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July 19, 2007

Student Life and Leadership fills three important positions

ULM’s Office of Student Life and Leadership is pleased to announce the three individuals chosen to fill important spirit group positions.

Joanie Williams is now the coordinator of spirit groups. In newly created appointments, Jennifer Sword will serve as cheer coach and Colette Boutwell will take on the mantle of dance coach.

“We are very fortunate to have assembled this team of leaders that will be building on the traditions and successes of all our spirit groups,” said Amy Weems, assistant dean.

About Joanie Williams

Williams, a ULM alumna (’06) with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, will be the contact person for matters involving the ULM Cheerleaders, Warbonnets, Scouts, and mascot, Ace.

“I am excited about my new position because it is not only allowing me to continue to work with dance and spirit groups, but it is also allowing me to use my degree,” Williams said. “I have great respect for this university and the people here, and I feel honored to be a part of the ULM family.”

She begins as coordinator of spirit groups with 19 years of overall dance experience, including positions as a Ouachita High School Dandylion, an American All-Star, a member of Northwestern State University’s Pom Pon Line, a dance coach for Grace Episcopal, and a private coach, choreographer, and judge. She also conducted a PR internship for RWT Telecommunications in 2006.

“We are very pleased with the selection of Joanie Williams as the new coordinator of spirit groups at ULM,” said Wayne Brumfield, vice president for Student Affairs. “We look forward to her leadership and the experience she brings to the position.”

About Jennifer Sword

Sword, the former coordinator of spirit groups at ULM from 2002-2007, cheered in junior high, high school and college. She graduated from Missouri Valley College in 2002, where she was on the national championship squad in 1999.

She has coached the ULM cheerleaders since 2002, bringing the team to victory in nationals during the 2004 and 2005 competitions.

Sword has worked for the Universal Cheerleaders Association for 10 years, including as a head instructor and regional coordinator. She currently serves as the state director for the UCA in Louisiana.

She has taught camps in Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, Texas, Alabama, and Arkansas. Sword is a national American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators safety trainer and certifier for all cheerleading coaches and administrators. She performs the same function for the National Federation of High Schools.

“I am excited about my position as cheerleading coach, because I will be able to use my experience and will be able to focus more time on the ULM Cheerleading program,” Sword said. “I am excited to continue the tradition here at ULM.”

As cheer coach, Sword will work closely with Williams and Boutwell concerning the monthly schedule of activities for spirit groups while preparing the ULM Cheerleaders for all games, events, and competitions.

“Jennifer Sword and Colette Boutwell bring outstanding experience and expertise to their respective position,” Brumfield said. “We are fortunate to have them both working collaboratively with our spirit groups.”

About Colette Boutwell

Boutwell, a certified dance instructor through the Southern Association of Dance Masters since 1992, will take on identical responsibilities for the ULM Warbonnets. She graduated from ULM in 1996.

During the past 18 years, she has taught ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop for the Missy Crain School of Dance in Monroe, Ruston, Oak Grove, and Calhoun. Simultaneously as a member of the Missy Crain Performing Company, Boutwell competed for 15 years and co-directed and directed for six years.

She has also choreographed for dance schools, ballet companies, high schools, colleges, and dance lines across the South. Boutwell has served as a guest teacher for numerous dance workshops, including the Louisiana Delta Ballet Company, Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Company, Twin City Ballet Company, Grambling Orchesis Dance Line, Southern Association of Dance Masters, Dance Teachers United, and Brookhaven College.

“Dance is the expression of one's self and I am elated to share my
knowledge and passion for the art of dance with ULM, its alumni, and fans,” Boutwell said.

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