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December 16, 2010

ULM Freshmen honored during Summer Reading Essay Ceremony Dec. 9

Proud families of several ULM freshmen packed the Library's Media Room as winners of the Summer Reading Essay awards were honored at a ceremony on Dec. 9, 2010, before school was dismissed for winter break.

The freshmen students, Nick Alford of Hammond, Elizabeth Cooley of Monroe and Andrena Haynes of Shreveport earned the awards for writing an essay based on their assigned book for the 2010 Summer Reading Program, This I Believe.

The reading program is a collection of events surrounding a common theme to introduce students to the ULM academic community and provide a sense of unity among students, faculty, staff and community, according to ULM Director of Retention Barbara Michaelides.

"It is interesting that these wonderful essays were also based on a book of essays," said Michaelides. "The students have inspired all of us to re-read This I Believe again, and reflect even more deeply on what we our own core beliefs are."

Alford, a healthcare management marketing major, earned a first-place award for his essay, "I Believe in the Pot." Alford's essay used his own family's fellowship over the dinner table as an example of the emotional well-being that can be generated among the general population as everyone enjoys a "pot" of well-prepared food together. His instructor was Jackie Tucker.

"This is a man after my own heart," joked ULM President Nick Bruno, who was on hand to distribute the winners certificates and cash awards.

Cooley, an English Education major, earned a second-place award for her essay, "My Journey to Happiness through Pain." In her essay, Cooley asserts that suffering is not something to be avoided, but rather something to be embraced. Through embracing hardships, Cooley said she and others may tap into their own limitless inner strengths. Her instructor was Dr. Mary Adams.

Haynes, a mass communications major, earned a third-place award for her essay, "A Beautiful World." The essay explores Haynes' relationship with art, where the canvas provides a transcendent experience that takes the reader from classroom to art museum to the broader world. Haynes opens readers' eyes to recognizing the value of art for art's sake so they might "become a witness to the beautiful world." Her instructor was Delilah Clark.

"Reading and writing is at the intellectual center of university life," Bruno said. "These excellent freshman students are off to a great start, and they illustrate the quality of faculty leading them at ULM."

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