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April 30, 2009

ULM students make splash this summer in major industries across the country

When classes end this semester, the University of Louisiana at Monroe will be represented in cities from New York to Dallas to St. Louis, as well as our own community.

That’s because many of ULM’s best and brightest students landed top-notch jobs and summer internships in these towns, many after competing with students from larger universities across the U.S.

The Office of Career Connections and Experiential Education, recognizing these hard-working students for achieving their goals as well as the people who helped them along the way, hosted a “Students of Distinction” event on Tuesday.

ULM President James Cofer and First Lady, Deborah, opened their Bon Aire residence for a reception attended by the students, their family members and professors, and many of their future employers.

Each student named a professor who had played a key role in his or her academic development. The professors spoke briefly about each student in a video introduced by Director Brenda Allen, whose office serves as a clearinghouse for ULM internships.

“This is a time to celebrate … what you do does make a difference,” Allen told the professors.

Cofer, noting that faculty members play a large role in why so many choose to come and stay at the university, said the students are “quite simply, the reason we are here.”

Ashley Millsap, 22, of West Monroe, was among the students joining in the celebration Tuesday. Millsap landed a public relations internship with Fiserv in Dallas – a major financial services company that processes work for credit unions.

“It’s a win-win situation,” said Millsap. “It might turn into a full-time job, but even if it doesn’t, it’s a great experience that will provide a good network of contacts.”

Elizabeth Ragland, 20, of Simpson, is a double major in risk management insurance and finance. She will make her summer home in the dorms of New York University.

Ragland said she was fortunate to earn one of only three internships offered through IRU – Intermediaries and Reinsurance Underwriters Association – a program that provides an opportunity for college junior and seniors to learn about and gain practical experience in the industry.

“I’m nervous, but very excited about the opportunity,” she said.

Twenty-year-old Alex Deshowitz, joined by relatives who had driven from New Orleans to celebrate his accomplishment, won another highly competitive internship.

Deshowitz majors in finance and will be working in the Southwest Airlines marketing department this summer. He said his job would entail analyzing various revenue streams to help determine the airline’s future financial approach.

Deshowitz credited ULM’s experienced professors for being among the best and for steering him in the right direction.

“My education here has definitely prepared me for this,” he said. “I’m ready.”

Other students at the reception, their hometowns and the companies they will work for include:

• Chris Brown of West Monroe, BASIC

• Haley Chop of Winnfield, CenturyTel

• Anitra Dangerfield of Monroe, JPMorganChase

• Marion Lehmann of Besançon, France, French Creative

• Jonathan McCardle of West Monroe, Anheuser-Busch

• Destiny Montemayor of Wataugh, Texas, Fox News Houston

• Bonnie Patterson of West Monroe, Fiserv

• Lindzey Smith of Bossier City, InterMountain Management

• Katie Wood of Monroe, Travelers

For more information on internships through the Office of Career Connections and Experiential Education, contact 318-342-5338 or visit

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