prevent students from using TOPS funds for cosmetology and proprietary schools and prevent the TOPS-Tech Early Start Award from funding courses offered by training providers.

HB 852 would limit TOPS-Tech Award funds only to programs that will qualify the student for a four- or five-star job as designated by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Could students have to repay?

Four bills tackle how to make students who don't graduate within a certain time frame repay the state.

HB 846 would require TOPS-aided graduates to maintain ties to Louisiana such as residency, voter's registration, driver's licence, vehicle registration or state tax filings for each year he or she received funds. If someone failed to comply, they would have to pay the state back for each year of noncompliance.

HB 104 would require the Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission to collect repayment from TOPS students who fail to obtain a degree within the time limit set by the program to repay unless they are obstructed by military service or permanent disability.

HB 581 also would require repayment, but amounts are staggered based on how many credit hours the student had obtained, and it allows for 11 special circumstances that might prevent repayment. HB 759 would require total repayment if a student drops out, allowing for the same special circumstances as HB 581.

What requirements will they have to meet?

Seven pieces of proposed legislation would change requirements to maintain eligibility or qualify for the program. Rounding down test scores and increasing minimum GPA requirements both were suggested in multiple bills.

HB 390 would fix the TOPS minimum disbursement to the 2016-17 amount, unless raised by the Legislature, and specifies that "that a student have a minimum ACT score equal to or greater than the state average, but never less than 20, but specifies that the state average be truncated to a whole number instead of being rounded to the nearest whole number." SB 174 would do the same.

SB 329 would increase the minimum GPA for an Opportunity Award to 2.75 from 2.5, for a Performance Award to 3.25 from 3.0 and for an Honors Award to 3.5 from a 3.0.

HB 437 would increase the minimum GPA to maintain eligibility to 2.5 after 24 hours of credit earned and 2.75 after 48 hours of credit earned. This applies to students graduating high school in 2019-20.

SB 88 would increase the required GPA for students graduating high school in 2019-20 to 2.75 from 2.5 and recodifies the same academic exceptions as in the present law.

SB 89 would raise the minimum ACT score to 21 from 20 and recodifies the same academic exceptions as in the present law.

HB 296 would add Anatomy and Physiology to the high school science courses that ensure eligibility for TOPS.

16 2016-04-07
Monroe

ULM pharmacy students, faculty spend spring break serving in Honduras


MONROE, La (ULM) - For most students, spring break is a time to relax from the stresses and strains of academic life. For a group of pharmacy students at the University of Louisiana Monroe, however, it was a time of service.

Eight pharmacy students, along with three faculty members, journeyed to the impoverished region of Guaymitas, Honduras over spring break as part of an organized effort to provide critical healthcare to members of the community.

ULM partnered with Southeastern Medical International (SMI), an American organization that provides medical care to communities following a disaster. In 2010, the organization provided clinics and medical relief in Haiti following the catastrophic earthquake that killed more than 160,000 people and left close to 1.5 million people without homes.

One of the missions of the SMI is to train the next generation of health care professionals to be involved in this kind of work. They take physicians and volunteers from all across the southeast “to the neediest places on Earth.”

The eight students who participated are part of an elective course, now in its sixth year, within the pharmacy program titled “Medical Outreach Experience,” which culminates in a medical outreach trip to some impoverished region of the world.

In Guaymitas, the pharmacy students helped conduct interviews, take medical histories, and recommend therapy. They also offered recommendations to prescribing physicians based on the diseases being treated and the medications that were available. The team provided primary care to people with infections, chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and musculoskeletal problems.

According to pharmacy student Rino Nicholas, “Some of the people we saw had extreme cases, from cancer in an older gentleman that was at a late stage, to a baby who was experiencing fainting spells because of a possible major heart congenital birth defect.”

For an entire week the students and faculty worked outdoors in extreme heat, conducting home visits and furnishing makeshift clinics in various communities that lacked basic resources such as clean water and sanitation.

But harsh conditions did not deter students from doing what they set out to do.

The ULM pharmacy team estimates that 200-300 patients were served and about 400-500 prescriptions were filled. The students were able to see just the kind of impact they had on the community, but the impact of the people of Guaymitas on the students was also clearly felt.

“This trip has been the most valuable and life changing experience that I will probably ever have,” said Halie Verret. “It’s very hard to put all of the emotions into words. It opened my eyes to how bad some people's living situations are. So many people told us that their doctors told them nothing was wrong when in reality these patients had very serious problems and we most likely saved their lives.”

Another student, Heather Thuy, stated: “We gained more knowledge and developed new skill sets over the course of the week, but even more than that, we grew as a family and made connections with each patient we met which deeply touched each of us and created a special bond with humanity that I know will keep us whole for the remainder of our careers.”

Dr. David Caldwell, Associate Professor of Pharmacy, indicated that this is just one example of the kind of outreach ULM pharmacy students are involved in.

“This outreach trip reflects the hearts of our students,” said Caldwell. “They gave up their spring break to work a 40-hour week and to provide care to an underserved area. In addition to the professional training we provide, we also want to instill a passion for humanity in the lives of our students here at ULM.”

16 2016-04-07
Monroe

ULM Rad Tech faculty, students attend 2016 LSRT Mid-Winter Seminar


MONROE, La. (ULM Press Release) —



The ULM Department of Radiologic Technology attended the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists (LSRT) 2016 Mid-Winter Seminar on Feb. 27th at Louisiana State University in Alexandria.

Approximately 250 radiologic technologists and student technologists attended the seminar which consisted of student and technologist lectures, educational workshops and student competitions.

Brett Bennett, ULM Radiologic Technology Department Head, currently serves as the Executive Secretary of Finance. Bennett presented a lecture titled “Equipment Maintenance and Operation.”












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Dr. Andy Allen, Department of Radiologic Technology Clinical Coordinator, currently serves as Chairman of the Marketing and Advertising Taskforce of the LSRT. Dr. Allen presented a lecture titled “Review of Patient Care.”

Lacy Davis, Department of Radiologic Technology, presented a lecture titled “Current Profession Trends and Advocacy Issues.”

The presence of ULM was also enhanced by the participation of its 45 professional students. Students attended general education lectures and ARRT Registry Review lectures, as well as the LSRT Student Advisory Council meeting and Student Bee Competition.

Radiologic Technology Junior student Randy DeArmond was elected Chair of the LSRT Student Advisory Council, and Junior student Shelby Nicholson was elected as the Vice Chair.

Junior Radiologic Technology students also took the top two rankings in the Student Bee Competition with Ikia Celestine in 1st place and Darashai Brock in a close 2nd.

“State Societies around the country are struggling with membership because of the apathy of current radiographers, so the ULM Radiologic Technology program is trying to expose our professional students to the society to see the benefits of continuing education, networking, and collaboration,” said Bennett.” It also gives the students an opportunity to compete against students from other programs. I am proud of the contributions of the ULM Radiologic Technology faculty members and students.”

16 2016-04-07
Monroe

TOPS reforms stall in House, get second chance in Senate


BATON ROUGE — The first batch of a bevy of bills that would make adjustments to Louisiana's popular college scholarship program TOPS gained little traction in the House Education Committee Wednesday with six of seven measures killed, deferred or rescheduled.

Many believe lawmakers are most likely to coalesce behind a bill from Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, that would cap funding for the scholarships rather than allow them to increase unlimited with tuition increases as the current law provides.

"The purpose is to protect TOPS for future generations," said House Education Committee Chairman Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, who voluntarily deferred her bill in favor of Donahue's.

James Callier, executive director of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation for which TOPS is named, told committee members to "pass the Donahue bill. If we had done that five years ago we wouldn't be in this position today," he said.

Actually, the Legislature did pass Donahue's bill last year, but it was vetoed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The TOPS turmoil was created by the state's budget crisis — a projected $750 million shortfall next year.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' current recommended budget for the next fiscal year cuts TOPS by more than $200 million, or 80 percent, which would leave about 34,500 students empty handed next fall, although that will likely be mitigated when the governor makes recommended adjustments Tuesday.

Earlier this week the head of the University of Louisiana, LSU, Southern and Louisiana Community and Technical College systems testified they would support decoupling TOPS from tuition as Donahue's bills proposes.

The only TOPS-related measure that did squeak out of committee with a favorable recommendation Wednesday was House Bill 438 by Barry Ivey, R-Baton Rouge.

Ivey's bill, which the committee approved with a 7-6 vote, would require TOPS recipients with a 20 ACT score and a grade point average below 2.75 to attend community college for two years before transferring to a four-year school, although that would do little to rein in the cost of the program.

"It doesn't diminish the opportunity but starting at a two-year level creates a good foundation before moving on to the four-year university," Ivey said.

Other bills that would have required students who drop out to pay back their scholarship, reduce the amount of the scholarships during the first two years and increase the GPA requirement after entering college died.

Members of the committee argued that such changes would diminish opportunities.

"My concern is in a way it sets up a barrier into the program," said Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, when questioning Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, about his House Bill 279 that would have reduced the awards during the first two years of college.

But Broadwater and Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, who saw her bill that would have required payback from dropouts die, argued that something must be done to preserve TOPS.

"It's grown beyond what we can afford," Broadwater said.

"The real issue we're dealing with is that TOPS is in peril," Stokes said. "I've heard complaints in this chamber about it but there's never the will to do anything about it."

16 2016-04-05
Monroe

ULM School of Construction Management celebrates 50 years


MONROE, La. (ULM Press Release) --

It is no secret that the construction industry took a big hit during the Great Recession of 2007–09 and continued through 2014. As a result of a scarcity of jobs, many construction professionals left the industry and haven’t returned to the field.

Now, with the economy on the rebound, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points to a big upswing in the demand for experienced, qualified constructors over the next decade. In fact, the numbers indicate that there will not be enough Construction Management graduates to meet the expected growth. Through the year 2024, the predictions are that 1,028 positions will go unfilled each year.

The School of Construction Management (SCM) at the University of Louisiana Monroe—the premier institution of construction in the state of Louisiana—sees this as an important opportunity to train the next generation of construction professionals.

The SCM was founded in 1966 and within 10 years the school became the first institution in the country to be accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE)—accreditation that the program continues to maintain today.

The School will host an event this Friday night in celebration of its 50th year anniversary.

Former SCM graduates and spouses, as well as former and current faculty and administration, will gather for an evening to show its Respect for the Past, Pride in the Present, and Vision for the Future.

Respect for the past: The SCM will honor Thurman Potts, who was the first director of the School of Construction and also, as a founding member, proposed the name of the professional organization, the American Institute of Constructors (AIC). With his capable leadership, ULM’s SCM became the first accredited program of the ACCE.

Pride in the Present: The SCM will also honor their first recipient of the national construction certification, Associate Constructor Meredith Scelfo, a recent graduate of the program. The AC certification program is sponsored by the AIC and requires that applicants meet certain education and/or experience standards, then pass the CQE Level 1 examination.

Vision for the Future: The Don Beach Entry Hall will be a fitting tribute to a great leader in the industry and a display area for plaques recognizing winners of the Endowed Scholarships, Certified Constructors, Distinguished Alumni Awards, and the Constructor of the Year Awards. More future projects to be celebrated include a 2-story-high bay wing Construction Practices Lab and the renovation of all mechanical systems as well as the Construction Management offices and other public areas.

Recently, the SCM earned its renewal of accreditation from the ACCE. The accreditation process includes a thorough peer review of curriculum, faculty credentials, student support, financial resources, industry engagement, and physical resources.

Dr. Ron Berry, Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences stated, “It is rewarding to see the efforts of our construction faculty and the quality of our construction management program recognized by this accreditation renewal. I sincerely appreciate the work of the faculty, support of the administration, and engagement of the Industry Advisory Council that led to the renewal.”

Due to demand, the SCM has recently expanded its curriculum. Upon recommendation from the Industry Advisory Council, ULM’s Construction Management degree program created five new required courses in fall 2015: Construction Contracts, Digital Site Management, Construction Administration, Associate Constructor (AC) Exam Prep, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Plan Reading.
16 2016-04-04
Monroe

ULM's Hawkline takes flight at nationals


MONROE, La (ULM Release) - The ULM Hawkline received national recognition after overcoming a storm of adversity.

The ULM Hawkline traveled to Denton, Texas and competed in Hip Hop and Jazz at the American Collegiate Dance Championship on March 19, 2016. The squad brought home the 1st place trophy and the National Championship title in Division 1A Hip Hop, and 3rd in Division 1A in Jazz.

The ULM Hawkline beat out several schools like the University of Texas, Baylor University and Southern Methodist University to bring home the squad’s first national title.

Sean Menefee, Coordinator of Spirit Groups said, “Our head coach, Kelsey Bohl, did such a great job choreographing their routines and Hawkline did an amazing job executing it…Both Kelsey and the members of the Hawkline put all that they had into this competition and for that, I couldn’t be happier.”

The journey to the American Collegiate Dance Championship (ACDC) was not an easy feat. The squad decided to introduce completely new choreography and music for their Hip Hop routine. They were not able to practice the new choreography until the Monday before competition. Head Coach Kelsey Bohl said the obstacles presented by the flood were so influential that she almost had to make the decision to cut the Hip Hop routine, “if I felt like it wasn't ready to be performed.”

The flood was an inconvenience for the Warhawks as they traveled, but it was a tragedy for senior captain, Anna Kate Haman, whose family suffered property damage from the flood ranging from 3 inches to 1 foot. She said that dancing with her teammates makes her “smile and laugh even on the worst days.” “I think that's one reason that winning at competition was so incredible,” Haman continued. “In the middle of so much loss and devastation back home, it was a light that gave me something to smile about!”

Needless to say, the Hawkline brought the thunder at the ACDC. The Hawkline had only two weeks to prepare for nationals, and the flooding cost the team days of practice time. The squad persevered. They scheduled extra practices, some lasting up to four hours long, in order to compete at the highest level possible.

The Hawkline brought home the first place trophy, a banner, and a $300 scholarship. The squad also won the Academic Championship for division 1A, for which they received a Golden plate trophy.

Samantha Vaughn, the co-captain of the Hawkline, said the squad practiced, monitored progress by videotaping routines, and bonded at Six Flags before competition. She explained during the award’s ceremony that once the second place team and suspected winner was announced, they all became excited and started to anticipate the victory.

This is the Hawkline’s most prestigious achievement ever. Both Menefee and Vaughn attribute the programs success to head coach Bohl.

“Kelsey [Bohl] has a strong mind, and when she sees something, she goes for it,” said Menefee. He explained that Bohl tailored the program to what the fans wanted to see, ultimately creating Hip Hop National Champions.

Bohl said watching seniors Samantha Vaughn, Anna Kate Haman and Charley Roses grow and improve as dancers and performers during their Hawkline career has been inspiring. “My goal as coach has been to grow the talent and technique level of Hawkline, and we now have a trophy to prove that Hawkline has truly become the area's premier dance team,” said Bohl.

The Hawkline will be holding auditions on April 30; registration starts at 8:30 a.m. The squad will offer open technique practices on Mondays, April 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Brown Gym. They will also provide audition clinics and workshops on April 28 and 29.
16 2016-04-01
Monroe

ULM's Wine Over Water Raises Money for Scholarships


MONROE, La. --

Due to the possibility of strong thunderstorms, the 11th annual Wine Over Water event at the University of Louisiana Monroe was held in Fant-Ewing Coliseum. The event kicked off at 7:00 p.m with the patron party beginning at 5:30 p.m., in room 18 of Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Wine Over Water provides the opportunity to support ULM students. Proceeds from the event go to the “Spirit of the Warhawk” scholarship. Tickets were $60 each.

Robin Underwood, one of the organizers says the event is like no other at ULM.

"This is kind of a great event where you could come let your hair down, pay a one-time price of $60.00 when you get in and then have a good time all night and not have to worry about anything," says Underwood.
For more information on how you can get involved with the ULM Alumni Association, call (318)342-5420. You can also visit them online at http://www.ulm.edu/alumni
16 2016-04-01
Monroe

La. Tech professor publishes chapter in scholarly book


RUSTON – A Louisiana Tech assistant professor of communication and media studies has had a chapter published in “Building Bridges in Celebrity Studies,” a book published by Waterhill Publishing.

Dr. Judith P. Roberts’ chapter, “Commodifying Celebrity: Social media, sensationalism, and how the media plays a role in creating celebrities” discusses how celebrities and politicians market their persona using social media and how sensationalized reporting has led to celebrities and politicians making a name for themselves based on headline-grabbing antics.

“This publication represents another area of expertise that Dr. Roberts brings to our program,” said Dr. Brenda Heiman, director of Louisiana Tech’s School of Communication. “Her research and teaching contributions to the School of Communication at Louisiana Tech University have continually enhanced and improved our curriculum. This research adds to the wealth of knowledge Dr. Roberts brings to our students.”

The publication came after Roberts presented her research at the Bridging Gaps Conference in New York City last fall.

Roberts has worked at Louisiana Tech since 2006 and teaches a variety of journalism and communication courses, including Media Law, Media Literacy and Copy Editing.

The book is available on Amazon and is edited by Jackie Raphael, Basuli Deb and Nidhi Shrivastava.
16 2016-04-01
Monroe

International ‘dark matter’ expert, physics professor to present at La. Tech


RUSTON – The College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University will host Dr. Jodi Cooley, international dark matter expert and associate professor of physics at Southern Methodist University (SMU), as part of the Wallace Herbert Memorial Astronomy Lecture Series.

Cooley’s presentation titled, “Whispers in the Dark” will take place at 7 p.m. April 6 in the auditorium of University Hall on the Louisiana Tech campus. She will discuss her research on dark matter with an international group of physicists. The lecture is free to attend and open to the public.

Dark matter is believed to account for 85 percent of the matter in the universe and is, at the moment, unidentified and invisible. Cooley’s work within several collaborations, including the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search detector at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota, the CDMS and Germanium Observatory for Dark Matter, is intended to explore options to identify this matter.

Dr. Lee Sawyer, director of chemistry, nanosystems engineering and physics and professor of physics at Louisiana Tech, says Cooley’s research in dark matter lines up well with the purpose of the Wallace Herbert Memorial Astronomy Lecture Series.


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“The Wallace Herbert Memorial Astronomy lecture is one of our most important venues for communicating exciting recent science results to the general public,” Sawyer said. “I am extremely pleased to have a scientist of Dr. Cooley’s reputation giving our lecture this year. Dr. Cooley is the spokesperson of a major dark matter search experiment, and a world-renowned expert in the field.”

Before joining the faculty at SMU in 2009, Cooley was a post-doctoral scholar at Stanford University and a post-doctoral research associate the Laboratory for Nuclear Science at MIT. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her B.S. in applied mathematics and physics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Cooley is a member of and is the principle investigator for the SMU SCDMS group, which employ solid-state cryogenic dark matter technology. Cooley has received an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation and the Ralph E. Powe Jr. Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities.
16 2016-04-01
Monroe

ULM L Club announces 2015 Hall of Fame class


The ULM Letterman “L” Club’s Hall of Fame welcomes four new members this fall. The 2015 class includes former football player Vincent Brisby, former basketball player Larry Saulters, former baseball player Andy Davis, and longtime broadcaster Frank Hoffmann.

The newest selections will join the Hall of Fame during induction ceremonies on Saturday, October 17. The induction brunch is planned for 10 a.m., in the ULM Library Conference Center, located on the seventh floor of the ULM library.

“We want to welcome past lettermen, present lettermen, and the community for this special time,” said L Club president Blair Michel. “This is a fun-filled family weekend that all can enjoy in support of ULM athletics.”

Brisby was a playmaking wide receiver on the powerhouse football teams of the early 1990s. He made 97 career catches for 1,864 yards and 17 touchdowns, tied for fifth in school history. Brisby was the team’s 1992 receiving leader with 56 catches for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns, earning him first-team All American honors from Walter Camp and Football Gazette. A two-time All-Southland Conference first-team selection, Brisby went on to play eight seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots and participated in Super Bowl XXXI.

Davis was twice named All-Southland Conference and ranks third in ULM career batting average at .358. An outfielder and designated hitter by trade, Davis held 10 season and career records when he finished his career and his .397 batting average in 1992 is tied for second highest in school history.

Saulters is a former point guard who remains the program’s all-time leader in total assists with 398 and ranks fourth in average per game at 4.3. He also holds the single-game record with 19 vs. Mississippi College in 1970 and season record of 251 in 1969-70.

Hoffmann is beginning his 40th straight year as the play-by-play announcer for ULM and has broadcast nearly 1,000 football and basketball games. Recently, he received the McNaughton Chapter of the College Hall of Fame Distinguished American Award and has been recognized by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association with several awards including best play-by-play.

Hall of Fame weekend festivities tee off with the annual golf tournament at Chennault Golf Course on Friday, Oct. 16. The tournament is a 4-man scramble with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start.

Following Saturday’s induction ceremony, the L-Club and returning Hall of Famers will enjoy a “football casual” reception in the L Club tents located in the South end zone of Malone Stadium before watching the Warhawks kickoff against Appalachian State at 6 p.m. The newest inductees will be recognized on field at halftime.

“We expect a packed house for this roll call with the Hall of Fame induction,” Michel said. “And then we head out for an afternoon of fellowship in the end zone of JPS field at Malone Stadium from tailgate until final buzzer with a win over Appalachian State. What a wonderful weekend happening in North Louisiana at the right time of year. The weather should be fantastic for golf at Chennault on Friday, then our prestigious Hall of Fame event on Saturday followed by tailgating thereafter. Come out and support the past, present, and future of ULM athletics.”

Individual tickets to the induction will be available at the Ana Gray Noe Alumni Center for $25 per person. Reservations for a table of eight are $175. To purchase or hold tickets, contact Nancy Davis at 1-866-927-4295, or at 318-342-5421.

The Hall of Fame Golf Tournament begins with lunch at 11 a.m. The tournament begins at 12:30. Cost is $300 per team and $75 for individual players (to be paired with a team). For more information, Contact Ronnie Dowling at rdowling@lacapfcu.org or call 318-450-8244.

2015 Hall of Fame Bios

Vincent Brisby (football, 1988-92): Brisby Made 97 career catches for 1,864 yards and 17 touchdowns, which is tied for fifth in school history. He was a 1991 and 1992 All-Southland first-team selection. He was the team’s 1992 receiving leader with 56 catches for 1,050 yards and nine scores, earning him first-team All-American from Walter Camp, and the Football Gazette. Brisby also recorded two of the top six receiving games in school history with 10 catches for 227 yards vs. the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1992, and seven catches for 206 yards vs. Stephen F. Austin in 1991. He is a product of Washington-Marion High in Lake Charles, and was selected by the New England Patriots with the final pick in the second round of the 1993 draft (58th overall). Brisby played eight seasons in the National Football League for the New England Patriots, and finished his career with 221 career catches for 3,202 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also participated in Super Bowl XXXI.

Andy Davis (baseball, 1988-92): Davis Ranks third in ULM career batting average at .358; eighth in runs scored with 137; second in triples with 12; second in walks with 147; and seventh in steals with 144. Davis was a two-time All-Southland Conference (SLC) selection in 1991 and 1992, who played outfield and designated hitter. In 1989, he was second-team All-SLC. Davis led ULM in batting average in 1989 at .359, and during his final two seasons in 1991 and 1992 at .362 and .397, respectively. He served as team captain in 1991 and 1992 and was named to the SLC 1990s All-Decade team in 2013. Overall, Davis held 10 season and career records when he finished his baseball career. His .397 average in 1992 is tied for the second highest in program history. His eight triples in 1992 remain a school record.

Frank Hoffmann (play-by-play, 1977-present): Hoffmann, the voice of the Warhawks, begins his 40th straight year as the play-by-play announcer for ULM football. He still calls ULM football on radio, and also called basketball for nearly 30 years during his lengthy career. He has broadcast nearly 1,000 football and basketball games. Hoffmann earned three degrees from ULM, including a Doctorate, and has been recognized as the recipient of the George T. Walker Lifetime Achievement Award and the ULM Outstanding Education Alumni Award. He also was the recipient of the McNaughton Chapter of the College Hall of Fame Distinguished American Award, and has been recognized by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association with several awards, including “Best Play-by-Play.”

Larry Saulters (basketball, 1966-70): Saulters, a point guard, remains the assist king in program history. He is ULM’s career leader in total assists with 398, and also ranks fourth with 4.3 assists per game. His 8.7 assists per game and 251 total asssists in the 1969-70 season both remain single-season benchmarks. Saulters holds the single-game assist record with 19 vs. Mississippi College in 1970. He ranks 10th in career made free throws with 288. He was voted team Most Valuable Player (MVP) for 1968-69 by players and coaches, and was co-MVP with Henry Steele in 1969-70. In that same year, he was named team captain, and averaged 11.9 points per game on the talented 1969-70 team that finished 20-9 and reached the NAIA National Tournament. He is the younger brother of ULM basketball legend and Olympic Gold Medalist Glynn Saulters.
16 2016-03-31
Monroe

Revised audit reveals missing ULM ticket data


An audit revealing discrepancies in athletic ticket sales at ULM has been reissued by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office.

The revised report found that detailed information missing from the original audit was provided to the athletic department by the Aspire Group, a third-party contractor that handled all athletic ticketing at ULM from 2013-15.

According to the original report issued on Feb. 17, the ULM athletic department was unable to reconcile ticket sales to cash deposits, account for complimentary tickets issued or provide a by-game breakdown of ticket sales for the 2014-15 athletic year.

ULM claimed in the original report that the information cited in the audit was not given to the athletic department by Aspire.

“ULM represented to us that they had never been provided the information from (Aspire) when we asked for it. After we issued the report, we got a call from the contractor saying they had given the information. ULM dug further in its records and found it had been given the information,” said Bradley Cryer, an assistant legislative auditor for the state of Louisiana.

“Because we had been given inaccurate information, we felt the appropriate thing to do was reissue the report.”


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The ULM Athletic Foundation and Aspire are involved in ongoing civil litigation over a $500,000 settlement the foundation alleges is owed by the ticketing firm per the contract between the two parties.

ULM deferred all comment on the civil suit and revised audit report to athletic director Brian Wickstrom.

Wickstrom said the athletic department wasn’t able to locate the information in question in the original audit because of turnover within the department.

“There was some confusion after a couple staff members moved on to other jobs,” Wickstrom said. “We did an exhaustive search the whole time the auditors were here and finally found it in an email folder in the athletic foundation that wasn’t in the ticketing folder.”


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Assistant athletic director for external affairs Brendan Hoffer — the liaison between the athletic department and Aspire — left ULM last August to take a position at the University of Houston. Deputy athletic director Kevin Price and associate athletic director for business Bryant Carter also departed last fall.

Richard Duran, who replaced Hoffer as assistant athletic director for external affairs, was fired in January.

Aspire declined to comment on any impending litigation but released the following statement responding to what it called “misrepresentations contained in the auditor’s report.”

“Aspire refuses to be used as a scapegoat to justify the foundation’s and its athletic department’s poor accounting practices. As evidenced by this extensive sales report, a significant level of financial detail was regularly provided in a timely fashion during Aspire’s tenure with the athletic department and it was incumbent upon them to provide the necessary reports to the University Foundation and the auditor.”

The statement went on to say that the ULM athletic department was responsible for the handling and depositing of all ticket funds — not Aspire.

The original audit showed that deposits were short by a total of $17,727, and 3,678 complimentary tickets were issued without the signatures of the ticket holders for one game selected in football, men’s basketball and baseball during 2014-15.

Ticket sales deposits were short $13,375 for ULM’s 2014 season opener at home against Wake Forest on Aug. 28, 2014, while 2,293 complimentary tickets were issued without signatures and three unsold tickets weren’t accounted for.

For the men’s basketball game between ULM and in-state rival UL Lafayette on Feb. 12, 2015, deposits were short $3,206 and 1,088 complimentary tickets were issued without signatures.

Deposits for the baseball game between ULM and Louisiana Tech on April 22, 2015, were short $1,146, and 297 complimentary tickets were issued without signatures.

Acting through the affiliation agreement it has with ULM, the ULM Athletic Foundation entered into a contract with Aspire to handle all athletic ticketing on July 22, 2013, following Wickstrom’s appointment as athletic director on July 1 of that year.

Wickstrom and Aspire had a similar contract in place while he was the AD at UC-Riverside.

Per the service agreement in the contract, Aspire guaranteed an increase of $250,000 in athletic ticket revenue at ULM each year over the course of the three-year agreement. Aspire failed to meet those financial benchmarks and exercised an early termination clause in the contract on March 12, 2015.

ULM filed suit against Aspire for breach of contract on Dec. 23, 2015, in 4th Judicial District Court. According to the lawsuit, which represents one side of a legal argument, Aspire refused to pay the ULM Athletic Foundation the total of $500,000 over the course of two years because it “fraudulently inflated” ticket sales figures from the 2012-13 athletic year that were used as the basis of its contract with the foundation.

The case was assigned to Judge Alvin R. Sharp and a hearing date has not been set.

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker
16 2016-03-31
Monroe

ULM historian publishes book on ancient biblical manuscripts


MONROE, La (ULM Release) - Not many people get to say they work hands-on with ancient biblical manuscripts. But one historian at the University of Louisiana Monroe is an exception.

Dr. Brice C. Jones, a biblical scholar, specializes in a field of research known as papyrology—the study of ancient written artifacts. The discipline involves deciphering ancient handwriting in a multitude of languages, translating unpublished texts, and making these texts known to other scholars and the world.

Think “Indiana Jones,” except this isn’t the movies; it’s the real thing.

Jones has discovered and translated numerous ancient texts, some of which have generated national media attention. In November 2015, the New York Times interviewed Jones about a third-fourth century papyrus of the Gospel of John that he identified on eBay. This fragment had been put up for sale on eBay by a seller who did not know what he had. Jones spotted it, identified it as an authentic text from the Gospel of John, and made it public through a blog post that went viral.

In March 2015, Live Science wrote a piece that featured a 2,100 year-old Greek tax receipt written on pottery that Jones discovered in the McGill University Library the year before.

In December 2014, an article in The Telegraph dubbed him “an internet scrolls sleuth,” a reference to his work in tracking down the sales of ancient manuscripts via online auction sites such as eBay, Sotheby's, Christie’s, and Bonhams.

“The study of ancient papyri is a fascinating field of historical inquiry, because these artifacts are the fingerprints of real people from a bygone era,” Jones told The Telegraph. “Each time I study a new papyrus, it is as if I am peeking over the shoulders of the scribe who wrote it,” Jones continued.

This type of detective work in antiquities isn’t a skill that is learned overnight. It requires years of advance study of ancient languages, highly technical editorial skills, knowledge of the social and historical contexts, and a very sharp eye. Many times, the manuscripts Jones studies are ridden with dirt, worm holes, and extremely faded ink.

“The study of ancient manuscripts is like putting together a puzzle,” said Jones. “The difference is that some pieces of the puzzle are often missing and so it requires a lot of effort to make sense of what is preserved.”

Most of these manuscripts are written on papyrus—a tall, fibrous reed plant that grew along the shallow banks of the Nile River in Egypt. According to Jones, this material is almost exclusively preserved in Egypt, whose arid climate prevents moisture from damaging or destroying the papyrus.

Jones’ new book, New Testament Texts on Greek Amulets from Late Antiquity, analyzes 24 papyri of Egyptian origin. They are all written in ancient Greek and contain a citation of the New Testament. These range in date from the third to seventh centuries AD.

Known as “amulets,” these scriptural fragments were used by early Christians as part of a protective ritual. It may seem foreign to people today, but this practice was quite common in antiquity.

“In modern times, when people become ill or afraid, they seek the help of a medical health professional,” explained Jones. “In antiquity, people would often appeal to ritual artifacts that they considered sacred. In other words, these artifacts were used as a means to solve their personal problems, which often included (among other things): demons, fevers, scorpions, headaches, disease, the evil eye, protection, and the like.”

While this ritual practice was commonplace in the ancient Mediterranean world, there is one thing that set the Christian practice apart: Christian amulets cited passages from the Bible.

“We find various citations of the Old Testament, the Gospels (especially the Lord’s Prayer), the apostle Paul, as well as various prayers to God, doxologies, and liturgical phrases,” said Jones. “This clearly demonstrates that early Christians viewed scripture as a powerful tool for invoking divine power. In other words, scripture was for them a living text, imbued with a power to heal, thwart evil, and so on.”

In his book, Jones provides the Greek text of each manuscript, a colored image of the artifact itself, and a thorough analysis of the text and the artifact.

This is the first book ever published that is devoted to citations of scripture on ancient Christian amulets.

And according to several respected scholars in Jones’ field, it is a welcomed addition.

“Amulets provide a completely different perspective on the transmission of the biblical text in antiquity,” said Dr. Sofía Torallas Tovar, Associate Professor of Classics and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. “Jones has produced a significant monograph that gives attention to this category of early Christian manuscripts that has previously been neglected, especially within New Testament studies. He succeeded in understanding and explaining magisterially the intricacies of a complex phenomenon in all its aspects."

According to Dr. Theodore de Bruyn, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, “Jones’ study demonstrates how a careful study of amulets can contribute to our understanding of the transmission and reception of the text of the New Testament. Jones’ study is valuable for its methods, findings, and descriptions of the materials.”

Jones received his Ph.D. in Early Christianity from Concordia University (Montreal) and his M.A. in New Testament from Yale University.
16 2016-03-30
Monroe

ULM students present research at Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council


MONROE, La. (ULM Press Release) —

Students from the University of Louisiana Monroe Honors Program recently attended the annual meeting of the Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council (LCHC) hosted by Grambling State University.

Six students presented research; one student served on a panel discussion.

Rachael Maddox, an English major from Rayville; Lara Crawford, a biology major from Shreveport; Shelby Russell, an English major from West Monroe; Lucas McHan, a mathematics major from Haughton; Kady Coulon, an English major from West Monroe; and Cameron Irby, and English major from Oak Grove, presented papers based on research conducted at ULM.


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“I am extremely proud of how well-represented and how well-prepared ULM students were at LCHC,” said Dr. Joshua Stockley, director of the ULM Honors Program. “ULM had more student presentations than any other institution, which speaks volumes about the amount of collaboration between professors and honors students and the quality of research being conducted by students in the ULM Honors Program.”

Reanna Roberts represented ULM on a panel entitled, “Building Community in Honors,” in which she shared various community-building strategies implemented by the ULM Honors Program. “I thought this weekend was a great way to connect with other honors programs and students throughout the state,” stated Roberts. “We exchanged ideas on how to make our programs better and more approachable to other students.”

Attending the conference were honors students from colleges and universities across Louisiana. In all, 36 students represented ULM, making ULM one of the two largest delegations at the conference. Six students presented research, more than any other institution.

“The conference was a tremendous opportunity to create professional relationships and share research with peers who are also researching unique topics,” said Maddox, who serves as the president of the ULM Honors Program Student Council. “I think that the experience of presenting personal and professional work to an audience of like-minded students and professors is invaluable to student growth, and I am very privileged to be involved in an organization that gives me that experience.” Maddox’s paper, “Netflix Narrative: The Spread of Serial Storytelling,” discussed the role and the future of the serial narrative in modern entertainment.

Russell’s paper, “Divorcing Reality: Stories of Humor and Heartbreak,” featured two short stories from her personal collection and an inside look at the writing process.

Crawford’s paper, “An Investigation of the Effects of SOCS36E Knockout on the High Sugar Diet-Induced Obesity Phenotype of Drosophila melanogaster,” discussed the findings of an experiment in which flies were exposed to a high sugar diet in effort to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms that contribute to obesity.

Irby’s presentation, “Teaching Electronic Literature: An Argument for a New Literary Medium,” revealed a prototype university course he created that that focused on new media, such as video games, interactive fiction, and e-poetry.

McHan’s paper, “Modeling Tournaments through Functions,” reported the results of a project to develop a well-defined, explicit function to determine the exact tournament round in which 2 “teams” would meet in a single-elimination, seeded tournament.

Coulon’s paper, “Origins and Social Ramifications of Satanic Figures: A Study of Archetypal Evil in Mythology,” discussed the role of evil figures in mythology as a fear mechanism and as a symbol of the destructive qualities of human nature.

“It says something about the commitment, support, and loyalty of the ULM Honors Program that we had so many students attending this meeting,” said Whittney Plunkett.

The ULM Honors Program also competed in a quiz bowl competition. “It was a fun experience and I really enjoyed working with my peers to put our team in a position to compete,” said Connor Dixon, captain of ULM’s quiz bowl team. “We may not have made it into the finals, but we had a great time.”

Also representing ULM on the quiz bowl team was Armand Arcilla, Chelsea Bock, Cory Atkinson, and Camille Labatut.

The Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council is an association of honors program directors and students from universities and colleges across the state. Students present papers and posters showcasing their own work and research, discuss specific issues related to the furtherance of successful honors programs, and compete in the Quiz Bowl competition.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
16 2016-03-28
Monroe

Look, up in the sky, the best thing since tractors


To say the partnership formed at the University of Louisiana at Monroe between Paul Karlowitz and Sean Chenoweth is a match made in the heavens may be a bit farfetched.

But flight is involved.

So is aeronautic science, geography, 3D printing, kit building and government regulation.


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Karlowitz and Chenoweth are directing research involving ULM’s drone technology.

ULM's drone program is a concentration within the aviation department. ULM — the only Louisiana university to offer such a concentration — also offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

ULM's UAS concentration began in fall 2013 as part of the aviation degree offering.

”When we first started the program, we didn’t know what to do with it,” Karlowitz said.

Chenoweth, who serves as director of research for the program, had the answer. Agriculture.

“Agriculture is one of the driving forces in Northeast Louisiana,” Chenoweth said.

He saw a way to use the drones for his personal research while providing valuable information to farmers. The partnership formed.

Karlowitz teaches students how to fly drones. The program operates two fixed-wing drones as well as quad-propeller drones that can fly and hover like a helicopter.

Current rules governing drones issued by the Federal Aviation Administration place significant restrictions on their use.

Drone Flight
An infrared camera reads the reflection of radiation in farmland.Healthy plants reflect more radiation.Deep red portions of the image indicate healthy plants while lighter colors show trouble spots in the field. (Photo: Courtesy ULM (processed by Pix4D-mapper software))
Drone Flight
An infrared camera reads the reflection of radiation in farmland.Healthy plants reflect more radiation.Deep red portions of the image indicate healthy plants while lighter colors show trouble spots in the field. (Photo: Courtesy ULM (processed by Pix4D-mapper software))
They can only be flown for aeronautical instruction. It requires volumes of paperwork and a certificate of authority. A pilot’s license is required to fly them outdoors in uncontrolled airspace, and that licensed pilot must always have controls in his hands. The pilot is required to maintain a Class 2 medical certificate. A spotter is required. And before flight, a formal flight plan has to be filed.

Karlowitz’s involvement is necessary, therefore, to fly the drones. He programs the drone’s computer to execute a specific flight plan. He’s there at the controls if something goes wrong and he has to override the computer.

As far as where to fly, why that didn’t make much of a difference to Karlowitz. Enter Chenoweth.

Chenoweth, who teaches geography, figured as long as Karlowitz was going to fly the drones, he could tag along to do research.

For two years, the two educators have been flying fixed-wing drones over a large plot of soybeans farmed by Ouachita Parish producer Gary Mathes.

Through a $110,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority, Chenoweth and Karlowitz have been able to buy equipment and software. The drones are created by students through 3D printing. An engine kit is added.

Then one of four kinds of cameras is attached for the flight over the bean field. That’s the key to Chenoweth’s research and farmers’ prosperity.

Each camera provides a different view and different information about the field. One is a still camera that takes hundreds of images that overlap. “Then we can stitch them into one large map,” Chenoweth said.

Another is a camera that reads infrared reflection. Healthier plants reflect more radiation, picked up by the camera. The third is a thermal camera, providing images of the field based on temperature, which offers information about watering. The fourth is a video camera.

Then one of four kinds of cameras is attached for the flight over the bean field. That’s the key to Chenoweth’s research and farmers’ prosperity.

Each camera provides a different view and different information about the field. One is a still camera that takes hundreds of images that overlap. “Then we can stitch them into one large map,” Chenoweth said.

Another is a camera that reads infrared reflection. Healthier plants reflect more radiation, picked up by the camera.

“The near infrared camera can help us differentiate between healthy and unhealthy plants. Healthy plants reflect more radiation. Unhealthy plants reflect less,” Chenoweth said.

So deep red portions of the image indicate healthy plants while lighter colors show trouble spots in the field.

The third is a thermal camera, providing images of the field based on temperature, which offers information about watering.

The thermal cameras can provide a snapshot about the water conditions in the field. “When you plow a field, soil is exposed. Wet spots in the field are cooler. Farmers can see how their watering is going,” Chenoweth said.

The fourth is a video camera.

The potential value of drone flight to farmers is significant, Chenoweth said. “Let’s say you’re a farmer with 5,000 acres. Farmers pride themselves in knowing their fields. But they can’t know what’s going on on all 5,000 acres every day. This can show them where there’s disease or wet spots.

Different jobs require different drones. “Fixed wings are best for large areas, for instance,” Karlowitz said. Other situations call for the quad-propeller drone.

Chenoweth said one farmer in Ouachita Parish was having a problem with feral hogs. “Seven to 10 acres of corn had been eaten.”

Karlowitz used his quad-propeller drone, flying in on a late afternoon. As the drone hovered, the video camera found 20 to 30 hogs bedding down. The farmer knew exactly where to go.

Chenoweth is using the information gathered by the numerous drone flights over the past two years for long-term research. He’s interested in studying how short-term atmospheric conditions affect the field with an eye toward climate change.

Studying the same field over a period time, Chenoweth hopes to learn more about how weather affects crops. By comparing data from year to year, he can see how crops react in wet years and dry; hot years and cool. The science requires accurate record keeping on the part of the farmer in terms of irrigation, fertilization and pesticide use.

“It’s a season database, a temporal analysis about how changes within a season and from year to year affect yield,” he said.

But the full potential of the technology depends on the FAA loosening the reins.

Karlowitz said he is waiting for the day the FAA will do that. “There’s a notice of proposed rule-making out. If the FAA adopts the proposed rules, the regulations will be next to nothing. From what I’m hearing, there could be a June release of the final outcome.”

If the new regulations are effected, drones may be flying soon across many fields in northeastern Louisiana as farmers would be able to fly.

Karlowitz says that would be beneficial to farmers and his students.

“I don’t expect many older farmers will invest in a drone. But I have several students waiting for the new FAA rules. They intend to offer the service to farmers, making a business of flying over their fields,” he said.

And the technology would not be flown exclusively over farm fields.

“They can be used in checking pipelines. We’ll have methane sniffers on drone looking for leaks. They’ll be used for levee checks, Karlowitz said.

He even sees drones flying over Poverty Point to do 3D mapping.

“We might even find a new mound.”

Each camera provides a different view and different information about the field. One is a still camera that will take hundreds of images that overlap. “Then we can stitch them into one large map,” Chenoweth said.

Another is a camera that reads infrared reflection. The third is a thermal camera, providing images of the field based on temperature. The fourth is a video camera.

“The near infrared camera can help us differentiate between healthy and unhealthy plants. Healthy plants reflect more radiation. Unhealthy plants reflect less,” Chenoweth said.

So deep red portions of the image indicate healthy plants while lighter colors show trouble spots in the field.

The thermal cameras can provide a snapshot about the water conditions in the field. “When you plow a field, soil is exposed. Wet spots in the field are cooler. Farmers can see how their watering is going,” Chenoweth said.

The potential value of drone flight to farmers is significant, Chenoweth said. “Let’s say you’re a farmer with 5,000 acres. Farmers pride themselves in knowing their fields. But they can’t know what’s going on on all 5,000 acres every day. This can show them where there’s disease or wet spots.

Different jobs require different drones. “Fixed wings are best for large areas, for instance,” Karlowitz said. Other situations call for the quad-propeller drone.

Chenoweth said one farmer in Ouachita Parish was having a problem with feral hogs. “Seven to 10 acres of corn had been eaten.”

Karlowitz used his quad-propeller drone, flying in on a late afternoon. As the drone hovered, the video camera found 20 to 30 hogs bedding down. The farmer knew exactly where to go.

Chenoweth is taking the information gathered by the numerous drone flights over the past two years for long-term research. He’s interested in studying how short-term atmospheric conditions affect the field with an eye toward climate change.

Studying the same field over a period time, Chenoweth hopes to learn more about how weather affects crops. By comparing data from year to year, he can see how crops react in wet years and dry; hot years and cool. The science requires accurate record keeping on the part of the farmer in terms of irrigation, fertilization and pesticide use.

“It’s a season database, a temporal analysis about how changes within a season and from year to year affect yield,” he said.

But the full potential of the technology depends on the FAA loosening the reins.

Karlowitz said he is waiting for the day the FAA will do that. “There’s a notice of proposed rule making out. If the FAA adopts the proposed rules, the regulations will be next to nothing. From what I’m hearing, there could be a June release of the final outcome.”

If the new regulations are effected, drones may be flying soon across many fields in northeastern Louisiana as farmers would be able to fly.

Karlowitz says that would be beneficial to farmers and his students.

“I don’t expect many older farmers will invest in a drone. But I have several students waiting for the new FAA rules. They intend to offer the service to farmers, making a business of flying over their fields,” he said.

And the technology would not be flown exclusively over farm fields.

“They can be used in checking pipelines. We’ll have methane sniffers on drone looking for leaks. They’ll be used for levee checks, Karlowitz said.

He even sees drones flying over Poverty Point to do 3D mapping.

“We might even find a new mound.”
16 2016-03-28
Monroe

Researchers’ funnel vision locked in on ‘Dixie Alley’


The wounds are still fresh.

In October 2014, two tornadoes struck Ouachita Parish, one of them devastating the Garden District of northern Monroe. One person was injured, and fortunately no one was killed.

Todd Murphy, an assistant professor of atmospheric science in the School of Science at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, says that tornado carried many of the traits of a classic tornado seen in the southeast United States.

These are a different beast, the tornadoes of the southeast U.S. They form differently, they act differently.


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Scientists know that. They also know there’s much to learn about why.

Todd Murphy
Todd Murphy (Photo: ULM)
So, at this very moment, researchers are in the field to do just that. Scientists from multiple universities and agencies, headed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have a congressional grant to conduct field studies of how tornadoes behave in “Dixie Alley.” Among them is Murphy and four undergraduate students. They are participating in VORTEX SE. VORTEX is an acronym for Verification of Rotation of Tornadoes Experiment.

Two previous VORTEX studies, one in the 1990s and another in the last decade, provided much of the information scientists now have about the formation and behavior of tornadoes in the Great Plains, known to scientists as Tornado Alley.

These tornadoes usually form out of super cell cloud formations and take the shape of the classic thin funnel shape, similar to the one depicted on the Kansas plains of “The Wizard of Oz.”

“Things tend to behave differently in the Southeast,” Murphy said. We’re closer to the gulf and the clouds are closer to the ground,” he said.

“Our tornadoes come out of squall lines instead of the isolated supercells in the plains, and are harder to see” because they are wrapped around other low clouds.

An oak tree fell on a home in West Monroe during theBuy Photo
An oak tree fell on a home in West Monroe during the tornado that struck in October 2014. (Photo: The News-Star/File photo)
The Gulf of Mexico pumps warm moisture into the region’s atmosphere. Clouds are closer to the ground, increasing the chances that tornadic activity will touch ground. And, Murphy said, the topography changes are greater in the Southeast.

Erik Rasmussen, VORTEX SE project manager for the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, detailed some of the differences.

“The terrain and vegetation are very different from where we commonly see tornadic storms in the central U.S. Very hilly and a lot of trees. And that’s a problem both meteorologically and how the public perceive tornadoes.

“It probably affects the storms and the tornadoes,” Rasmussen said. “It also makes makes it where you can’t see a tornado until it’s just a few seconds away from you, which is a huge problem when you’re trying to get to a shelter.”

Dixie Alley stretches from eastern Texas and Arkansas across Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, to upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina. It is the second-most prevalent area for tornadoes.

Relative frequency of killer tornado events, 1950-2004
Relative frequency of killer tornado events, 1950-2004 (Photo: NOAA)
Because the region is more populated than the Great Plains, more lives and property tend to be in the path of Southeast tornadoes as well.

Rasmussen said there are other problems. “They happen to have tornadoes a lot more at nighttime than they do in the rest of the U.S., which is a real warning problem when people are in bed sleep.”

For these reasons, VORTEX SE will differ from previous VORTEX studies in one important way. Instead of just trying to understand the science of tornado formation, the study will focus on all of the processes ranging from the conditions and storms that produce the tornadoes and the way National Weather Service forecasters anticipate, detect and warn for the tornadoes, to the way the end users receive and respond to that information. As such, it integrates meteorology, NWS operations and a broad range of social sciences.

Within “Dixie Alley,” tornadoes come in greater intensity and frequency in a band from Vickburg, Mississippi, to Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville is ground zero for the researchers. Through early May researchers in Huntsville will be watching the weather patterns, looking for any potentially dangerous weather and dispatch teams to meet the storms anywhere in the Southeast.

Murphy and his students will await the call. He expects a heads up a week before they would be dispatched. A couple of days later, if the weather patterns hold, the team will head to Huntsville for assignment.

Murphy is partnering with colleagues from Mississippi State University and North Carolina State. “We’re going out in the field and launch weather balloons,” Murphy said.

Murphy said $60,000 of the total federal money was designated to ULM to acquire equipment needed for the research. His team has enough weather balloons to participate in four different weather events over the course of VORTEX SE.

Murphy’s team would be assigned a location by the NOAA researchers in Huntsville. The team will release one weather balloon an hour over a 12-hour period — sufficient to get readings before, during and after a storm.

The helium-filled weather balloons will transmit information on temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction and atmospheric pressure to handheld radios. The readings will help determine “how the environment changes when a storm approaches,” Murphy said.

Murphy said researchers hope to determine how topography affects a storm. Scientists believe subtle changes in topography can affect a tornado’s behavior.

Murphy said the October 2014 tornado caused some damage to West Monroe, but greater damage occurred once it crossed the river. Murphy suspects the gradual increase in elevation coming off the river may have played a role.

Researchers will be gathering data along tree lines, farmland and cityscapes to determine how those might change a tornado’s intensity and direction. Of special interest will be where those meet, for instance where farmland meets a forested area.

New to this round of research, too, will be the inclusion of social sciences, Murphy said. Psychologists and sociologists will be on the ground interviewing people in the path of the storms to record how they responded to weather warnings.

They will gauge what actions people take when they hear the warning. Murphy says anecdotal evidence is that people often look for a second confirmation of the warning, looking outside for a tornado, for instance, rather than taking shelter immediately. Murphy hopes this part of the research can provide guidance on how to improve the warning.

At the end of the study period, researchers will crunch the numbers, study the data, share that with the National Weather Service and then strategize how to improve practices to save lives.

Murphy believes the work will answer some of the outstanding questions. “The goal is to further protect life and property by providing better warnings.”
16 2016-03-28
Monroe

Sportsman’s paradise sprouts by thinning trees


Scenic wildlife helps define northeastern Louisiana.

Picturesque forests are just minutes away from many of the region’s cities and towns.

In some areas where trees have been harvested, reforestation has failed to attract wildlife.

Carved inside a stretch of wilderness in the former Ouachita Wildlife Management Area, a plot of land is being refashioned to recapture the raw essence of a sportsman’s paradise.


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This area was created nearly 37 years ago. At the time, the land that was replanted with some oak tree seedlings and wetland species in simple rows to repopulate the space. The patterned lines of trees reach far and wide. Their branches entwine to provide shield and shelter.

“It was not naturally occurring,” said University of Louisiana at Monroe associate professor of biology Joydeep Bhattacharjee. “The canopies of trees were close together and prevented growth underneath,” he said.

In autumn, oak leaves blanket the area that does not yield a good habitat. Wildlife, including deer, are seldom seen in the area because of the absence of green space.

Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, associate professor of biology
Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, associate professor of biology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, is leading a project between the university and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on reforestation. (Photo: Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Services)
Scant layers of brush and ground vegetation force wildlife to make do with the little that’s available in the area. It is a monoculture where the land had once flourished. Geographically, the land here is less forgiving than that of a tropical climate or rainforest, where such a condition could still see vegetation thrive.

Bhattacharjee is leading a partnership between the university and the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to look closely into how the forested tract could be transformed into an ideal wildlife setting.

The professor, who specializes in plant and restoration ecology, saw an opportunity to create a new habitat. The project, the only reforestation research of its kind in the state, began about four years ago.

“We looked at how we could reduce the plant’s competitive release and create openings and change the dynamic,” Bhattacharjee said.

Competitive release, he says, is where space is created so that plants that are rooted side-by-side have a chance to thrive.

The process got underway to create such a design in the experimental 115-acre plot. Bhattacharjee believed a new habitat could take hold given what, where and how it was planted. He said by allowing more sunlight into the area, more species and more habitation could occur.

The first step was to address the timber aspect of the area. For over 30 years, vines had taken a stronghold across the fallow plot, making growth difficult. Many trees were narrow in appearance and could not fully develop in the setting.

Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee of the University of Louisiana
Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee of the University of Louisiana at Monroe is studying a plot of land in the former Ouachita Wildlife Management Area which was reforested 37 years ago with oak seedlings and wetland species. (Photo: Emerald McIntyre/ULM Photo Services)
A practical and scientific approach to thinning, or removing trees, from the tract was orchestrated. Bhattacharjee settled on groups of five to nine trees. These “islands” as he calls them, could anchor a maturing biodiversity of the area.

“By opening the canopy, we are changing the microclimate of the area, allowing for diverse species to come in and colonize the area,” he said.

“The pockets where the trees have been removed, we’re seeing habitat come back,” he said. “We’re already seeing new species that are not found typically in those areas.”

A timber company was able to use the trees removed during the process.

If the plan continues to work, he said the Wildlife and Fisheries Department would look at similar thinning efforts to other wooded areas. It would be a positive step to create what the wildlife officials call a “green corridor.”

This corridor would connect green spaces from Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area in Monroe to Sicily Island Hills in Catahoula Parish, and possibly even further south. The objective: create a continuous, winding stretch of forest for wildlife to inhabit.

By creating this green space, the area would allow for small species to move into the developing woodland. In turn, an opening is then created for longer-lasting species to settle there.

This summer, more birds will be introduced. The theory is that they will find food sources and begin to nest.

One of the biggest things researchers are watching for is the change in the gaps that have been created. Bhattacharjee said progress can only be seen after a considerable length of time.

“How does the species composition change? Does the quality of timber improve?” he queries.

These are the types of questions this strategy could answer.

He believes the design of the environment can allow plants to emerge, while trees could experience healthier grow in a less-populated area. Even as new growth is cultivated, Bhattacharjee is aware of drawbacks to the developing grounds.

One concern workers will have to be attentive to is the possibility of Chinese tallow. The invasive species that could pose a challenge to the research area. Tallow trees present a danger of expansion that can hurt local ecosystems by out-competing native vegetation and lower species diversity.

The hope is that in five to seven years, the area will thrive and be ready for expansion. “We want to have a good, correct habitat for the area,” he said.

The research site could also be seen as “place-based” education. An educational resource for middle school students who are just learning about biology and environment.

As an instructor, Bhattachargee said he can tell students, “This is your backyard, if there’s any change, you can raise a red flag.”

Awareness and identification are two traits that students can take with them for years to come.

As the wildlife area is in the midst of research efforts, a new opportunity is forthcoming. The university is expected to develop a wildlife project in the Calhoun area.

Bhattachargee said an open outdoor lab is in the works for the former LSU AgCenter research station. Another step in protecting and replenishing a sportsman’s paradise.
16 2016-03-28
Monroe

Promising treatment for breast cancer in the woodlands


This year, an estimated 246,660 cases of breast cancer in women will be diagnosed in the United States.

It’s a sobering statistic from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women, both in Louisiana and the U.S. In 2012, 122 of every 100,000 women were diagnosed with the disease.

Research efforts explore what is already prescribed and what has potential to combat cancer.


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In our skies, forests and labs: Research in NELA

Researchers at the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s School of Pharmacy hope to find a treatment for breast cancer cell lines that may come through something tucked deep in the forests of northeastern Louisiana.

Dr. Khalid El Sayed is a professor of medicinal and natural products at ULM. He’s leading a research team finding medicinal and therapeutic sources against cancer.

Sayed_Usnea strigosa - also called the Bushy Beard Lichen
Usnea strigosa, also called the bushy beard lichen, contains compounds that have shown positive activity in research project. (Photo: Joydeep Bhattachargee/ULM)
He has researched numerous naturally occurring plants, oceanic sponges and olive oil compounds. Among his studies: how tobacco leaf compounds might actually benefit the cancer fight.

But the focus of this particular project came by way of a conversation between him and Joydeep Bhattacharjee, a plant and restoration ecology professor at the university.

“We were interested in microbial metabolytes and collecting molds, mushrooms and lichens. And I knew he had a collection of lichens,” El Sayed said.

“Many of these lichens are being used as dietary supplements. I know how important these lichens are therapeutically and in application,” he said.

Lichens are simple slow-growing plants that typically form a low, crusty, leafy or plantlike growth on rocks or trees. They are complex organisms composed of alga hosting a fungus in a symbiotic relationship.

“The alga provides a shelter for the fungus. The fungus is producing compounds to defend itself. We are interested in those resources because we know they will most likely produce bioactive compounds that can be used for breast cancer,” he said.

As there was no type of report on Louisiana-based lichens, El Sayed was tempted to know what research possibilities would they hold. Bhattacharjee and an assistant, Hassan Ebrhim, ventured deep into nearby forests to collect several species of lichens.

Ebrhim, a natural product chemist, said numerous samples were collected for the research team’s lab. “We dried the lichens, extracted the components with organic solvents, and tried to isolate the pure compounds and some of them had good activity,” he said. Several active molecular structures were identified and the team began to hone its work.

One particular variety of lichen, Usnea strigosa, commonly called the “bushy beard” lichen, appeared to have promising activity against specific breast cancer cell lines. Initially, the team looked at an assessment to determine the ability of tumor cells to proliferate.

Research team includes, from left, Susan Egbert, HebaBuy Photo
Research team includes, from left, Susan Egbert, Heba El Sayed and Hassan Ebrhim. (Photo: Bob Lenox/The News-Star)
At low doses, the compounds significantly inhibited the ability of triple-negative breast cancer cells to multiply. The triple-negative cells lack three molecular markers that occur in other cancer subtypes. TNBC represents approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of all breast cancers, and those patients generally have a poorer outcome compared to the other subtypes of breast cancer. The team also tested the same extract against the tumor cell to migrate, and again it showed positive results.

“Then we brought in the scope of the breast cancer cells and found activity in multiple cells which indicated that molecular target can be a basic target in all breast cancer cells,” El Sayed said. They identified the specific molecular target of c-MET kinase.

The target is involved in the growth, progression and spread of cancer. Targeted therapies are designed to interact with their target, whereas a number of standard chemotherapies were identified because they kill cells.

Another finding of studying lichens involved norstictic acid. It’s a widespread secondary metabolite produced by lichen-forming fungi. This acid showed important activity to inhibit c-MET receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK), which is important for the survival, growth and spread of cancer cells.

The RTK regulates many essential cellular processes in mammalian development. Dysregulation of certain RTKs has been implicated in the development and progression of many types of cancer.

El Sayed said it was worth testing the extracted compound because it targets cancer cells in all directions, including prevention. “Most tumor cells will have this regulated c-MET RTK pathway before they progress into primary tumor. So, if you were to inhibit this regulation you would be able to prevent cancer,” he said.

The research team has completed one paper on its findings and two more are forthcoming. One report details the work of a chemically modified lichen compound and then used computer-aided programs to improve the activity and design a more active analog. The semi-synthesized analog showed promising activity.

Just down the hall and around a corner from El Sayed’s office is the research office. Susan Egbert, a P-1 professional student who has worked on the project for more than two years, summarized some of the research method.

The lichens underwent chromatography. It’s a process where compounds separate from each other within the extract for the purpose of gathering a fraction. Those fractions were tested for activity levels. “We narrowed our focus as we were isolating,” she said.

There were three compounds identified including usnic acid, norstictic acid, and atronorin. Their activity has been steadily tracked in the office. Egbert said computerized data and modeling helps save time in the project. “The modeling shows how our compounds are docking, or going into the c-MET kinase,” she said.

From there, she can access a c-MET protein databank, take out a compound and place one of her compounds in to analyze activity. An example of what they’ve seen, is shown the computer monitor.

A scoring of -7 is shown for one of the compounds. Anything below -6, Egbert said, is considered good activity. With positive results, the team is hoping to take their research to the next level.

“We’re hoping for western blotting,” she said. That’s a lab method used to detect specific protein molecules from among a mixture of proteins. The mixture can include all proteins associated with a particular tissue or cell type.

The hope is to see this go from in vitro to animal testing in seeing a natural-based product become a reality.

“We have a foundation. We need to reach more selectivity in terms of specific subtypes of this target,” El Sayed said.

A foundation that begins with a small, overlooked plant nestled away in the forest that could unlock a new medicine in fighting the battle against breast cancer.
16 2016-03-28
Monroe

Obesity study takes flight by nearly grounding flies


A sign on the laboratory door hints at what’s going inside: “Too fat to fly.”

Inside the lab, test tubes with healthy, active fruit flies are stacked in neat lines next to tubes containing more lethargic ones.

They demonstrates what a change in diet can do to a little bitty creature.


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Matt Talbert, assistant professor of biology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, hopes the tiny creatures will lead to big discoveries about what triggers obesity-related illnesses in humans.

Obesity is a nationwide problem. One in every three persons is obese.

Talbert said many researchers are studying the reasons for the high levels of obesity.

Although that’s related to Talbert’s research, it’s not his focus. He’s looking for something more specific.

“Being obese is not a health concern on its own,” Talbert said. “Not all obese people become ill. But many do.”

And certain illnesses recur in unhealthy obese people, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Talbert’s looking for that trigger. “I want to know what causes a person to go from obese and healthy to obese and sick.”

Matthew Talbert
Matthew Talbert (Photo: Terrance Armstard/ULM Photo Services)
Talbert, with the help of a graduate student and several undergraduates, is studying fruit flies, hoping to better understand why only some obese people become ill and to come up with better strategies and treatments to improve lives.

Sushma Krishnamurthy, professor and director of the School of Sciences at ULM, said Talbert’s work is important as the university looks to bolster its focus on the biomedical area. “It’s quality research and it fits in beautifully with what we’re doing,” she said.

“We’re doing good work, and that’s getting noticed. And that gets us a lot of students going into the sciences,” Krishnamurthy said.

Talbert’s work starts by making some fruit flies fat by altering the diet.

Half of the fruit flies, the healthy half of the study, are given a normal diet. The other half are given food supplemented by high levels of sugar compared to protein. The sugar comes in the form of sucrose, the protein in the form of yeast. The ratio is about 10-1. Talbert said the sucrose comes from a heaping dose of coconut oil.

Under the microscope, there’s no significant physical difference between the two study samples.

Looks deceive.

The normal lifespan of a fruit fly in the lab is up to four months. The lifespan for flies with the altered diets is cut in half. These same flies demonstrate cardiac difficulties, insulin resistance, a much higher level of triglyceride (a type of fat converted from unused calories and stored in fat cells) and, most obvious to the naked eye, sluggishness.

Talbert taps a test tube on a table, and both sets of fruit flies fall to the bottom of the tube, like they were stunned. The healthy fruit flies, however, immediately rise again while the flies with the altered diet stay on the bottom. They are, in a sense, too fat to fly.

“The fruit flies appear to model obese people,” he said.

In humans, Talbert said, obesity causes some specific changes to the body.

A sign on a door leading into the lab where fruit fliesBuy Photo
A sign on a door leading into the lab where fruit flies are being used in an obesity study. (Photo: Mark Henderson/The News-Star)
“The way the body functions, it’s always taking in more energy than it is expending. The excess energy is stored in fat tissue known as adipose,” Talbert said.

Excess storage of energy causes fat cells to grow and become starved for oxygen, leading to a chronic inflammatory state. This causes the body’s alarm system to constantly be on alert, and the immune system starts to attack the body.

Another problem tied to obesity involves two major harmones that affect energy balance in the body, insulin and leptin.

The primary role of leptin is to communicate to the body the abundance of available energy stores, signaling the body to restrain food intake.

As fat cells grow, it leads to a greater production of leptin. Eventually, the body can become leptin resistant. That interrupts body signals that control appetite, which can lead to an increase in glucose in the blood. And that might trigger insulin resistance.

Insulin is often given to people with Type 2 diabetes to try to overcome insulin resistance and lower the levels of glucose in the bloodstream. But insulin also signals the body to produce fat, which increases leptin levels.

It’s a vicious cycle. Researchers like Talbert are looking for ways to prevent it or counter it once it starts. They believe the answer is in genetic studies.

Modern scientists understand that for animals, all genetic material operates the same — DNA creates RNA, which creates a protein system. It’s a dogma that works with all animal genetics.

Because of that, Talbert says, research into specific genetic mutations on insulin could be carried out in worms, mice or any other larger animal. In fact, scientists wishing to study the effect of mutations had to rely on the laborious, lengthy and expensive genetic engineering of laboratory mice or other mammals.

That’s until a team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine developed a technique that allows scientists to measure insulin levels in the insects with extremely high sensitivity and reproducibility.

Modern genetic technology already allowed scientists to express or repress almost any gene in a fruit fly by breeding in dizzying genetic combinations by the tens of thousands.

Talbert explains that prior fruit fly scientists have produced stocks of specific genetic lines containing a genetic construct in their genome. “When brought together in the same fly, it allows us to manipulate gene expression in that fly.” To activate it, you simply put one genetic line against the other “and collect the offspring,” Talbert said.

There are other advantages to using fruit flies.

They have a defined organ system, many of which are seen in humans. The flies have a brain, a heart and a fat body which produces a protein much like leptin. In fact, fruit flies given leptin respond to it like they do their own protein.

They take up much less space in the lab. Each test tube might hold 25 specimens, so storage is no problem. Supply is not a problem, either, with a fast reproduction cycle easily accommodated in the lab.

And the fruit fly “is a model organism that has been studied for years,” Talbert says. The fruit fly’s genome sequence is well documented and researchers can build on the ork that preceded them.

About 75 of known human disease genes have a recognizable match in the genome of fruit flies,and 50 percent of fly protein sequences have mammalian homologs, genes related to a second gene by descent from a common ancestral DNA sequence. The fruit fly is being used as a genetic model for several human diseases, including the neurodegenerative disorders Parkinson's, Huntington's, spinocerebellar ataxia and Alzheimer's disease. The fly is also being used to study mechanisms underlying aging and oxidative stress, cancer and drug abuse.

Talbert hopes the research into gene mutation and insulin will lead to a better understanding of what goes on in the body of obese humans when they become ill and more sophisticated therapies to treat obesity-related illnesses in humans.

“We want to try to find the genetic differentiation between the obese who are healthy and those who are sick, hoping that will lead to better drugs and treatment,” Talbert said. “Human research is much more expensive and limited. Fruit flies are something the students can hold, manipulate and easily study.”

Drosophila melanogaster

The name is longer than the insect. The fruit fly, Matt Talbert says, originated in equatorial Africa and moves with human activity. Through the shipment of produce, the fruit fly can now be found worldwide.

Length: about 3mm long

Lifespan: One to three months, but lifespan in the lab can be four months.

Diet: As the name implies, the fruit fly lives primarily on plant material. The adults thrive on rotting plants, and fruits; while eggs are usually laid on unripened/slightly ripened fruit, so by the time the larva develop the fruit will have just started to rot, and they can use the fruit that the egg was laid on as their primary source of nutrition.

Scientific use: Fruit flies have been used as a model organism for research for almost a century, and today, thousands of scientists work on many different aspects of fruit flies. Its importance for human health was recognized by the award of the Nobel prize in medicine/physiology to Ed Lewis, Christiane Nusslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus in 1995.
16 2016-03-24
Monroe

ULM VAPA faculty to present collaborative, multimedia performance


Black Bayou Brass, resident faculty brass ensemble in the School of Visual and Performing Arts, will perform a recital on March 24th at 7:30 p.m. in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall at ULM. Their program will feature a variety of new works, including several collaborations and a world premiere.

Ensemble members are Dr. Aaron Witek, Emy-Lou Biedenharn Endowed Chair in Music, Dr. James Boldin, Associate Professor of Music, and Dr. James Layfield, Assistant Professor of Music.

The trio will be joined by Deborah McClung-Guillory, Associate Professor of Piano, for two works: Bandera, by Kerry Turner, and Heart of the Andes, by Daniel Baldwin. “The brass trio is a somewhat limited medium,” says Boldin, “but the addition of a piano opens up a whole new realm of harmonies and textures.”

They will also collaborate with Jay Curtis, General Manager of KEDM Public Radio, in a performance of Abe Lincoln’s Song Book, by Douglas Hill. Composed for brass trio with narration, the work presents several of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite melodies and songs, along with historical and biographical information.

The program will conclude with the World Premiere of Sketchbook for Brass Trio, by Roger Jones. According to the composer, “Each movement is named with a sketch concept…Players are encouraged, if desired, to find one or more sketches to display for each movement before or during the performance.” A slideshow of various paintings, images, and other artworks will accompany this performance. “We’re excited and honored to perform the World Premiere of this substantial new work,” says Boldin.

The concert is free and open to the public.
16 2016-03-24
Monroe

ULM Hosts International Food Fair


MONROE, La

The International Student Association held its annual Food Fair on Wednesday.

Community members and students packed the Student Union Ballroom to try different foods from around the world.

This fair serves as a part of International Week at the University.

Faculty member says events like this unite the ULM community.

"I really can't think of anywhere else that you can come and meet such wonderful people from all over the world, it's just something I wouldn't miss."
says Sami Owens, Director of International Student Services at ULM.

Music and flags from different countries were also highlighted at the fair, and food only cost a buck or less.
16 2016-03-18
Monroe

ULM to kick off International Week March 21


The University of Louisiana Monroe will host its annual International Week—a week dedicated to celebrating the diversity of cultures represented on ULM’s campus.

This year’s event will begin Monday, March 21 at 11 a.m. and end Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.

“International Week is exciting for our international students because it provides an opportunity for them to share part of their culture with all of campus and the community,” said Sami Owens, Director of International Student Programs. “This will be a week that is packed full of new and fun experiences that have their roots in countries all over the world.”

This year, the event will kick off with a flag parade at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 21. The parade will begin near Fant-Ewing coliseum and end at Scott Plaza (the fountain located in front of the ULM Library). Participants are encouraged to line the bridge and sidewalk.

The Food Fair, which provides an opportunity to sample foods from a wide variety of cultures, has been a success over the last several years, with strong participation from members of the community. Music, presentations, and flags from different countries will also be featured. ULM students, faculty, and staff will provide samples of various cuisine. Beverages will be provided, and food samples will be priced from 50 cents to $1, per item.

The week’s events are as follows:

MONDAY, MARCH 21

11 – 11:30 a.m.

FLAG PARADE

Northeast Drive

(near coliseum)

12 – 2 p.m.

WANDERLUST

Scott Plaza

Belly dancing display

Yoga workshop

Booths for Henna, face-painting, origami, rangoli, and hair braiding

6 – 8 p.m.

ISLAND PARADISE

Liew Family International Student Center (food provided)

TUESDAY, MARCH 22

9 – 11 a.m.

OPEN HOUSE

Liew Family International Student Center

(snacks provided)

11 – 1 p.m.

CULTURAL EXHIBITION AND STUDENTS WALL

ULM Quad

6:30 p.m. – Until

KARAOKE & COOKING

Liew Family International Student Center

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

FOOD FAIR

SUB Ballrooms

(arrive early as food is limited)

6 – 8 p.m.

TALENT SHOW

Sub Ballrooms

(snacks provided)

THURSDAY, MARCH 24

10 – 11 a.m.
COFFEE & CULTURE

“Not Born in the USA: The International Roots of

Voodoo” by Dr. Jeff Anderson, School of Humanities

Liew Family International Student Center (snacks provided)

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

LUNCH SOCIAL & POST CARD PHOTO BOOTH

ULM Quad, Sponsored by CAB

5 p.m.

HOLI-Water and Color

ULM Bayou Park

7:30 p.m.

TALES BY MOONLIGHT & MOVIE MARATHON

Liew Family International Student Center

For more information, contact Sami Owens at saowens@ulm.edu or at 318-342-1885.
16 2016-03-17
Monroe

‘Rent’ at ULM Thursday-Sunday


The Tony Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock opera, “Rent,” is this year’s spring production at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of “Rent,” which opened in New York in 1996. Performances at ULM will be Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Brown Auditorium.

Set in New York City in the 1980s/90s, among a group of young artists, musicians and bohemians, “Rent” has been called an updating of the Puccini opera “La Bohème.” Puccini’s opera follows the lives of a group of struggling young poets and painters in nineteenth-century Paris.


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When creating “Rent,” composer Jonathan Larson saw a reflection of those Parisian bohemians in his contemporary Manhattan world of musicians, filmmakers, artists, straight couples, gay couples, landlords, drug addicts, homeless people. . . . Set to rock music, “Rent” addresses themes of death, sexuality, loneliness, grief, HIV/AIDS and drug addiction. It is said that Larson’s aim was to create a new form of the musical for his generation, and in “Rent,” he took the Broadway musical into new territory.

ULM director Robin Stephens writes: “ ‘Rent’ makes a very important contribution to the American musical theater catalog. It won a Tony for Best Musical and a Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1996 and many other awards that year. This is the twentieth anniversary of its opening on Broadway. ‘Rent’ has a great musical score and portrays a gritty drama about love, life and survival.”

“Rent” was made into a movie in 2005, directed by Chris Columbus. For many audience-members, the play’s best known song is “Seasons of Love,” a lyrical, hope-filled anthem, sung by the entire cast at the opening of Act Two. Lined up left to right across the stage, the ULM actors join their voices in the song’s famous first words: “Five hundred twenty-five thousand/Six hundred minutes. . . .”

The music for ULM’s production of “Rent” is performed by a live pit orchestra—a five-piece rock combo. The stage is set with bare-metal scaffolding, creating a stark New York City backdrop.

“Rent” is produced by Derle Long and directed by Robin Stephens. Musical director is Jason Rinehart. Stage manager is Alison L. Tugwell; technical director, Steven Burnside; costume design, Margaret M. Hall; vocal coach/rehearsal pianist, Julian Jones.


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The production has a cast of twenty-two actors. Featured cast members include Ben McQuillin, Alex Matherne, Hannah Bryan, Marie Looney, Morgan Rowland, William Mitchell, Orlando Shelly and Eddie Fountain.

With adult themes and adult language, “Rent” is not recommended for children.

Want to Go?

What: “Rent”

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Brown Auditorium at the University of Louisiana at Monroe

Cost: $15 general admission; $5 ULM faculty and staff; ULM students with I.D. receive one free ticket and can purchase additional tickets for $5 each. Group, corporate and VAPA VIP rates available. Tickets for the KEDM Director’s Gala prior to Friday performance are $45, which includes admission and VIP seating.

Info: 342-1414 or online at ulm.edu/vapa/tickets.html

Not recommended for children
16 2016-03-17
New Orleans

UNO's new president is John Nicklow, the current provost


University of New Orleans provost John Nicklow has been named its next president. The University of Louisiana System's Board of Supervisors made the surprise decision Wednesday (March 16) in Baton Rouge, setting aside substantial business lobbying for co-finalist Andy Kopplin, the deputy mayor and chief administrative officer for Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration.

Story by
Danielle Dreilinger

- and -

Jed Lipinski
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The vote for Nicklow was 10-6, one more than needed to pick a president. The appointment is effective immediately. Nicklow spoke only a few words after the decision, thanking his wife, "who's been my rock all along."

The provost, who has also served as vice president for academic affairs at UNO, will succeed Peter Fos, who retired after four years. Nicklow joined the university last spring.

He steps up at a precarious time for the university. UNO faces continued funding cuts due to the state budget crisis. During Fos' term, enrollment slid from 10,071 students in 2012 to 8,423 last year, partly as a result of tougher admissions standards.

Business activist Walter Leger Jr. told the Board of Supervisors that he saw Kopplin "literally bringing billions of dollars to Louisiana." He said "the CEOs of the business community think this is a time for a CEO-type person" to lead UNO.

Kopplin gave a dynamic, if long, final pitch. The future, he said, is "coming at us like a barreling freight train. We can either get run over, or we can lay down tracks in the direction we want to go. That's where UNO stands today."

But the UNO student government president, Joy Ballard, spoke up for the provost. "Dr. Nicklow, in his short time at UNO, has shown he can lead our university into growth," she said. "This has been delayed long enough, and we need someone who can understand UNO."

Nicklow emphasized that along with having a sterling academic resumé, he would be the change agent the university needs. "I have not held a traditional provost role," he said, and is used to "disrupting the norm." At every step of his career, he said, "I've really worked to change the way my department or my college or my university thinks and operates." Moreover, he said he enjoyed fundraising and building community partnerships.

At UNO, "I can see the opportunities that we have in front of us," Nicklow said.

UNO narrows president candidate field to 2
UNO narrows president candidate field to 2
Search committee recommends Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin and UNO provost John Nicklow as final candidates

Before UNO, Nicklow was the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University, and its associate dean in the College of Engineering. He hold's bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., and a doctorate in civil engineering from the Arizona State University. In announcing his hiring to UNO, Fos said Nicklow brought "an exceptional combination of skill and experience as a faculty member, researcher, fundraiser, enrollment management professional and administrator."

In a public interview Feb. 19, Nicklow said he came to UNO because he saw it as a "primary asset" for the city and the region, and felt it had an "exciting future ahead of it."

In seeking the presidency, Nicklow pointed to his time at Southern Illinois, where he helped establish new academic programs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. While he was there, Southern Illinois saw its largest freshman class in 20 years. It also saw an 8 percent increase in retention and a 93 percent increases in online enrollment between 2011 and 2013.

As UNO president, Nicklow said his top priority would be boosting enrollment. "Enrollment is this institution, and we don't exist without it," he said. "We can't do research without students."

But he also pledged aggressively to seek community partnerships. And he said he would work with local businesses to drive revenue growth.

Ultimately, he said his years as a civil engineer and his data-driven approach to university management would best serve UNO. "My research is in complex systems optimization," he said. "And if you don't think higher education is a complex system, well ... it's one of the biggest."
16 2016-03-14
Monroe

ULM to remain closed through Tuesday, March 15


MONROE, La. — After consulting with law enforcement, the ULM administration has decided to extend the University closure through Tuesday, March 15.

Hazardous road conditions continue to affect travel off campus, so motorists are strongly discouraged from driving during this time.

To all employees: If you have experienced issues due to rains and flooding, please contact your direct supervisor if you feel conditions will prevent you from returning to work on Wednesday, March 16th.

To all students: If you have experienced issues due to rains and flooding, please contact your professors if you feel conditions will prevent you from returning to campus on Wednesday, March 16th. They will work with you to make necessary accommodations.

Please note the following information:

Activity Center will be opened 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
Library hours will be Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m.; Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Wednesday, regular hours.
Schulze Cafeteria will be open 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
SUB and Starbucks closed Monday and Tuesday.
Campus mail services will be available from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
Final examinations for courses in the first 8-weeks of the semester will be given on Wednesday, March 16. Final grades for that part-of-term will be due at 3 p.m. on Monday, March 21.
Classes for the second 8-weeks of the semester will begin on Thursday, March 17. The last date for adding courses in that part-of-term will be Friday, March 18.
For campus emergencies and reports of flooding, please contact the University Police at 318-342-5350.
Today, the ULM men’s basketball team took on UT Arlington in the semifinals of the SBC Championship. The team wore gold ribbons in support of those who have been affected by the flood.
Please know that the safety of students and employees is the University’s number one priority. Therefore, we are taking every possible precaution necessary in order to ensure that our community remains safe during this time. Please stay safe and continue to check your e-mail and the ULM homepage for time sensitive information.
16 2016-03-10
Monroe

ULM will remain closed through Friday


ULM’s President Dr. Nick J. Bruno has made the decision to extend the university closure through Friday, March 11.

Per University communications protocol, the University will notify the campus and community of future closures and delays through Warhawk Alert, ulm.edu, e-mail, and social media platforms.

Please note the status of the following services for Thursday, March 10 and Friday, March 11:

Dining Services
Schulze: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Student Union Building (SUB): Closed
Library
7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Thursday)
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Friday)
Activity Center
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Public Safety
For emergencies on campus, contact the ULM Police Department at 318-342-5350.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to exercise caution and avoid travel unless it is absolutely essential.
16 2016-03-09
Monroe

ULM students present, win awards at LSUS Scholars Forum


The University of Louisiana Monroe had a large contingent of students present papers and posters at LSU-Shreveport’s inaugural Scholar’s Forum Feb. 19.

Funding for the research forum was provided by the Noel Foundation.

The program included 73 presentations by undergraduate and graduate students from universities in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The five academic categories were: Science and Mathematics, Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, and Social Sciences.

$50 prizes were awarded to undergraduate and graduate students in the top poster and top paper presentation categories.

The following ULM students presented papers and posters:

Undergraduate

Holly Mallinson (Atmospheric Science)

Elisa Murillo (Atmospheric Science)

Stephen Kreller (Atmospheric Science)

Finola Reed (Marketing)

Amoi Lyons (English)

Rachael Maddox (English)

Jerry Ehlers (English)

David Brasher (English)

Graduate

Sir Aaron Mason and Jacinda Whitley (Marriage and Family Therapy)

Anson Andrews (Humanities)

Dylan Crowell (History)

Jillian Marie Allbritton (English)

Rebekah A. Barnes (English)

Stephen Kreller won the undergraduate poster presentation award with his ULM research titled “Which Hurricane Attributes are most Strongly Correlated with Maximum Storm Surge Height?” His ULM faculty advisor was Dr. Ken Leppert.

Elisa Murillo won the top paper presentation award with her undergraduate ULM research titled “Classification and Analysis of Tornado Outbreaks in Dixie Alley and Tornado Alley.” Her faculty advisor was Todd Murphy. Murillo also presented a poster presentation on her summer research she conducted at the University of Oklahoma titled, “The Sensitivity of Supercell Simulations to Initial Condition Resolution: Implications for Warn-on-Forecast,” which was advised by Corey Potvin, OU/NSSL.

Dylan Crowell won the award for top graduate paper presentation with his ULM research titled, “Cause and Effects of Pearl Harbor.” His faculty advisors were Ralph Brown and Jeff Anderson.

Most of the student research was unfunded, meaning that the students gave up their free time to work on something that they thought was important and/or interesting. According to Todd Murphy, Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science, this is an indication of how dedicated these students are to research.

“I’m happy that we are able to provide meaningful research opportunities to our students,” said Murphy. “The fact that Atmospheric Science had two student winners shows not only the dedication of the students for their research, but that others in the regional community believe it is important, meaningful research as well.”

On the Humanities side, Crowell said this achievement says a lot about the History department. “This achievement only confirms what our department already knew—that we are one of the best in the region and our faculty are some the best available,” said Crowell.


16 2016-03-09
Monroe

ULM Works to Bridge the Gap of Louisiana's Nursing Shortage


MONROE, La.--

Simara Lacy is in her first semester at ULM's nursing program.

She says this is a type of career she's been passionate about for quite some time.

"I started from high school, I worked at a doctor's office and I've seen, you know, the role the nurse practitioner played and it just inspired me into actually having the ability to actually, you know try to save someone else's life," says Lacy.

Lacy first applied to study health science at Grambling State University.

However, after they lost their accreditation, she turned to the nursing school at ULM.

"I couldn't apply and get in for certain situations that they had going on, but I came here and it's been amazing," says Lacy.

The ULM recruiting office is busy bridging the gap of nurses needed in the state.

They say with little supply, their is high demand for this occupation which is a good tool when it comes to recruiting students and offering job security after receiving their degree.

"When we know that there is a shortage in a particular area, we tell students that. You know, upon graduation, if you want to have a job you should consider a major that has a shortage in that particular industry," says ULM's Director of Recruitment, Seth Hall.

Recruiters also spend their time at local high schools sharing the nursing program's success of being ranked 9'th in the country two years in a row.

"I mean I knew they had a good program but I didn't know they were in the top 10. So it's just amazing," says Lacy.

"We want nurses to stay here in Monroe and West Monroe and the local area and so when we get local students to come here and graduate through our programs, they also want to stay at home and when they stay at home, we have awesome people taking care of us," says Hall.

The university also has a 100% passage rate on the license exams students need to become an RN.

Lacy says these statistics give her hope of living out her dream and changing lives.

"You want to be a role model for others, you never know who's watching you and you just want to inspire someone, you never know who has the same passion or dream as you," says Lacy.
16 2016-03-09
Monroe

Meet ULM's 'Iron Man'


(KNOE 8 Sports) - The Warkhawks are getting focused for Saturday’s semi-final game.

KNOE 8 Sports caught up with Junior Nick Coppolla and his teammates as they prepare for a playoff run.
16 2016-03-09
Monroe

Editorial: Bouquets for this week


Bouquets to University of Louisiana at Monroe students who won at the Southeastern Journalism Conference. The winners are members of the ULM Hawkeye student newspaper staff and include, Stacy Reppond, Carmen Blackwell, Tyler Smith, Ashley Lyons and Gwendolyn Ducre.

A bouquet to Grambling State University women’s basketball coach Nadine Domond for being named SWAC Coach of the Year. Domond led the team to 13 SWAC wins.


16 2016-03-09
Monroe

Editorial: Bouquets for this weekSchool Closure Wednesday, March 9


Due to deteriorating weather conditions, the University of Louisiana Monroe will be closed today, Wednesday, March 9. As of now, ULM employees and students will resume their normal work and class schedules tomorrow, Thursday, March 10.

The library will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Wednesday, March 9.

For future updates, please visit: www.ulm.edu.
16 2016-03-07
Monroe

Special Report: Inside the ULM Radar


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Doppler radar is one of the best known tools of a meteorologist. Doppler radar helps to keep us aware of what’s headed our way and in turn keep us safe.

ULM was awarded a $3 million grant through the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOSHEP) to acquire a Doppler weather radar. The new radar was assembled and erected during 2015.

The ULM radar is now a 34 foot wide, 100 foot high contraption of fiberglass, steel, and lots of engineering. It is situated just outside of Monroe on Highway 80, south of Swartz.

Radar is an acronym and it stands for “RAdio Detection And Ranging.”

Originally, radar was used primarily in the military until it was found that radar could detect precipitation - so shortly after World War 2, radar found uses in weather prediction.

Radar works by spinning around continuously gathering data. That radar data is deciphered, processed and transferred to your screen in the form of radar data - like what you see in your nightly weather forecast.

You might be surprised to find out that a key part used in radar is found in another everyday product you can find in the everyday household – a microwave.

That key part is called a “magnetron”.

The magnetron to the radar is located at the ground level, and it sends pulses of energy out at regular intervals.

This radar is equipped with dual polarization - which allows the radar to transmit pulses both horizontally and vertically. This feature will allow ULM to make use of special products - used to confirm tornadoes occurring close to the radar, as well as precipitation and hail classification.

This gives the radar many applications beyond operational forecasting, including research opportunities.

Overall, when the Doppler goes online, it will make Monroe a prominent hub for information concerning ArkLaMiss weather, and it will help keep more than two hundred thousand people safe.

So, when does the the “ON” switch get flipped on the radar? The university is waiting on final FCC clearance to operate the new radar.
16 2016-03-04
Monroe

ULM students win multiple awards in ‘Best of the South' competition


Several students at the University of Louisiana Monroe recently won awards in the “Best of the South” competition during the Southeastern Journalism Conference.

The winning participants are members of ULM's student newspaper the Hawkeye, and its multimedia companion, Hawk-E News. The team consists of outstanding writers, photographers, editors, videographers, and TV and radio reporters.

“These hard-working students make ULM very proud. They went up against some prestigious schools and came out winners," said Dr. Christopher Mapp, Director of Student Publications.

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Overall, ULM won seven awards at the conference, held Feb. 18-20 in Clarksville, TN at Austin Peay University. Six of the seven awards were top three finishes and all seven were top five finishes.

Results of the conference are as follows:

- Stacy Reppond, Best Arts & Entertainment Writer, 2nd place.

- Carmen Blackwell, Best Newspaper Page Layout Designer, 2nd place.

- ULM, Best College Audio News Program, 2nd place.

- Tyler Smith, Best Television News Feature Reporter, 3rd place.

- Ashley Lyons, Best Feature Writer, 5th place.

- Gwendolyn Ducre and Tyler Smith “On Site” Competition Awards, 2nd and 3rd place.

- Gwendolyn Ducre, TV News Reporting, 2nd place.

- Tyler Smith, Radio News Reporting, 3rd place.

Dr. Ruth Smith, School Director of the School of Humanities, said, "These students reflect the excellent education they are receiving from the faculty at ULM. Their mentors in communication expect the best, and it shows in their performance."

The Southeastern Journalism Conference is held annually with a mission to encourage greater interest in student journalism and to create closer ties among journalism schools in the Southeast United States Region. Typically, this conference includes about 35 schools including both in state and out of state students from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana.
16 2016-03-04
Monroe

ULM thriving amidst budget crisis


MONROE, La (ULM Release) - ULM has put out a news release detailing its growth in a time of uncertainty where the state's budget is concerned.

There is no doubt that drastic measures will have to be made if something is not done to address the current budget deficit. But there is an irony in the fact that, while all of these discussions are taking place, ULM is continuing to grow in almost every area, including enrollment.

This should come as good news to prospective students. Despite the doom and gloom of the financial crisis, this is a great time to be a Warhawk.

Here are several categories in which ULM has recently seen growth and recognition.

Enrollment

The university has seen an increase in spring enrollment. Compared to spring 2015, total enrollment is up 477. Moreover, dual enrollment population increased by 134 students and eULM population increased by 108 students. ULM’s persistence rate—how many students came back from fall to spring—remained at 90%.

Rankings and Recognitions

Just this week, GoGrad.org released its third annual ranking for the 2015-2016 best doctoral education programs in the nation, and ULM’s online Ed.D. program came in at #7. Ranked schools were evaluated based on the number of online graduate degrees available in related subject areas; graduate tuition; availability of academic and career counseling services; availability of job placement services.

Last month, ULM reached a major milestone by being recognized as one of the state’s six doctoral-granting institutions of higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (CCIHE), “the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education for the past four and a half decades,” classified ULM as an “R3” doctoral university; the university joins the ranks of only 109 other universities across the U.S. and only 5 other universities within the state.

In December 2015, graduates from the ULM Kitty DeGree School of Nursing had a 100% first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). That is, 28/28 passed the exam on the first testing. According to the 2015 NCLEX pass rates published by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), from October to December, 6,188 candidates with a bachelor’s degree took the exam, with a pass rate of 81.77%. Thus, graduates from the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing exceeded both the national and state averages on the NCLEX exam.

Athletics

ULM men's basketball (17-12, 13-5) will play in the semifinals of the SBC Tournament on Saturday, March 12 at 3:30 p.m. The team enters this week as the hottest team in the league having won seven straight games and 11 of its last 12. The Warhawks’ last loss was on Feb. 2 at rival UL Lafayette in overtime. The team switched its starting lineup just prior to the streak to an experienced lineup of seniors Majok Deng, DeMondre Harvey, Justin Roberson, Jamaal Samuel and junior Nick Coppola. The switch prior to the Jan. 21 game against Troy sparked a four-game winning streak and the Warhawks haven't looked back since.

Last month, Isaac Grieder, who finished his career as one of the most decorated track and field student-athletes in school history after four seasons, won the heptathlon at the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Indoor Championships. Grieder totaled 5,273 points after seven events to earn the gold medal.

Back in November, Adam Sedlmajer (ULM 13’), a native of the Czech Republic, won the 2015 Waterski World Championship, which took place on Nov. 16–22, 2015 in Chapala, Mexico. He was one of hundreds of athletes from thirty countries who participated in the professional tournament, which is held every two years.

On March 11, the ULM football team will kick off their spring training with a completely new coaching staff and 19 total commitments. The recruitment efforts of Coach Matt Viator and his coaching staff were a success and the program looks forward to showing off its talent on April 16 in the spring football game at Malone Stadium.

Academics

The Ouachita Police Jury and ULM are entering into a memorandum of understanding to use the former LSU AgCenter Calhoun Research Station for clean water technology research and as a site for environmental education of K-12 students. Clean water is critical for the wellbeing of our community, personally and economically; the upcoming research will seek to provide a sustainable supply of clean water for the region.

ULM’s Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program will sponsor an international conference on “Systemic Therapy” in Brussels, Belgium in Sept. of 2017. The sponsorship attests to ULM’s international reach as well as the continued success of our faculty and students in the MFT program.

NASA recently awarded a 3-year grant totaling $62,000 to Dr. Ken Leppert II, Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences. This grant will go toward Leppert’s research project, “Better Understanding GPM Radiometer Measurements using Ground Based Radar,” which seeks to improve measurements of rainfall using satellites.

ULM has just opened a new Autism Center (AC-ULM) thanks to a grant from the Living Well Foundation. The AC-ULM is a cooperative program between the Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy Programs at ULM, both of which have been part of the College of Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences for over 40 years. The Center, directed by Dr. David Irwin, Professor and Director of the Speech-Language Pathology and the AC-ULM programs at ULM, seeks to serve as a comprehensive resource that will enhance the quality of life for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Time of Opportunity

With all this growth, ULM still faces significant challenges. According to ULM president Dr. Nick J. Bruno, now is the time to act.

“This is not the time for ideology and party affiliation to get in the way of collaboration in solving these financial challenges,” said Bruno, who remains hopeful that a permanent solution to the lingering budget short falls will be found. “I would encourage you to reach out to your local legislators during this crucial time, and express your disapproval of further cuts to higher education.”

As it stands, House and Senate members need to add $75 million in funding to higher education to prevent yet another cut to Louisiana’s colleges and universities. And time is running out, as the special legislative sessions come to end on March 9.

“Even though we continue to face challenging times, we must continue to educate our students who have chosen this great university,” said Bruno. “I encourage you to stay engaged, stay positive, and together let’s look for new ideas and solutions to preserve higher education for ourselves and for the many generations to come. I thank you for your support, and as always, Go Warhawks."
16 2016-03-02
Monroe

ULM opens new Autism Center


The University of Louisiana Monroe has opened a new Autism Center (AC-ULM) thanks to a grant from the Living Well Foundation.

The AC-ULM is a cooperative program between the Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy Programs at ULM, both of which have been part of the College of Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences for over 40 years.

The new Center opens its doors one month in advance of World Autism Awareness Day (“Light It Up Blue”), which is scheduled for April 2, 2016.

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“I am extremely grateful for the support from the ULM administration, faculty, and students as well as the Board of Directors for the Living Well Foundation to address a need for these services in this region and continue the mission of ULM,” said Dr. David Irwin, Professor and Director of the Speech-Language Pathology and the AC-ULM programs at ULM.

The Living Well Foundation is a public non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the health, wellness, and quality of life in northeast Louisiana. Founded in 2007, the organization serves residents of Caldwell, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Union parishes. The organization awarded ULM with a one-year $14,000 startup grant, which comes with the possibility of renewal.

According to its mission statement, the AC-ULM seeks “to serve as a comprehensive resource that will enhance the quality of life for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).”

ASD is typically found in children between the ages of 1 and 18 and is characterized by deficits in social communication and social interaction, and the presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors. According to a survey conducted in 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of ASD was 1 in 68 children, demonstrating an increase in ASD across the nation. Boys are four to five times more at risk of being diagnosed with ASD than girls.

Many parents feel unprepared for the challenges that come with raising a child diagnosed with ASD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, while it is common for adolescents in their teenage years to become aware of other people and their relationships with them, teens with ASD face far more acute and painful complications related to the acquisition of social awareness and social skills. For these reasons, many treatment options, including social services and programs, are in place to provide vital care and education to help enhance the lives of both individuals with ASD and their families.

And this is precisely what the AC-ULM seeks to provide—high-quality education, training and services for children and adults in need. These services include, but are not limited to: comprehensive evaluations conducted by licensed and certified speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists; consultative and direct services to a variety of agencies/organizations on the specialized needs of individuals with ASD; classes or seminars for speech-language pathologists, education and medical professionals, paraprofessionals, students and parents including the northeast Louisiana region and beyond.

“The AC-ULM will impact this region by providing high quality services to the residents of northeast Louisiana, supporting professionals and parents needing education and training regarding evidence-based evaluation and treatment methods, and enhance the education/training of students while at ULM which they can use in future employment,” said Dr. Irwin.

The regional impact is already evidenced through the AC-ULM’s growing list of partners within the state. The Center has established partnerships with local community organizations, agencies, and businesses, such as Families Helping Families of Northeast Louisiana, United Way of Northeast Louisiana, Chamber of Commerce in all parishes served by the Living Well Foundation, the Department of Health and Hospitals, clinics, public and private hospitals, schools, universities, among many others.

Dr. Irwin indicated that he anticipates beginning evaluations in April. Referrals are being accepted at this time.

Those interested in evaluations, seminars/classes or consultations will find more information, including information about fees, at the Center’s website (ulm.edu/autismcenter).

For further questions, please contact Dr. David Irwin, CCC-SLP, Professor and Director of the AC-ULM at 318-342-3190 or irwin@ulm.edu.
16 2016-03-02
Monroe

LM Athletic Foundation sues ticketing firm for $500K


A lawsuit filed by the ULM Athletic Foundation alleges that the university is owed $500,000 by a third-party ticketing firm.

The civil suit, which represents one side of a legal argument, claims the Aspire Group, who handled all ticket sales and services at ULM from 2013-15, violated the terms of its contract with the ULM Athletic Foundation by refusing to pay the foundation $250,000 in 2013-14 and 2014-15 from increased ticket sales guaranteed in the agreement.

Aspire was unable to meet the projected sales figures agreed upon in the contract in both of those years, leading the company to terminate its contract with the foundation at the end of the 2014-15 athletic year.

The ULM Athletic Foundation is seeking the full $500,000 along with "other special and general damages and reasonable attorney fees." The foundation handles all ticketing responsibilities for ULM through the affiliation agreement between both parties.


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The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 23, 2015 in the Fourth Judicial District Court. The case was assigned to Judge Alvin R. Sharp and a hearing date has not been set.

“We feel the suit is certainly merit-based and was filed only after every administrative remedy was exhausted,” said Mark Neal, legal counsel for the ULM Athletic Foundation.

“The contract, which Aspire drafted, required the parties to attempt to mediate all disputes pre-suit. We attended a mediation but it was fruitless, forcing the foundation to file suit as a last resort," he said.

ULM deferred all comment on the lawsuit to athletic director Brian Wickstrom, who declined to speak on the matter. Aspire also declined to comment.

The lawsuit alleges that Aspire refused to pay the ULM Athletic Foundation the $500,000 total from 2013-15 because it felt the university presented “fraudulently inflated” ticket sales from the 2012-13 athletic year, but no effort was made by Aspire to independently verify the figures before signing the contract.

The ticket revenue from 2012-13 was given to Aspire by ULM and used as the basis for the agreement between the two parties.

Per the service agreement in the contract, Aspire was required to produce ticket sales of no less than $980,994, which amounted to a $250,000 increase based on ticket revenue from 2012-13. ULM reported a profit of $730,944 off ticket sales that year.

“At the end of the day, it’s clear this contractual undertaking on Aspire’s part was not profitable. Sadly, they fail to acknowledge this or to live up to their end of the agreement,” Neal said.

In emails obtained by the News-Star as part of the lawsuit, Aspire chairman and CEO Bernard J. Mullin told Wickstrom on July 11, 2013 at 2:26 p.m. “that is our intent, ULM Foundation will receive $250,000 net more ticket revenue than last year. I believe that is what the agreement says. How would they like to change the wording to give them the comfort they need.”

Mullin and Wickstrom exchanged emails throughout July 11 to clarify the language of the contract and the $250,000 net increase in ticket revenue Aspire promised to deliver.

“It’s really semantics as long as everyone understands that our commitment to UL-M is to deliver $250K more in net ticketing revenue above the 2012-13 season,” Mullin wrote to Wickstrom at 2:57 p.m. on July 11.

Wickstrom forwarded the contract to ULM Chief Business Officer Bill Graves for approval at 5:04 p.m. on July 11. The ULM Athletic Foundation and Aspire agreed to terms on July 22, 2013.

Aspire failed to meet the $250,000 benchmark guaranteed in the service agreement and informed Wickstrom on March 12, 2015 it was using an early termination clause to end its three-year contract with the ULM Athletic Foundation effective July 1, 2015.


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According to the lawsuit, Mullin reached out to Wickstrom to discuss the possibility of outsourcing ULM’s ticketing services shortly after Wickstrom was named athletic director at ULM. Wickstrom and Mullin began working on a contract prior to Wickstrom’s arrival at ULM.

Wickstrom was hired as ULM’s athletic director on July 1, 2013 from UC-Riverside, where he held the same position and entered into a similar agreement with Aspire.

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker
16 2016-03-02
Monroe

Women lean in at ULM symposium


Women from a variety of backgrounds convened at the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Tuesday for the inaugural Women's Symposium.

Lynnel Ruckert, senior adviser and former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, was the keynote speaker, and 27 women spoke in nine panels on education and careers, transitioning and adapting and health and lifestyles.

Kristin Chandler, assistant director of careers connections at ULM, said the event is to empower women to seek their desired career and educational paths with inspiration from others who have been there before.

"You can do it too," Ruckert said, discussing how to deal with personal doubts. She said to just do one's best, regardless of whether you're at your dream job. That effort, she said, pays off. "Whatever you're going to be, be a good one," she said.

Chandler said a popular session was on business culture and communication, a session that focused on how to lead in business without being apologetic and how to negotiate salaries.

Regardless of who you are, Chandler said, nurturing talents to leave a legacy is important.

Dorothy "Dot" Kovalchick Roark of West Monroe won the Legacy Award. Roark was a first baseman on an all-male touring team during World War II. In the spring of 1945, she won a roster spot with the Fort Wayne Daisies in the All-American Girls Baseball League. At 19, she was offered a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League Baseball team, but her mother refused to sign with her because of safety concerns.

Kay Heck Shipp was honored with the Distinguished Leader Award. Shipp earned a Bachelor of Arts from ULM in 1970 and a Master of Art in 1973. She built and sold "The Horse Place" and has owned and operated Shipp Farms since 1985. After her husband was killed in the 1991 IMC explosion, Shipp donated funds to ULM to erect Jim Shipp Pavilion, which the horse program uses as a riding facility for disabled children.

Brooke Foy won the Rising Professional Award. Foy, who instructs art at ULM, resurrected the summer art camp at the university and established Arrow Public Art. She spearheaded the One Mile Of Love Mural in West Monroe, a Trenton Street levee revitalization project. Foy earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from ULM in 2006 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in 2009.
16 2016-02-29
Monroe

ULM Speech Pathology Accent Modification Program


MONROE, La.

"The fact of the matter is that everybody in the world speaks with an accent," says Becky Pickering, Speech Language Pathologist and ULM Clinical Supervisor.

The Kitty Degree Speech and Hearing Center is helping individuals in Northeast Louisiana overcome difficult communication barriers due to speech impediments.

"We see clients with articulation issues, with language issues, stuttering, fluency," says Pickering.

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In addition, the clinic also offers another type of assistance.

"Accent modification. We communicate very clearly that no accent or dialect is better than any other one," says Pickering.

Pickering says accent modification is not a disorder but it can be frustrating for individuals when one's native language has a different dialect.

"A lot of times the clients that we get are people from different countries, who want to speak, they already speak English, but they want to speak a little more clearly so that they don't have as many communication breakdowns with people they interact with on a daily basis," says Pickering.

ULM graduate student Gianna James says every accent is different., even when it comes to folks in the south.

In addition someone who has a southern American dialect can have a very different southern American dialect from someone else who also has a southern American dialect. So that's why going through the communication samples and really analyzing each individuals differences is so important. You can't treat everyone the same," says Gianna James, ULM graduate student.

James adds when an individual changes their accent they may not be stuck with it forever.

"They can also go back to their original accent. So they're able to code switch, which is what we call it, and change their accent depending on the situation," says James.

Though not a communication disorder it is treated similarly.

"And they figure out what sounds are impacting their intelligibility, how well they're understood the most," says Pickering .

"We're able to pick up on patterns in their speech and that gives us ideas of what to target to make it sound a little more like general American English," says Pickering.

The program suggests it may seem difficult to overcome but it just takes minor adjustments.

"Moving the articulators. The tongue, the lips, the teeth, whatever require you to make very fine motor movements," says Dr. David Irwin, ULM Professor and Program Director for Speech and Language Pathology.

Pickering says with patience and a lot of practice anyone can accomplish the task

"It's fun to hear their stories about how I'm noticing at work people are understanding me better I'm having to repeat myself less and so that's the kind of impact that we see with our accent modifications clients, says Pickering.
16 2016-02-25
Monroe

ULM Lyceum Series: An Evening with Levar Burton


MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Laura Knotts Jennings, The Director of Student Life at ULM, joined us in studio to talk about "An Evening with Levar Burton" at University of Louisiana at Monroe. Mr. Burton starred as Kunta Kinte in the American epic " Roots" and as Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation." He hosted the beloved kids show " The Reading Rainbow" that recently hit the airwaves after a KickStarter campaign that made over $5.5 million.
16 2016-02-24
Monroe

ULM Speech and Hearing Clinic Helping To Conquer Communication Disorders


The University of Louisiana at Monroe has a program helping many overcome some frustrating social barriers, a speech and hearing facility.

"The Speech and Language Pathology program here at ULM has been in existence for almost 40 years. All of Northeast Louisiana have come to our speech and hearing center for speech and language evaluations, treatment and then hearing evaluations," says Dr. David Irwin, ULM Professor and Program Director for Speech and Language Pathology.

Dr. David Irwin, ULM Professor and Program Director for Speech and Language Pathology, says the clinic treats patients of all ages and a variety of communication disorders.

"Articulation disorders, we have language disorders, fluency and stuttering, we have voice clients, aphasia, aphasia is a loss of language due to some kind of stroke or brain damage," says Irwin

Becky Pickering, ULM Instructor and Clinic Supervisor adds, the speech and hearing program not only treats speech impediments.

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"Voice is another area. So if people have a vocal quality that's hoarse or breathy or something that's not quite right that's another area that we treat," says Becky Pickering, ULM Instructor and Clinic Supervisor

The Kitty Degree Speech and Hearing center is an integral part of the department of SLP and the College of Health Sciences.

The clinic treats many disorders but Pickering says the main focus is to help individuals overcome social barriers.

"They're certain sounds that are supposed to be developed by certain ages and if it gets past that point children are older and they're supposed to be more understandable and sometimes they're not," says Pickering.

Clinicians evaluate each patient and treat each case accordingly.

"We try to fill that gap of where they are at and where they should be at. And with those sounds we take them and break them down and teach them placement with the articulators, with their tongue. We have cut always to show them where there tongue placement should actually be for certain sounds, says Emily Redding, ULM Graduate Clinician.

ULM graduate student Emily Redding says it's a great experience to hear her patients progress and regain their confidence.

"It's just a really awesome experience to know that the knowledge you gained in class is able to help someone in real life," says Redding.

Dr. David Irwin says the goal of the program not only gives students the proper training for their desired profession but to better the lives of their patients.

"That's really what we're trying to do. That's what we're all about. Is trying to empower the individual and their family to communicate better because we all have to communicate every single day of our lives," says Irwin.
16 2016-02-24
Monroe

ULM works with marrow donor program for infant


LifeShare Blood Centers Marrow Donor Program, an affiliate of Be The Match, is teaming up with the University of Louisiana Monroe to benefit local patient Bryce Boyd.

Five-month-old Boyd was diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects his body’s blood clotting abilities. Boyd is reliant on donated blood and platelets to keep him alive until a stem cell or marrow donor match can be found. “Finding a match, would mean life,” explains Boyd’s mother, Jasmine Boyd. “It means saving his life.” Bryce has been receiving care at University Health in Shreveport but is being transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he will remain until a matching donor can be located.


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Patients typically find a match from someone the same race as them or that share similar ancestry, so Boyd’s life-saving donor will most likely be African-American. Unfortunately, because there aren’t enough African-American donors in the registry, the likelihood of finding a perfect match for Bryce is only 19%.

ULM, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and The National Marrow Donor Program, Be The Match, are hoping to change that statistic by raising awareness and by adding more donors, of all races and nationalities to the registry.

To register with Be The Match, the donor must be between the ages of 18 and 44, in good physical health, and willing to donate to a match. Registration takes about 10 minutes and only involves filling out some paperwork and four mouth swabs.


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The marrow registry drive will take place on Thursday at ULM Campus, 700 University Ave, Monroe, La., in the following locations and times:

Student Union Building Information Desk, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Quad (weather permitting), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Schultz Dining Hall, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information about LifeShare’s Marrow Donor Program, contact coordinator Brian Allison at 318-673-1534 or brian.allison@lifeshare.org.
16 2016-02-23
Monroe

ULM's Mock Trial Team Headed to Championship Series


MONROE, La. --

For the second straight year, a squad from the University of Louisiana Monroe’s Mock Trial team finished as one of the top-six teams at the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) Regional Tournament on Feb. 21.

The result qualifies the Gold Squad for the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) in Memphis, Tenn. in March.

Less than 200 of over 900 teams in the regional tournament qualified for the ORCS. The Gold Squad now heads to the ORCS in Memphis, which serves as the first round of the AMTA’s national tournament. ULM sent three squads to two regionals, winning two team awards and two individual awards.

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“I am very proud of our students,” said attorney Robert “Bob” Noel, who founded ULM’s Mock Trial team in 2013. “Every student who competed ranked as a best attorney or best witness at some point during the competition alongside students from the University of Alabama, University of Mississippi, Vanderbilt University, and Rhodes College. ULM belongs to an elite group of universities; our students are an elite group of individuals.”

During the regional tournament, the ULM Gold Squad secured a win against Tulane University, Millsaps College, and the University of Alabama-Birmingham; their only loss came against Rhodes College.

Dr. Joshua Stockley, Associate Professor of Political Science, said, “I offer our mock trial program as an example—among numerous examples at ULM—of how our university thinks nationally and how our students compete and win nationally. Academically, we are an elite institution.”

Adam Nettles, captain of the Gold Squad and junior political science major from Pineville, said “Our ability to advance to nationals for the second straight year was due to the sacrifices and hard work of each individual on this team, combined with the support of our coaches and faculty. Since the start of the academic year in August, even forgoing some university breaks, we have practiced diligently and rigorously for this opportunity and with this goal in mind.”

Dr. John Sutherlin, Associate Professor of Political Science, confirmed that sentiment. “Attorneys Bob Noel and Kyle Moore have done an outstanding job working with our students,” he said. “Bob and Kyle will continue to prepare our students for the ORCS. I cannot thank them enough for what they have done.”

The Maroon Squad also competed in the Jackson Regional Tournament and also won an award. Allena Wiggers, senior finance major from Winnsboro, La., was awarded Best Attorney in the Regional Tournament.

“While I am honored to have won an award for best attorney, I know that this would not have been possible without the support of all of my teammates and the guidance of my coaches and faculty,” said Wiggers. “I am thankful that ULM provided me with this opportunity and I know that I will be a better student in law school next year because of it.”

The White Squad competed in the Dallas Regional Tournament. Although they failed to advance to the ORCS, they did win two awards. Dorae Dadgar, freshman political science major from West Monroe, La., was awarded Best Attorney in the competition. The White Squad won the Spirit of the AMTA Award, an award given to the team that displays the best civility, justice, and fair play.

“I am very proud of the improvements our team made in this tournament,” said Dadgar. “In every round and in every competition, we strive to improve first as a team and then second as individuals. I am extremely honored to have won this award and could not have done this without the support of my teammates and coaches. I am also honored that our team was recognized for our hard work and exemplary character.”

“What Dorae accomplished is significant,” said Noel. “It is extremely rare for a freshman, from any school, to win a Best Attorney Award against upperclassman from schools like Baylor University, Texas A&M University, University of Texas, and Southern Methodist University.”

ULM’s mock trial team was founded in 2013 by attorney Robert “Bob” Noel, with assistance from political science professors Dr. Joshua Stockley and Dr. John Sutherlin. In 2015, the University unveiled the E. Orum Young Mock Trial Courtroom.

For several years, ULM was home to the only active mock trial program in the state. ULM is the only university or college within Louisiana to advance to the ORCS.

The AMTA was founded in 1985 and is the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competition. AMTA sponsors regional and national-level competitions, as well as providing interesting and complex case materials for academic use.

Presently, the AMTA hosts 24 regional tournaments, eight opening round championship tournaments and a national championship tournament each season. Approximately 900 teams from over 350 universities and colleges will compete in these tournaments.
16 2016-02-22
Monroe

Editorial: NELA arts alive and thriving


As I write this on a sunny Thursday afternoon while waiting for a plumber to complete a job at my house, I can look above my computer screen and see a pair of local artist Caroline Youngblood’s paintings.

They bring me such joy because they are always changing for me, depending on the light and depending on the point of view. They instill a sense of peace and calm. You need peace and calm while you’re waiting for a plumber’s bill.

That is what art is about to me, and it defines the difference between art and decor. Art speaks to you more than once, and in different ways. You make discoveries as you continue to explore the work, as you continue to take in the colors and textures and paint strokes.

Youngblood is only one of quite a few talented visual artists in our community who are able to make a living doing what they love.

We value the arts as a very important component of our quality of life.

Few communities our size have the depth of talent and the depth of arts experiences that ours offers.

Within the span of the past couple of weeks, for instance, we’ve had the opportunity to go to events featuring the Louisiana Opera’s excerpts from “Carousel,” Monroe Symphony Orchestra, a collector’s talk at the Masur Museum, Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Museum, Downtown Gallery Crawl, live music at multiple venues, Dancing with the Stars, activities at the School for Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and continuing exhibits at our area museums.

That’s not unusual. But it’s something we very much take for granted.

We didn’t add in the opportunities to see live theater, or to engage our children in learning about the arts through our local ballet companies, the Strauss Youth Academy for the Arts or the Masur Museum’s children’s educational activities… to name a few.

And we didn’t document the public art that makes our community a more beautiful place.

At The News-Star, we hear too often the complaint from members of the public that “there’s nothing to do.” And it is like a fingernail scraping a blackboard to me.

Our cultural assets with a thriving local arts community, multiple museums and the resources of three regional universities are far greater and far more sophisticated than many other cities the size of Monroe and West Monroe.

There’s plenty to do if you just open your eyes and see it.

That’s the great thing about exposure to the arts. These experiences help you open your eyes and see the possibilities in life.

Make 2016 the year you’re going to go to that museum you’ve never visited, or attend an arts event you’ve never tried.

You might just find a new passion, like I did with visual arts.

Have a great Sunday,

Kathy

Kathy Spurlock

General Manager and Executive Editor
16 2016-02-19
Monroe

ULM Partners with Be The Match to Save Lives in Our Community and Beyond the Ark-La-Miss


ifeShare Blood Centers Marrow Donor Program, an affiliate of Be The Match is teaming up with the University of Louisiana at Monroe to benefit local patient, Bryce Boyd.

Five-month-old Bryce Boyd was diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome a genetic disorder that affects his body’s blood clotting abilities. Bryce is reliant on donated blood and platelets to keep him alive until a stem cell or marrow donor match can be found. “Finding a match, would mean life,” explains mother, Jasmine Boyd, “It means saving his life.” Bryce has been receiving care at University Health in Shreveport, but is being transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he will remain until a matching donor can be located.

Patients typically find a match from someone the same race as them or that share similar ancestry, so Bryce’s life-saving donor will most likely be African-American. Unfortunately, because there aren’t enough African-American donors in the registry, the likelihood of finding a perfect match for Bryce is only 19%.

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ULM, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and The National Marrow Donor Program, Be The Match, are hoping to change that statistic by raising awareness and by adding more donors, of all races and nationalities to the registry.

To register with Be The Match, the donor must be between the ages of 18 and44, in good physical health and be willing to donate to a match. Registration takes about 10 minutes and only involves filling out some paperwork and four mouth swabs.

The marrow registry drive will take place on Thursday, February 25 at ULM Campus, 700 University Ave, Monroe, La., in the following locations and times:

· Student Union Building Information Desk 10am - 4pm

· Quad (weather permitting) 10am - 4pm

· Schultz Dining Hall 11am - 1pm



For more information about LifeShare’s Marrow Donor Program www.lifeshare.
16 2016-02-18
Monroe

Guitar Festival at ULM


MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) - If you're wanting to keep the musical fun going after watching the Grammy Awards, then you might want to attend the annual Guitar Festival that kicks off tonight Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at ULM in Brown Auditorium.

The festival will showcase local talent from professionals and students.

The free event is open to the public and starts at 7:30 pm.
The festival will run until Friday, February 16, 2016.

For Tuesday's event, people are asked to bring their own guitars to join dozens of others play music. Experienced and non-experienced players are welcomed.

If you don't have a guitar there will be one provided.

Starting Wednesday, the festival moves to the Beidenharn Recital Hall; where Cain Budds, Jeff George, Luke Brouillette and Dan Sumner will perform in a joint concert.

On Thursday, ULM Guitar majors and the ULM Guitar Ensemble will join students from across the region for a special concert.

On Friday, Steve Howell and his band the Mighty Man will perform a concert. The night will be filled with American Blues, bebop, rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues.

For more information about the festival, contact Daniel Sumner at (318) 342-1577 or sumner@ulm.edu.

The festival begins every night at 7:30 pm.
16 2016-02-18
Monroe

Food market opens in ULM library


MONROE, La (ULM) - The ULM library opened a food market known as a P.O.D., or Provisions on Demand. The P.O.D., which is located on the first floor of the library near the computer lounge, offers grab ‘n go dining options, including: freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salads, fresh produce, yogurts, parfaits, chips, fresh gourmet coffee, juices, a variety of soft drinks, and candy bars.

In addition to food and drink items, students may take advantage of the P.O.D. market’s “Everyday Supplies on Demand” stand, which is stocked with items such as lip balm, Tylenol, toothbrushes and tooth paste, batteries, and much more.

According to the company’s website, P.O.D. “reinvents the campus store experience by blending the features of ‘corner store’ quick conveniencewith modern market style and service.” Owned by Aramark Higher Education, these convenience stores are operated on over 250 college campuses. The first P.O.D. market stores opened in 2008.

“I think the P.O.D. will be greatly appreciated by our students, particularly in the late evenings when there is a lack of other things opened at this time,” said Donald Smith, Dean of the library.

Prior to the opening of the P.O.D., eating and drinking were not allowed in the library. A “no food or drinks” sign still greets students when they enter the library. Similar signs can be found on doors to offices in the library, such as Admissions and Recruitment, located on the second floor. Such signs are scheduled to be taken down in the coming days.

There is currently no designated eating and drinking area in the library; students may eat or drink anywhere in the building, except in the Special Collections on the fifth floor. However, Smith did express a desire for students to keep food and drinks away from one area: “We won’t ban it, but we do hope that students will refrain from eating in and around the stacks.” He also indicated that students should always try to keep lids and covers on their drinks to prevent spills.

So, what do students think of the new campus addition?

According to Ethan Chandler, a junior Biology major, the P.O.D. market makes a whole lot of sense. “I like the idea of having it close to where we study,” said Chandler. “Now, we don’t have to leave the library anymore to get food or drinks; we can just grab it right here. From my perspective, the P.O.D. is actually an incentive to use the library more.”

Other students are quickly learning to appreciate the convenience of having a food market in the library, where classes are held daily. “I don’t get a lunch break in between classes here, so having a place where I can just grab and go is so nice,” said Sydney Davis, a junior Music Education major.

The famous British novelist C. S. Lewis once said, “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” Now, students at ULM just might begin to understand what Lewis meant.

Payment methods include cash, personal check (with valid I.D.), debit and credit cards, Warhawk Express and Flex dollars. The hours of operation are :

Monday – Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.,
Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.,
Saturday - closed,
Sunday from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
16 2016-02-18
Monroe

Food market opens in ULM library


Students who think they can’t eat in the University of Louisiana Monroe library are in for a real treat.

Last week, the ULM library opened a food market known as a P.O.D., or Provisions on Demand. The P.O.D., which is located on the first floor of the library near the computer lounge, offers grab ‘n go dining options, including: freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salads, fresh produce, yogurts, parfaits, chips, fresh gourmet coffee, juices, a variety of soft drinks, and candy bars.

In addition to food and drink items, students may take advantage of the P.O.D. market’s “Everyday Supplies on Demand” stand, which is stocked with items such as lip balm, Tylenol, toothbrushes and tooth paste, batteries, and much more.

According to the company’s website, P.O.D. “reinvents the campus store experience by blending the features of ‘corner store’ quick convenience with modern market style and service.” Owned by Aramark Higher Education, these convenience stores are operated on over 250 college campuses. The first P.O.D. market stores opened in 2008.

“I think the P.O.D. will be greatly appreciated by our students, particularly in the late evenings when there is a lack of other things opened at this time,” said Donald Smith, Dean of the library.

Prior to the opening of the P.O.D., eating and drinking were not allowed in the library. A “no food or drinks” sign still greets students when they enter the library. Similar signs can be found on doors to offices in the library, such as Admissions and Recruitment, located on the second floor. Such signs are scheduled to be taken down in the coming days.

There is currently no designated eating and drinking area in the library; students may eat or drink anywhere in the building, except in the Special Collections on the fifth floor. However, Smith did express a desire for students to keep food and drinks away from one area: “We won’t ban it, but we do hope that students will refrain from eating in and around the stacks.” He also indicated that students should always try to keep lids and covers on their drinks to prevent spills.

So, what do students think of the new campus addition?

A new food market known as a P.O.D. opened on the first
A new food market known as a P.O.D. opened on the first floor of the ULM library near the computer lounge. (Photo: ULM)
According to Ethan Chandler, a junior Biology major, the P.O.D. market makes a whole lot of sense. “I like the idea of having it close to where we study,” said Chandler. “Now, we don’t have to leave the library anymore to get food or drinks; we can just grab it right here. From my perspective, the P.O.D. is actually an incentive to use the library more.”

Other students are quickly learning to appreciate the convenience of having a food market in the library, where classes are held daily. “I don’t get a lunch break in between classes here, so having a place where I can just grab and go is so nice,” said Sydney Davis, a junior Music Education major.

The famous British novelist C. S. Lewis once said, “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” Now, students at ULM just might begin to understand what Lewis meant.

Payment methods include cash, personal check (with valid I.D.), debit and credit cards, Warhawk Express and Flex dollars. The hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday; the store is closed on Saturday.
16 2016-02-18
Monroe

ULM football facility nears completion date


Matt Viator was intrigued by the possibilities of ULM from the moment he first set foot on campus.

It was enough for Viator to walk away from a comfortable situation leading one of the best football programs in FCS at McNeese State and dive into the challenge of rebuilding the Warhawks.

One of the factors that swayed Viator’s decision sits in the north end of JPS Field at Malone Stadium.

ULM’s long-awaited $4.1 million end zone football facility is nearing completion less than a year since construction began in May 2015.

While most of the designs and specifications were already set prior to Viator’s hiring, he has managed to put his own subtle stamp on the facility in a few different ways.

“I’ve been involved with some of the things that are going to go in there and in offices. I tend to ask a lot of questions,” Viator said.

“Really the biggest thing we’re working on is to expand the locker room in terms of number of lockers. We want to try and get a good number of walk-ons and increase the walk on-program here like we did at McNeese.”


ULM's end zone football facility will include a new locker room, coach's offices and hall of fame area. Adam Hunsucker/The News-Star

ULM hopes to have the project finished by March 31 at the latest. The 11,750-square foot facility is the first new athletic building on campus since 1983 and was paid for with all private funds.

The end zone facility’s amenities include a new locker room, coach’s offices and an updated ULM Hall of Fame area.

“Once they turn the keys over we’ll start putting in the new furniture,” ULM athletic director Brian Wickstrom said. “We’re still working on some of the graphics that are going to go up so hopefully sometime in April we’ll have it where the coaches can move in.”


THENEWSSTAR.COM
Rain hasn't hampered ULM end zone project

ULM had initially set a completion date for the end of January, but rain over the course of 2015 caused several delays. Hand Construction is the general contractor on the project.

Wickstrom said ULM will hold a dedication ceremony for the facility once construction is complete with details to be determined.

ULM's end zone facility will house a new locker room,
ULM's end zone facility will house a new locker room, coach's offices and a ULM Hall of Fame. (Photo: Courtesy of ULM Athletics)
While the end zone facility is an admitted “game-changer” for ULM, its $4.1 million price tag is modest compared to some of the other upgrades going on at schools in the Sun Belt Conference.

Defending Sun Belt champion Arkansas State spent $22 million on a two-story, 58,000-square foot football operations building and a 78,000-square foot indoor practice facility. In-state rival UL Lafayette opened a $30 million, 100,000-square foot student-athlete performance center in the fall of 2015 that houses a football locker room, coach’s offices and meeting rooms and a 150-seat auditorium.

Viator said his focus isn’t on what’s at other schools but instead what he has to sell at ULM.

“What I think is important is do we have everything we need at ULM to win and I think we do. The extras are good but that trumps everything to me. It’s about what you have and taking pride in what you have,” Viator said.

Viator saw the impact improved facilities have in recruiting first-hand while at McNeese. During his decade in Lake Charles, the university completed a multi-million dollar facelift of the Jack V. Doland Field House that included a new 8,500-square foot weight room.

“Kids are like anyone else in that quality of life is important to them. When you’ve got better facilities, you’ve got a better chance to improve that quality of life not only good for recruiting but the players that are already here,” Viator said.

Wickstrom said the next thing on ULM’s to-do list is an athletic fundraising project to offset the coming budget cuts in higher education. The cuts forced the university to reduce the amount of money it planned on transferring to the athletic department from the auxiliary fund.

ULM’s goal is to raise $200,000, which along with the auxiliary-fund money would add $1.2 million to the athletic department’s overall budget.

“We’re going to have a little setback but most of the money is still in the budget,” Wicksrom said.

“If we raise this money to help cover some of the current needs, then we’ll have a chance to get by without too much damage.”

Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_hunsucker
16 2016-02-18
Monroe

Food market opens in ULM library


Students who think they can’t eat in the University of Louisiana Monroe library are in for a real treat.

Last week, the ULM library opened a food market known as a P.O.D., or Provisions on Demand. The P.O.D., which is located on the first floor of the library near the computer lounge, offers grab ‘n go dining options, including: freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salads, fresh produce, yogurts, parfaits, chips, fresh gourmet coffee, juices, a variety of soft drinks, and candy bars.

In addition to food and drink items, students may take advantage of the P.O.D. market’s “Everyday Supplies on Demand” stand, which is stocked with items such as lip balm, Tylenol, toothbrushes and tooth paste, batteries, and much more.

According to the company’s website, P.O.D. “reinvents the campus store experience by blending the features of ‘corner store’ quick convenience with modern market style and service.” Owned by Aramark Higher Education, these convenience stores are operated on over 250 college campuses. The first P.O.D. market stores opened in 2008.

“I think the P.O.D. will be greatly appreciated by our students, particularly in the late evenings when there is a lack of other things opened at this time,” said Donald Smith, Dean of the library.

Prior to the opening of the P.O.D., eating and drinking were not allowed in the library. A “no food or drinks” sign still greets students when they enter the library. Similar signs can be found on doors to offices in the library, such as Admissions and Recruitment, located on the second floor. Such signs are scheduled to be taken down in the coming days.

There is currently no designated eating and drinking area in the library; students may eat or drink anywhere in the building, except in the Special Collections on the fifth floor. However, Smith did express a desire for students to keep food and drinks away from one area: “We won’t ban it, but we do hope that students will refrain from eating in and around the stacks.” He also indicated that students should always try to keep lids and covers on their drinks to prevent spills.

So, what do students think of the new campus addition?

A new food market known as a P.O.D. opened on the first
A new food market known as a P.O.D. opened on the first floor of the ULM library near the computer lounge. (Photo: ULM)
According to Ethan Chandler, a junior Biology major, the P.O.D. market makes a whole lot of sense. “I like the idea of having it close to where we study,” said Chandler. “Now, we don’t have to leave the library anymore to get food or drinks; we can just grab it right here. From my perspective, the P.O.D. is actually an incentive to use the library more.”

Other students are quickly learning to appreciate the convenience of having a food market in the library, where classes are held daily. “I don’t get a lunch break in between classes here, so having a place where I can just grab and go is so nice,” said Sydney Davis, a junior Music Education major.

The famous British novelist C. S. Lewis once said, “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” Now, students at ULM just might begin to understand what Lewis meant.

Payment methods include cash, personal check (with valid I.D.), debit and credit cards, Warhawk Express and Flex dollars. The hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday; the store is closed on Saturday.

16 2016-02-18
Monroe

ULM Hosts Annual Career Fair


MONROE, La.

Big name businesses and organizations gathered Wednesday at ULM to talk with upcoming graduates about possible career options.

Organizers explain it's critical for students to prepare for what lies ahead...and to see the opportunities available in northeast Louisiana.

"It's a great opportunity for our students to come and meet these companies because these folks are looking for our students. These folks want our students.", explains Roslynn Pogue, Director of Career Connections at ULM

And the students feel like they're prepared.

One construction management major says he owes it to the head of his department for helping them successfully gear up for getting a job.
"He's really helped us with our resume, with interview skills, cover letters, stuff like that. And just kind of helped us prepare for talking to people and looking for jobs.", says Caleb Mosher.

But with some ULM students becoming discouraged about possibly losing money through TOPS, members of the Career Connections Department say it's important to just focus on the future.

Pogue says, "Keep moving forward, keep pushing forward. Because they're here to get the education and theyr'e gonna get that education. They're gonna get that degree."

16 2016-02-18
Monroe

ULM professor receives grant from NASA


MONROE, La (ULM Release) - NASA recently awarded a 3-year granttotaling $62,000 to Dr. Ken Leppert II, Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

This grant will go toward Leppert’s research project, “Better Understanding GPM Radiometer Measurements using Ground Based Radar,” which seeks to improve measurements of rainfall using satellites.

Accurate precipitation measurements are required for agriculture, flood forecasting, water management, among other things. But the problem is that some areas are not equipped with measurement technology. In addition, satellite precipitation estimates may be less accurate in certain situations, such as when hail is present or during other severe weather.

“I am taking measurements from satellites and then comparing that data to ground-based radar measurements,” said Leppert. “The hope is that these scientific comparisons will help improve our knowledge of rain measurements in areas that don’t have ground radars and when there are mixtures of precipitation types like hail and rain. In turn, this raw data will facilitate more accurate severe weather forecasting, weather reports for farmers, and the like.”

Leppert expressed interest in this type of research during his post-doctoral research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and wanted to further pursue his interest in numerous satellite applications.

"We are proud and excited for Dr. Leppert as this award will allow him to expand his exploration in satellite applications,” said Dr. Sandra Lemoine, Dean of the College of Arts, Education and Sciences. “I'm confident that our students and other faculty members will also benefit from the knowledge that Dr. Leppert will gain during his research on weather conditions.”

Dr. Leppert received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and his B.S. degree from the University of Missouri.
16 2016-02-16
Monroe

ULM English Professor Named Managing Editor of Prestigious Journal


MONROE, La. (Press Release) —

Dr. Jana M. Giles, of the English Program in the School of Humanities, was recently invited to serve as the Managing Editor of the academic journal Conradiana, dedicated to the study of the Polish-British modernist writer Joseph Conrad.

“I am truly honored to have been chosen to assist in publishing the foremost journal of Conrad studies in the United States and in my field of modernist and postcolonial literature,” Giles said. “Furthering the appreciation of this major international writer is nothing but a pleasure.”

Born in the Ukraine in 1857, Conrad is now regarded as one of the greatest writers in the English language. Orphaned at age eleven when his parents, Polish intelligentsia nationalists protesting the Russian occupation of Poland, died after a period of arrest in Vologda, he first joined the French merchant marine and then the British in order to escape conscription into the Russian military. English was his third language, which he did not speak fluently until his twenties.

Conrad’s work reflects his nautical experiences during the heyday of the British Empire. His novels are set around a globe crisscrossed by the traffic of imperial capitalism, yet cast a witheringly ironic eye on the popular adventure novel tradition of the time which celebrated European colonialism.

Considered an early modernist for his innovations in narration and anti-heroic protagonists who struggle against an inscrutable universe, Conrad’s friends included other significant literary figures of the day, such as Henry James, Stephen Crane, and H.G. Wells. He has been a formative influence on some of the most renowned twentieth-century writers, including T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Gabriel García Márquez, Joseph Heller, and John Le Carré.

Conrad’s most famous novella, Heart of Darkness, is widely taught in high schools and universities, and inspired Francis Ford Coppola’s brilliant Vietnam-era interpretation, Apocalypse Now (1979), starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Lawrence Fishburne, and Harrison Ford. His work is often seen as presciently anticipating many of the national and political conflicts of the later twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Since its founding in 1968, Conradiana has presented its audience with the newest and best in Conrad scholarship and criticism, including reminiscences of eminent Conradians, detailed textual studies, biographical finds, new critical readings, and exciting applications of newer critical modes. Conradiana is edited by John G. Peters at the University of North Texas, and published by Texas Tech University.

Before coming to ULM, Giles gained professional editorial experience as an Assistant Editor for the Colonial Latin American Historical Review at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Giles is offering a semester-long unpaid internship course to enrolled students who wish to gain hands-on experience in professional editing. For more information, please contact her at giles@ulm.edu, or (318) 342-1516.
16 2016-02-16
Monroe

VAPA to Present Concert in Commemoration of Black History Month


MONROE, La. --

The University of Louisiana Monroe Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir will present a concert in commemoration of Black History Month on Monday, February 22, at 7:30 pm in Brown Theater.

There is no admission charge for this performance.

Derle R. Long is conductor of the Wind Ensemble and Deborah Chandler conducts the Concert Choir.

Guest conductor for this performance will be Jason Rinehart and special guest is Matthew James.

This concert features a wide variety of music styles and composers including Aaron Copland’s "Lincoln Portrait," which will feature Matthew James as narrator. The text of "Lincoln Portrait" is taken from Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. Also featured on the program will be John Legend’s "Glory" and Samuel Hazo’s "Today is the Gift," composed in tribute to Mrs. Rosa Parks.

For more information on this performance, contact the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts at 318-342-3811.
16 2016-02-15
Monroe

Spring Art Crawl to be hosted on ULM campus


The University of Louisiana Monroe's College of Arts, Education, and Sciences is hosting its 2016 Spring Art Crawl on several campus locations from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 18.

Admission is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Participating galleries include The Walker Gallery, Dean’s conference room, Bry Art Gallery, ULM Sculpture Garden. In addition, a variety of pieces will be displayed during an open house of the Advance Studios located in Stubbs Hall 234 and 236.

The crawl kicks off with a brief gallery talk from local and featured artist Vital Shell in Bry Gallery at 5 p.m.

Mara Loeb, associate professor in the School of Humanities will present her collection “Earthly Inspirations.” Her work consisting of paintings, stones, and ceramics will be displayed at the Dean’s conference room in Walker Hall. “Weather is clay, wood, or paint,” Loeb said. “I find connections to the living Earth and the suggestion of life embedded in natural materials.”

The show in the Walker Gallery includes student’s sculptures, paintings, photos, and ceramics. Although students typically exhibit their work in Bry Hall, a select few have earned the opportunity to display their work in this gallery.

The Sculpture Garden will include a variety of artwork from students, faculty, and artists nationwide.

For more information contact Joni Noble at noble@ulm.edu or (318) 342-1383 or Arely Castillo at castillo@ulm.edu or (318) 342-1296.
16 2016-02-15
Monroe

Students react to TOPS suspension


MONROE, La (KNOE 8 News) - For Shanterica Hardy choosing a school in Louisiana was a no-brainer after receiving the TOPS scholarship, which only applies to schools in Louisiana.

"If i wouldn't have received TOPS I would have went to Baylor University in Texas for nursing, but since I worked so hard in high school for TOPS I decided to go to ULM," says Hardy.

But now Hardy may be doubting if she made the right choice, as Governor John Bel Edwards says budget problems do have the potential to hurt students directly. As of right now, TOPS for next year is only 25 percent funded.

"It's overwhelming to think that they are taking it away after some many kids worked so hard to get it in high school, it's like everyone's hard work is going down the drain," says Hardy.

She is not the only one who is worried.

Justin Bordelon also goes to ULM and has only one year left.

"It's awful I mean every opportunity I had to come to a university was because of TOPS and with it being taken away, it's kind of hard for me to figure out how I'm going to continue my education," says Bordelon.

The governor says students will not receive any bills or lose any TOPS awards this semester, but come August that could be a different story.

"There's the not so good option of option of dropping out of college and finding a job somewhere or there's the hoping I have enough money in student loans to continue my education until I'm done," says Bordelon.

The future of TOPS is still unknown, but Hardy and Bordelon say they are just trying to not worry about it yet. They hope their degrees are still an affordable reality.
16 2016-02-15
Monroe

Students Worry About TOPS Scholarship Program Funding Issues


Students, who receive funding from the TOPS program, will get the money for this semester.

The state was able to give 80 percent of the funding to colleges and universities, which will cover the remaining 20 percent.

However, the future of TOPS is in jeopardy.

The governor's office says the state usually spends $285 million dollars on the program, but currently they've only got a total of $65 million dollars for the program moving forward.

Students tell us, without TOPS, their education goals might not be possible.

Paying for higher education is no easy task. Jordan Wagner, a sophomore student at ULM, says financial aid, a job and a tight budget make it possible to pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor.

"I just barely got by this semester with my books and everything. Even with my refund, I think I had like $20 bucks left over," says Wagner.

Now, the future of some of that financial aid is at risk as the state has run out of money to fund the TOPS scholarship program.

Some students say without the TOPS program, studying on a college campus is a luxury they simple couldn't afford.

ULM freshman Mykel Wilson says, "Their tuition is sky high, and they go to those schools because of TOPS and without that they probably wouldn't be able to go."

For this semester, colleges and universities are footing the bill for 20 percent of the TOPS funds not being covered by the state.

Chancellor Dr. Barbara Hanson with Louisiana Delta Community College says they're looking at their budget to see where they can find that money.

She says, "We don't want any more burden placed on the students. I don't think anyone does. We will do our best to meet whatever portion of the obligation we incur."

As for future semesters, the availability of TOPS is up in the air.

Wagner says,"My best bet would probably be to get a job until all of this gets sorted, or I am just not going to be able to go to college anymore."

Students are pleading with state law makers to find money in the budget to preserve the program.

"You need a really good sound education and Louisiana apparently forgot about that," says Wagner.

Louisiana Delta Community College says they are working to put together a website to answer questions about possible budget cuts and the TOPS program. They hope to have it online by next week.

Over in Ruston, Louisiana Tech University President Dr. Les Guice released a statement to students about TOPS funding.

Part of that statement reads, "In the event of a funding shortfall for this fiscal year, Louisiana Tech University, NOT students, will absorb the difference. Estimated TOPS payments for Spring Quarter will be posted as normal in order for students to meet their financial obligations." To read the entire statement, click here.

For more information from the governor's office on the future of the TOPS program, click here.
16 2016-02-15
Monroe

Fears grow over LA higher ed funding during budget crisis


SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
While news that the state of Louisiana will resume partial TOPS payments next week came as relief for college students on Friday, future funding of that program remains in doubt.

MORE
LSU Health Shreveport watching budget crisis closely

Potentially deep cuts to the health care system paint a dismal picture for the state-owned health sciences center in Shreveport.

"Those are unsustainable kind of cuts," said Bob Johannessen, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Hospitals.

Continue reading >>
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LSU-Shreveport Chancellor Larry Clark held a briefing Friday afternoon on the state's budget crisis and what it means to higher education to staff members and a smattering of students.

It came on a day that began with the most uncertainty surrounding the TOPS Scholarship funding for in-state students. We caught up with LSU-S freshman student Lauren Washington, who recalled, "I know, my mom told me last night she saw it on Facebook that TOPS is over and I'm like, 'Noooooo!'"

But that obituary for TOPS turned out to be premature, at least through the end of the spring semester. The state announced the nearly $50,000 recipients of the scholarship money in Louisiana won't be affected because 80 percent of the funding will resume next week and colleges and universities will absorb the rest.

That 20 percent drop in TOPS payments will have a big impact on places like LSU-Shreveport, where 629 students are recipients of that scholarship. That will translate into a cut of $342,800 just for Spring semester, according to Chancellor Clark.

But for next school year, TOPS is only funded 25 percent, so far. That was part of the governor's plea to lawmakers in Thursday night's statewide televised address ahead of the special legislative session that starts in Baton Rouge on Sunday.

During that address, Edwards pleaded, "The Louisiana TOPS Scholarship Fund is now so depleted that if the legislature does not raise additional revenue, fewer high school students will receive awards and current recipients are in jeopardy of losing their existing scholarships for next year."

That cloud of uncertainty about next year hangs over the heads of many students at LSU-S, like Lauren Washington. "Well, it's like pretty much everyone here that I've talked to going to drop out, be a waitress for the rest of my life, why not?"

During Chancellor Clark's briefing to staff and students, he also addressed the other big issue facing higher education. He told the crowd, "There are some campuses that can't make payroll past March."

Governor Edwards also urged state lawmakers to approve all sorts of tax hikes during Thursday night's televised address.

Otherwise, Edwards warned that some campuses will be forced to declare financial bankruptcy, which would include massive layoffs and the cancellation of classes.

The governor concluded that if you are a student attending one of these colleges or universities that's forced to close, it means that you would receive a grade of incomplete.

Michael Hammons, a senior at LSU-S, hopes to graduate in December but lamented, "I don't know what this is going to mean for me as far as a career is concerned or what I would have to do? Would I have to leave the state to be able to continue my education or what that may be. So, this has me very concerned."

Copyright 2016 KSLA All rights reserved.
16 2016-02-15
Monroe

New children’s book a must for fishing enthusiasts


The ULM English program in the School of Humanities presents the series “Equality Across the Disciplines: Am I a Feminist?” There will be several free events including lectures, panel forums and multiple social activities, to discuss major issues, while outlining sexual health and promoting activism.

English instructor Jaleesa Harris believes that “this series will allow students, who like me, share many feminist beliefs, but lacked the exposure and the creativity to explore what feminism truly means to them.”

In addition, English faculty and students have combined forces and coined the term “Fem-Hawks” to allow students to identify with one another without setting a base standard with gender, race and history.

English instructor Meredith McKinnie said that “the goal is to break trends and bring awareness on societal norms that have altered our ways of thinking.”

This week, Dr. Mary Adams will discuss “Problems Faced by Women in the Developing World” at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Walker Hall, Room 3-53. The screening of “Miss Representation” documentary will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in Stubbs, Room 100.

On Feb. 23, Cyndi Rogers will present “It’s A Man’s World, Really? Advancement of Women in Leadership Roles” at 6 p.m. in the Library, Room 3-A.

The series concludes with performances of the “Vagina Monologues” at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 in Stubbs, Room 100 and 6 p.m. Feb. 27 at Off-Campus (Upstairs Gallery).

Students, faculty, and the community are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Meredith McKinnie at mckinnie@ulm.edu or at 342-1552 or Arely Castillo at castillo@ulm.edu or at 342-1296.
16 2016-02-11
Monroe

What is the Overall Impact When ULM Shuts Down Due to Inclement Weather


When the forecast says bad weather is coming, what most want to know: Will school be cancelled?!

Snow days or inclement weather days can be fun for students, and sometimes even staff.

But there's a lot more going into those decisions than you may think.

Dr. Nick Bruno, President of ULM explains what weight is placed on school officials when making those calls.

"We try to look at all the factors as it relates to timing, logistics, and safety of the staff, faculty, and students.", explains Dr. Bruno.

Weather data changes rapidly--often every six hours as new global model runs become available.

But it helps when you have an official with a background in atmospheric sciences on hand.

Dr. Eric Pani, Vice President for Academic Affairs is often the guinea pig, so to speak.

He is in charge of monitoring forecasts when weather is approaching.

"The atmosphere is this ever-changing entity that we take bits and pieces of information from and try to piece together a picture of what's going on.", says Dr. Pani.

Closing campus for a day is a tough choice....as it can directly impact the university at a high cost.

But it's not always necessarily a financial cost.
"Not so much from a financial perspective, because you'd be working anyway, so...it's more so the disruption of day-to-day activities." , recounts Dr. Bruno.

The biggest cost...students missing valuable time in classes. Maintaining a university's accreditation means students must have a certain amount of hours in classes to get credit.

"How do we...how do we make up that time?" , questions Dr. Pani.

And closing the university for the day doesn't mean every facility ceases operation.

For on-campus students, dining facilities and recreational activities still need to be accessible.

"You've got 1900 students living here, so their routine is disrupted much more than a commuter student." , stresses Bruno.

And while officials express that decisions to close aren't made based on possible financial impacts...it doesn't mean there are no hits to the budget.

Severe cold or prolonged rough weather events can cause damage to structures. And repairs, of course, don't come cheap.

Bruno says an important to think about is, "But when you have severe cold or hurricanes or things like that, it's what is the damage, excuse me, damage to the buildings, and how can that impact us longer?"

Closing campus for a day can have many effects even after a weather event has passed.

Fortunately, most of the time, campus operations only stop for one day.

"That's the beauty of living in Louisiana. You can have a severe day today and tomorrow you've got 50 degrees.", says Dr. Bruno.

But after sitting down with both Dr. Bruno and Dr. Pani, the most emphasized point is that potential financial stresses have little influence on the overall decisions.

Dr. Bruno's final thoughts:"Most of all, it's all centered around the safety of our faculty, staff, and students."

16 2016-02-10
Monroe

Local University Hosts Trike-A-Thon For Special Cause


MONROE--

Some children took to their tricycles today all for a good cause.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Child Development Center hosted the annual Mardi Gras themed Trike-A-Thon, benefiting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Children learned bike safety while raising funds for St. Jude.

They also decorated trikes, bikes, wagons, & strollers with a Mardi Gras theme.

Organizers say this is a way for the university to show their support while having some Louisiana style fun.

"Each semester we do a community service project to teach the children about volunteering and serving others. In the Spring, we do the Mardi Gras/Trike-A-Thon each year, and the children give pledges, and then the pledges and the pledges are donated to St. Jude," says Emily Williamson, ULM Child Development Center Director.

This is the second year this Trike-A-Thon has taken place.
16 2016-02-10
Monroe

IberiaBank completes pledge of $60K for endowed professorship


The University of Louisiana Monroe held a check presentation on Thursday to publicly acknowledge a $60,000 donation from IberiaBank.

The donation went toward the establishment of the IberiaBank Endowed Professorship of Distinction for recruiting and retaining faculty in the ULM College of Business and Social Sciences.

The press conference was held in conjunction with ULM’s 2016 first quarter Foundation board meetings on the 7th floor of the Library Conference Center.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
Audit: ULM Foundation must adjust accounting practices

“I just can’t say enough about how much we appreciate IberiaBank for making this happen because an investment in our faculty is an investment in our students and the continued success of our college,” said Dr. Ronald Berry, Dean of the College of Business and Social Science, at the press conference on Thursday.

Berry noted that his college was part of 1% of colleges of business and social sciences in the world that maintained accreditation from the AACSB-International—the premier business accrediting agency in the world-wide. He also expressed that the donation came at a good time amid potential budget cuts.

According to Dr. Nick J. Bruno, ULM president, “Programs like endowed professorships and chairs do so much to help recruit and retain the very best faculty.” Like Berry, Bruno also indicated that, despite the “gloom and doom” of budget issues in higher education, “ULM has chosen to grow, to improve, and to look to the future.”

This is IberiaBank’s first endowed professorship, which came to fruition under the leadership of Malcolm Maddox, Senior VP Commercial Lending Manager for IberiaBank. Maddox has been a long-time supporter of ULM. In fact, this is the second endowed professorship at ULM that he has been a part of. In his previous role as regional chair with Hibernia Bank (now Capitol One), he influenced the bank’s decision to invest $60,000 to establish the Capital One Endowed Professorship in Mathematics.


THENEWSSTAR.COM
ULM foundation honors 6

Maddox funded the first two installments of IberiaBank’s donation while he was Market President; the pledge was concluded in the budget year of Greg Kahmann, Northeast Louisiana Market President, who presented the check alongside Maddox.

“We are spread across about six states, [comprised of] about 20 billion in size,” said Maddox. “I will tell you that there is a lot of competition within our bank as far as what we do with our money for community purposes. We are proud that we are able to do something for our university here—and it is our university.”

Maddox and Kahmann presented the check to Dr. Bruno, Dr. Berry, and Anne Lockhart and Susan Chappell of the ULM Foundation.

For more information about the College of Business and Social Sciences, visit ulm.edu/cbss.
16 2016-02-05
Monroe

Edwards takes case to people


Gov. John Bel Edwards took his case for new taxes to the people this week on social media, in a column presented to the state's newspapers and on the stump with tours like the one he made in northeastern Louisiana Thursday.

"We're going to have to do something hard and unpopular," Edwards told a crowd of more than 100 at the Ruston Civic Center. "So I am asking you to be Louisianians first. It will be about shared sacrifice and finding common ground."

Edwards visited Ruston, the new Lincoln Parish Public Safety Center, Grambling State University and Louisiana Tech University during the day before delivering the keynote speech Thursday night at the Monroe Civic Center.

He was even able to squeeze in a fundraiser at trucking and energy magnate James Davison's Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant.

He was flanked by allies like Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayor, who was a co-chairman of the governor's transition team, and higher education leaders like Louisiana Board of Regents member Bob Levy who fear further cuts would cripple colleges and universities.

"It's part of my job to travel the state and talk face to face with voters to explain what I believe we have to do," Edwards said. "I don't enjoy asking them to do something difficult, but I'm asking people to understand. We're in the worst financial shape in the history of our state.

"There's not another approach that will get us out of that. There's not another approach that will work."

While Edwards promised expense reductions where possible, he said there's "no way we can cut our way to prosperity," noting the state's estimated $750 million midyear deficit and a projected $1.9 billion deficit next year.

But Edwards is already getting pushback from some business advocacy groups like the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and elected leaders like state Treasurer John Kennedy, who is running for U.S. Senate.

He is also likely to meet resistance in the state House, where Republicans bucked his choice for speaker to elect one of their own in Rep. Taylor Barras of New Iberia.

"I don't think members are likely to cut $1.9 billion, but they're equally unlikely to raise $1.9 billion in new taxes," Barras said in a recent interview with Gannett Louisiana. "I think there are some of the governor's suggestions that can get traction, but it will be a balance."

Those suggestions will come Friday in the form of a call for a special session to address the deficit expected to begin on Valentine's Day.

"It's going to be broad," Edwards said of the call. "It's going to be everything on my list plus some additional items. It will be flexible enough for individuals to be able to forward some of their own solutions."
16 2016-02-05
Monroe

Edwards takes case to people


Gov. John Bel Edwards took his case for new taxes to the people this week on social media, in a column presented to the state's newspapers and on the stump with tours like the one he made in northeastern Louisiana Thursday.

"We're going to have to do something hard and unpopular," Edwards told a crowd of more than 100 at the Ruston Civic Center. "So I am asking you to be Louisianians first. It will be about shared sacrifice and finding common ground."

Edwards visited Ruston, the new Lincoln Parish Public Safety Center, Grambling State University and Louisiana Tech University during the day before delivering the keynote speech Thursday night at the Monroe Civic Center.

He was even able to squeeze in a fundraiser at trucking and energy magnate James Davison's Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant.

He was flanked by allies like Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayor, who was a co-chairman of the governor's transition team, and higher education leaders like Louisiana Board of Regents member Bob Levy who fear further cuts would cripple colleges and universities.

"It's part of my job to travel the state and talk face to face with voters to explain what I believe we have to do," Edwards said. "I don't enjoy asking them to do something difficult, but I'm asking people to understand. We're in the worst financial shape in the history of our state.

"There's not another approach that will get us out of that. There's not another approach that will work."

While Edwards promised expense reductions where possible, he said there's "no way we can cut our way to prosperity," noting the state's estimated $750 million midyear deficit and a projected $1.9 billion deficit next year.

But Edwards is already getting pushback from some business advocacy groups like the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and elected leaders like state Treasurer John Kennedy, who is running for U.S. Senate.

He is also likely to meet resistance in the state House, where Republicans bucked his choice for speaker to elect one of their own in Rep. Taylor Barras of New Iberia.

"I don't think members are likely to cut $1.9 billion, but they're equally unlikely to raise $1.9 billion in new taxes," Barras said in a recent interview with Gannett Louisiana. "I think there are some of the governor's suggestions that can get traction, but it will be a balance."

Those suggestions will come Friday in the form of a call for a special session to address the deficit expected to begin on Valentine's Day.

"It's going to be broad," Edwards said of the call. "It's going to be everything on my list plus some additional items. It will be flexible enough for individuals to be able to forward some of their own solutions."
16 2016-02-05
Monroe

Edwards takes case to people


Gov. John Bel Edwards took his case for new taxes to the people this week on social media, in a column presented to the state's newspapers and on the stump with tours like the one he made in northeastern Louisiana Thursday.

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