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ULM’S TRIO Programs honors students in R.A.M.S. mentoring program

Published May 10, 2021

The University of Louisiana Monroe is home to the federally funded TRIO Programs, which focuses on assisting first-generation and income-eligible students earn a college degree.


An essential facet of TRIO’s Educational Talent Search is the Outreach Program and its mentoring program, Rising Above Mediocrity for Success, or R.A.M.S., for students at Richwood, Wossman, and Carroll high schools.


R.A.M.S. is directed by Joe Riser, TRIO Outreach Coordinator, with Tommie Nelson, TRIO Retention/Outreach Coordinator, and Brenda Grover, a robotics teacher at Richwood.  


Students in R.A.M.S. were honored for their academic achievements and participation at the TRIO Scholar’s Brunch on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at the ULM Activity Center.


The guest speaker was Ebony Watson, MSN, Assistant Professor in the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing. Several seniors shared how R.A.M.S. helped them make positive choices and plans to further their education.




Ebony Watson, MSN, Associate Professor of Nursing, left, with nursing student Brea Lockett, who received a scholarship from Parks Community Service, Inc., through ULM’s TRIO Programs.
Photo by Tommie Nelson/TRIO Programs



TRIO Programs partner Parks Community Support Service, Inc., awarded scholarships for top GPAs and/or trophies to Richwood graduating seniors. The students include Zoe Wilson, Curterrius Williams, Lee Dixon, Esmeralda Duenez-Sauceda, Mar’Tanea McGee, Ri’Shante Cooks, and Joe Cleveland.  


Brea Lockett, a nursing student who is a volunteer with TRIO Programs, also received a scholarship at the event.


Special attendees were Eric Davis, Ed.D., Principal of Carroll High School; Linda Coleman, Richwood High School counselor; and robotic/science teachers Wandesha Traylor of Wossman; Shirley Neal of Carroll; and Brenda Grover of Richwood.  


Representing ULM were Valerie Fields, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs, Pamela Saulsberry, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and John Sutherlin, Ph.D., Chief Innovation and Research Officer.


R.A.M.S. meets regularly at ULM for mentoring activities designed to boost success in school and life, as well as going on enriching field trips to explore museums, historical sites, college campuses, and STEM learning sites.


“ULM TRIO is proud to support our high school participants. Their success is critical to the mission of ULM and TRIO,” said Catherine Estis, Ph.D. Executive Director of TRIO Programs.


Educational Talent Search is one of eight federal TRIO programs designed to assist first-generation/income-eligible students in completing high school prepared and ready to enroll in college and graduate with a baccalaureate degree. The U.S. Department of Education fully funds TRIO Programs.  


For more information about TRIO Programs at ULM, visit https://www.ulm.edu/research/trio/index.html.