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ULM names first round of Opportunity Fund recipients

Published December 12, 2022

Opportunity Fund 2022

CAPTION:Recipients of the Opportunity Fund pose with members of the committee. Pictured L-R: Dr. Courtney Robertson, Allison Thompson, Dr. Alicia Rollins, Dr. Ashanti Jones, Dr. William McCown, Dr. Kioh Kim, Dr. Kenna Veronee, Dr. Ronald Berry, Dr. Christine Berry, Dr. Carlton Kilpatrick, Dr. Leigh Hersey, Dr. Darrion Flunder-Jenkins, Dr. Jeremy Bell,Dr. Anthony Walker, Carmen Wright, Seth Hall 

MONROE, LA – The University of Louisiana Monroe recently named the first official, committee-based round of recipients from The ULM Opportunity Fund. Seven projects were funded after a review process conducted by the Opportunity Fund Committee.  

The 2022-2023 ULM Opportunity Fund recipients:  

Dr. Allen Parrish, Assistant Professor of Music, will receive $5,500 to conduct a Community Brass Band Seminar to train area high school and college student musicians to create successful New Orleans-style brass bands.  

Dr. Jeremy Bell, Assistant Professor of Education, will receive $8,500 for his SciMAT Lab project. SciMAT stands for science, math, and assistive technology. The project will be a state-of-the-art laboratory providing students in multiple programs with access to assistive technology materials.  

Dr. Carlton Kilpatrick and Dr. Kenna Veronee, Assistant Professors of Music, will receive $2,200 to offset travel costs for students to attend the Texas Music Educators Association annual conference, the largest conference of its kind in the United States.  

Dr. Jennifer Hoh, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy, will receive approximately $16,000 for LEARN – Louisiana Educational Awareness for Rescue Needs. Dr. Hoh and her colleagues from the ULM College of Pharmacy will implement this program in high schools across the state. The program will engage students in preparedness training to help them recognize serious events and prevent them from becoming life-threatening.  

Dr. William G. McCown, Professor of Psychology, will receive $2,985 to purchase hardware and software to create a Behavioral Research Lab for online and off-campus students. The lab will allow these students to design their own faculty-sponsored research projects.  

Dr. Darrion Flunder-Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Precision Agriculture and Unmanned Aircraft System Management, will receive $4,165 to continue the Sky Breakers Drone Workshop which is offered to our region’s middle and high school students. The workshop covers the fundamentals of drone flight operations and the application of drones in various industries.   

Dr. Leigh N. Hersey, Assistant Professor of Political Science, will receive $6,680 to continue the Women Take FLIGHT (Fostering Leadership to Increase Growth in Higher-ed Teams) program. The multidisciplinary project facilitates a university-wide, non-supervisory mentoring program for all faculty and staff, the Warhawk Women Read book club, and a variety of professional development workshops and socials; upcoming for spring are a research forum and a women in sports event. 

The ULM Opportunity Fund, founded in 2020, assists students, faculty, and staff in generating positive change in the University and regional communities. ULM President Dr. Ronald Berry, joined by his wife, Dr. Christine Berry, started the fund with a personal commitment of $100,000. Due to the fundraising efforts of the ULM Foundation, the Opportunity Fund has grown to over $500,000. 

The ULM Opportunity Fund is a flexible fund to support a wide variety of activities not typically funded through individual colleges or specific departments. Some examples of potential funding include programs that improve diversity, equity, and inclusion, or programs that connect the regional community to ULM as a source of service, knowledge, or research. 

The ULM Opportunity Fund will award funds for projects each year. The funded projects are selected by the Opportunity Fund committee after a review process.  

The 2022-2023 Opportunity Fund Committee is: Allison Thompson, Director, Assessment and Evaluation/SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison, and Dr. Courtney Robertson, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy, Co-chairs; Dr. Kioh Kim, Professor and Director of Education Doctoral Program, College of Arts, Education, and Sciences; Carmen Wright, Director of Student Athlete Success; Seth Hall, Interim Director of Athletics; Dr. Alicia Rollins, ULM DEI Fellow, Dr. Ashanti Jones, Assistant Professor and Director of Physical Therapy Clinical Education, College of Health Sciences; and James Beinkemper, Benefits Specialist, Human Resources.  

For more information about The ULM Opportunity Fund, click here.