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April 19, 2012

ULM announces new President's Academy for high-ability students

Joined by Fortune 500 companies, leaders at the University of Louisiana at Monroe are announcing the ULM President's Academy—a new career-oriented summer program for high-ability high school juniors and seniors throughout Louisiana, and the regions of Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

This concept evolved as ULM administrators sought to create a comprehensive program to encourage student development and preparation for college and future careers.

ULM President Nick J. Bruno wants high school students to experience unique professional and academic opportunities.

He said, "ULM's mission is to increase the intellectual capital of our region; we want to prepare college-bound students for highly-skilled careers in our region's successful industries. We need to provide academically motivated high school students early opportunities to experience college life at ULM and to become familiar with the professional work environment."

CenturyLink, ANGUS Chemical, and LSU Health Sciences Center/EA Conway Medical Center have partnered with ULM to develop the academy, which will take place July 8-13 at ULM.

The residential college preparatory program, which is limited to 50 students, allows qualifying candidates to choose one of three externships in a science and technology field in exchange for one college credit.

These real-world learning experiences will take place at CenturyLink, ANGUS Chemical, and Conway Medical Center.

Depending on the career track students choose, they can experience cutting-edge technology as they move from the cubicle to the boardroom at CenturyLink, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States.

They can work with chemical engineers at ANGUS Chemical Company, a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, to see how drugs are synthesized, developed, and tested for purity.

Students can also shadow medical professionals as they treat different disease states at E. A. Conway Medical Center.

The preparatory program will be led by faculty from ULM's College of Pharmacy, College of Business Administration, College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Education and Human Development DREAM (Developing Rigorous Experiential Academic Models) office.

Students will benefit from lab-based experiences in science and technology, college courses in Latin and Literature, musical performances, and evening seminars in the "soft-skills," which are skills in interviewing, dressing for success, and the etiquette necessary to succeed in the workplace.

Each day, academy externs will shadow professionals in the world of work, learn the science to be successful in a chosen field, and practice what they have learned in college laboratories.

They will also work in teams to solve a real-world challenge using expertise from all three externships.

"Our goal is to provide exclusive entry into the world of work at top-level STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) companies and institutions, while at the same time imparting some of the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in that world," said Lynn Clark, Director of DREAM and the President's Academy.

While applications have already been sent throughout the region, applications are still being accepted. The application deadline is April 30, 2012

For qualifications and instructions on how to apply or nominate students, visit

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