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July 18, 2012

Students excel during inaugural President’s Academy

The first-ever President’s Academy at the University of Louisiana at Monroe succeeded in bringing together top students and future leaders for an experience only a few can say they have ever had.

The Academy welcomed students with the desire to study and enter into high-level careers in science and technology including computer science, medical science, and physical science.

Those students, who were also required to have top-notch GPAs and ACT scores, were immersed in real-world externships and forays into the university experience with courses in visual and performing arts, Latin, literature, and business.

Externships were developed by the ULM College of Pharmacy, College of Business Administration, College of Arts and Sciences, CenturyLink, E.A. Conway Medical Center, and Angus Chemical Company, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.

Students, divided into groups, were given the opportunity to research and prepare for a global pandemic.

Their teamwork and efforts inside and outside of the classroom helped them gain the knowledge needed to create a plan of action to combat the pandemic.

These experiences not only endeared the students to the college lifestyle, but to ULM.

Many of the students felt that their time at the camp opened their eyes to the various opportunities that higher education provides.

“I didn’t know ULM had such a cool chemistry program,” said Sarah Dulaney of West Monroe.

“The music programs are great as well, and this academy was a great way to actually have hands-on, real-life experiences.”

Many of the students arrived from areas outside of northeast Louisiana, and those students were introduced to ULM for the first time.

Amber Corpus of El Dorado, Ark. came into the experience with no prior knowledge of ULM. “I had never heard of ULM before this but it is now a university I would consider.”

This sentiment was repeated by many out of town students as the entire experience provided by ULM was something they found to be the most exciting of their daily activities.

“The CenturyLink experience was the best part,” said Joseph Landry II of Loreauville.

“We felt like we were part of the company because we got to see and do things that only the staff see and do. It wasn’t just a tour.”

Throughout the week these students used the materials and lessons learned at ULM and within their externships to create their pandemic response based on a set of parameters that they ultimately turned into a full-fledged project and presentation.

A panel of expert judges surveyed each of the group projects.

At the culmination of the weeklong academy, awards were given to the teams with the best response to the simulated disaster.

“X-Team 3” won top prize for their presentation during the Academy’s closing events.

The students on the winning team were, Christopher Dixon, Katie Wakefield, Kurt Barkimer, Savannah Bell, Scott Sims, Stephen Chamberlain, Nathaniel Schultz and Charlotte Meyer.

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