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FALL 2020 • VOLUME 20



photo by Siddharth Gaulee




President Dr. Ronald Berry and First Lady Dr. Christine Berry.

Dear ULM alumni and friends, It is an honor for me to write to you as the president of the University of Louisiana Monroe. We will long remember 2020 as one of the most challenging years of our lifetimes. The COVID-19 global pandemic changed life as we knew it. Almost overnight, the ease of our familiar routines was replaced with the anxiety of surviving the invisible enemy – coronavirus. On campus, we are vigilant and will continue to take all precautions necessary, for as long as necessary, to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy. Wearing of masks and face coverings is required, as is social distancing, and other protocols.


In 2020, the curtain veiling bigotry and discrimination was ripped down to reveal the injustices which minorities repeatedly face. When I interviewed before the UL System Board of Supervisors, I committed to further diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at ULM. Soon, we will create the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which will be led by an executive director who will serve on the university’s Executive Leadership Team. As we enter the final months of 2020, it is important to point out some of the good things that have happened at ULM. In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, the Warhawk

PRESIDENT Family came together and volunteered to clean up campus and many of the homes surrounding ULM and those of some elderly former employees. Students led a campus drive to assist our sister university, McNeese, in Lake Charles, which is still recovering from Laura and Hurricane Delta. We received a grant of over $1 million from the Delta Regional Authority to implement a program in local high schools to teach students in ninth-12th grades about business. The School of Construction Management received a $250,000 donation from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors and Contractor's Educational Trust Fund, which brings their contributions since 2014 to over $1 million.

I am looking forward to the many opportunities that lay before the university and Northeast Louisiana. Partnerships are invaluable in making lasting changes that will benefit us all. I am also looking forward to hearing your ideas for progress, change, and growth. I believe that by working together, can we achieve far greater things than we ever could alone. Christine and I are grateful for your support and trust in giving us this opportunity to serve. Sincerely yours and Talons Out!


Enrollment for the fall semester increased by 187 students, thanks to many long hours by many people. For the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked ULM among the Best National Universities in the country and a leader in the Social Mobility category for the second year. ULM and Louisiana Delta Community College have partnered in the Bridging the Bayou program to expand students' preparation and streamline the transfer process to ULM. And, we are partnering with LSU to bring more STEM education to the region.

Ronald Berry, D.B.A. ULM President




“New Day” by Srdjan Marjanovic is a traditional painting on digital medium using graphic tablet and stylus and Adobe Photoshop. This medium style suggests the vision to portray the Northeast Louisiana culture and its adaptation and advancement through time. “New Day” implies the notion of hope, and the beginning of a new future and thus a chance for improvement. Abstract sunrise in the background is a symbol of birth and rebirth. The overall concept of this digital painting is the awakening with the proclamation of Dr. Ronald Berry as the ninth president of the University of Louisiana Monroe.
















photo by Siddharth Gaulee





PRESIDENT Ronald Berry, D.B.A. (BBA ’88, MBA ’90) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Kelsey Bohl, Ed.D. (MBA ’13) DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS Hope Young, Editor CREATIVE DIRECTOR Srdjan Marjanovic (BFA ’12) GRAPHIC DESIGN COORDINATOR Shanette L. Washington (BFA ’02) DIGITAL MEDIA EDITOR Siddharth Gaulee (BFA ’20) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ULM ADVANCEMENT, FOUNDATION AND ALUMNI RELATIONS Susan Chappell (BBA ’82, MBA ’87) PRESIDENT, ULM ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Julie Harlan O'Brien (BA ‘80) INTERIM DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI AFFAIRS Jenny Pankey (BS ’97) CONTRIBUTORS Heather Pilcher, ULM Coordinator of Collections Dr. Julia Letlow, Executive Assistant to the President for External Affairs & Community Outreach

The ULM Magazine is published for members of the ULM Alumni Association and friends of the University of Louisiana Monroe and friends of the ULM Alumni Association. Send letters & comments to: The ULM Magazine Office of Marketing & Communications 700 University Ave. Monroe, LA 71209–2500



Email: ulmmagazine@ulm.edu Any letters or comments may be published and edited for length and style. Contents © 2020 by the University of Louisiana Monroe and the ULM Alumni Association. All rights reserved. The University of Louisiana Monroe is a member of the University of Louisiana System.

The ULM campus closed on March 23, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students and faculty transitioned to virtual learning in early March. Students moved out of campus residences by March 29. Except for essential personnel, the staff worked remotely. The campus gradually reopened in late May and early June.



Interim Director of Alumni Relations 318.342.3610 jpankey@ulm.edu

In the COVID-19 environment, nothing is business as usual. In fact, things we thought would never change have changed. We are striving to keep you engaged. Many chapters and committees are meeting virtually or by phone. Our team is working diligently to help you become an active alumnus and if you haven’t done so we encourage you to join the AA and a chapter in your area. Your membership gives direct input into your Alumni Association. You’ll be glad you did!

We constantly seek ways to help our

Together it is the intent of our team, with the help of our board of directors, to grow alumni membership, appreciating the consistently loyal members, while attracting recent graduates into the nest. We are building a membership system that will help us stay in contact with alumni around the world. Communication is key and we intend to focus on engagement and inform alumni of the activities, events, and issues facing the association and ULM. Plan to see more on our website and other social media platforms. We also want to focus our attention on alumni who are willing to give freely of their time to build up both students and alumni events. As alumni, it is not only our responsibility, but also our duty to give back. It is an honor and privilege to serve you and my alma mater.

TAKE FLIGHT! JENNY PANKEY Interim Director of Alumni Relations


The Alumni Association team hopes that you all have stayed safe and have adjusted to the unforeseen challenges over the past several months. Even though we have had to cancel or postpone all of our recent alumni events, we are optimistic that we will be back to face-to-face events soon. We have thoroughly enjoyed finding new ways to connect to our alumni through social media, Zoom conferencing, email and by phone.

67,000-plus graduates living and working around the globe reach their personal and professional goals and stay connected to our university. We offer a myriad of services and benefits, such as free career services, travel programs, and discounts at local businesses. We are also devoted to celebrating the successes of our alumni. Whether you strive to excel in your professional, community, or personal life … or all three, we love to share your amazing stories! Success comes in many forms and can be defined in numerous ways, as you’ll read in this innovative issue of our ULM Magazine. But no matter how it is characterized, success truly is our focus in serving the University of Louisiana Monroe’s alumni. Let us hear from you!


Jenny Pankey

ith a new season comes change… but our roots run deep. These are exciting times ahead for the University of Louisiana Monroe. ULM has its ninth president, Dr. Ronald Berry, and I am excited to serve the Alumni Association as the Interim Director of Alumni Relations. My personal journey began as a student who dreamt of being part of the tight-knit family that our university represents today. During my time as a student worker in the president’s office to my time as a recruiter, my love for our university deepened and carries on today. As an alumna of the University of Louisiana Monroe, I could not be more proud of our alumni’s accomplishments. Since joining the alumni team in 2018, the association has grown exponentially. Our team will continue to focus on increasing alumni memberships, forming relationships on-and off-campus and focusing our efforts on keeping you abreast of all things ULM.










f you tell a shy, quiet boy from the rural reaches of Northeast Louisiana that where he is, is where he will always be, that boy could very well accept that prediction.

prepared plates of food they would first take to elderly neighbors and friends. His mother instilled in her sons that no matter how little they had, there was always enough to share.

However, if you tell that boy he is destined for something bigger and better, he could just as easily believe that instead.

“In terms of looking at someone who worked extremely hard and cared for others, I could not have asked for a better role model,” Berry said. “She was extremely loving and supportive. She was involved in all parts of our lives. She was one of the most positive people I've ever known.”

University of Louisiana Monroe President Dr. Ronald Berry's early life mirrors so many in the region; he and his older brother, Richard, were reared by a single mother who worked minimum-wage jobs, with the wolf of poverty clawing at the door. How did the Berry brothers, Ronald, in this story, escape the destiny of decline that still plagues the region?


Examples, effort, and encouragement “Growing up, my mom was the role model for me. We didn't have much, but my mom showed us we could always do for others,” Berry said. He recalls that before sitting down to holiday meals, his mother

Today, after a quarter of a century at ULM, Berry became the ninth president on Sept. 3, 2020. But, he wasn't supposed to stay this long. At least, that's what someone told him. In 1995, three pivotal events occurred in Berry's life: he earned a Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.), majoring in information systems; his beloved mother became gravely ill; and he was hired for the first time at ULM.




photo by Siddharth Gaulee


In 1928, Louisiana Gov. O.K. Allen sat in this chair at this desk and signed the legislative act that established what is now the University of Louisiana Monroe. Ninety-two years later, the ninth president of ULM, Dr. Ronald Berry, sits for his first official portrait where ULM's history began. The desk and chair are part of the ULM Special Collections and Archives at the ULM Library.

8 photo by Emerald McIntyre


“I was in North Carolina in my first teaching position when my mom had a stroke,” Berry said. He needed and wanted to come home to help care for her. He started looking for a job and found one at then-Northeast Louisiana University in the College of Business Administration. “There was a one-year visiting appointment here,” said Berry, “and they told me there was no way this would turn into anything else. And here I am, president, 25 years later.” Temporary didn't matter, and Berry took the position. “Just being able to be here for her and to see her recover from the stroke was phenomenal,” he said.


Sadly, Berry lost his mother 16 years ago, but he's never lost the foundation for life she gave him. Berry once had a painting, now misplaced or lost, that put into words his mother's legacy. It read, “There's no better exercise for the heart than lifting others up.” “It's ingrained in me to serve others, to help others. That has helped me tremendously as a person,” he said. The power of education In the mid-1980s, Berry attended Winnsboro High School, now Franklin Parish High School. Berry describes himself as “… the nerd who made all A's.” An academic and athletic standout, Berry lettered four years in baseball and was a Beta Club member. When his English teacher asked what he wanted to be, Berry said, “a high school math teacher.” To which she replied, “You are too smart to starve.” After giving his speech as co-valedictorian of his graduating class, the world opened its arms to Berry, and he headed to Monroe. With a knack for numbers, Berry majored in accounting. Intrigued by technology, he took “every computer course offered, just for fun.” In 1988, he graduated with honors with a B.B.A. Berry continued at ULM, and in 1990 earned an M.B.A. in business administration. Berry went to work as an accountant, only to discover it was not his calling. He wanted to be an educator. Berry went to Mississippi State University for his doctorate. As noted earlier, when he completed his final degree, circumstances brought him back to ULM.


Familiar to many on campus, “Dr. Berry” or simply “Ron” became an assistant professor in 1995; director of technology in the thenCollege of Business Administration (CBA) in 1998, associate professor and head of

As dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences, Dr. Ronald Berry congratulates a graduate during a ULM commencement exercise.

Computer Information Systems in 2000, interim dean of the CBA in 2004, professor and dean of the CBA in 2005 and continued as dean of the reorganized and renamed College of Business and Social Sciences in 2013. Warhawk family Berry and his wife, Christine Berry Ph.D., professor and program coordinator of Risk Management and Insurance in the College of Business and Social Sciences, are the parents of Michael, 20, who will graduate from ULM in May 2021 with double degrees in math and finance, and Alea, 16, a sophomore at River Oaks. They are now making their home at Bon Aire, the president's residence on campus. President Berry juggles a schedule filled from early in the morning until late at night. It's all part of the first few months of settling in as leader of the university. Was becoming

president carefully detailed in his life plan? Maybe. “It wasn't in my early life planning process. When I first met Christine, she asked me what my life goals were, and it didn't include being president,” he said. “I have been someone who has just worked hard. When I became department head, it was because I was asked.” It was the same situation for interim dean. “So those positions weren't something that I aspired to obtain. I had worked hard and been very productive in areas most people would think was needed to be those positions,” he said. The seed of thought to become president was planted by a friend and watered by Christine.



“I've always tried to do what I could to help others, and certainly the president's position at a university allows for that to happen, to have a huge impact on a region and students' lives, and to transform their futures. That's how I see it, as an opportunity to make a bigger difference for others.”

“I remember very clearly playing golf with a friend years ago, and he mentioned in passing, 'You know, you should consider being president one day,'” said Berry. With that comment and Christine's encouragement, Berry began thinking about his future. “I've always tried to do what I could to help others, and certainly the president's position at a university allows for that to happen, to have a huge impact on a region and students' lives, and to transform their futures. That's how I see it, as an opportunity to make a bigger difference for others,” he said. Goals for the near future Looking beyond society's challenges by the coronavirus, Berry has several goals that he has already put in motion. Foremost is getting more students to ULM. “Enrollment has to be our number one focus. To me, that is bringing people to campus to take advantage of the unbelievable opportunities we provide. We need to share those opportunities with more students,” he said. Examining existing and missing programs is a start, meeting the ever-changing workforce needs of today. Other questions are on the table. What do students, faculty, and staff

want? What problems need to be solved? How can ULM be a place of inclusion and empowerment? “I want to improve the culture on campus, especially for faculty and staff. To create an environment where people feel comfortable and where we all want to come to work and share our ideas,” he said. His first act as president was the ULM Opportunity Fund, established by Berry and his wife. The Berrys started the fund with a $100,000 gift. “One reason Christine and I created the ULM Opportunity Fund is to remove barriers in the way of opportunities for everyone on campus.” As an example, funding leadership opportunities for women and students. “It's going to be wide open. We're going to ask a group of people to serve on an oversight board to be as creative as possible to invest the money to provide as many opportunities as possible.” Opportunities may be the keyword in President Berry's life and career. He's prepared for them, he has taken them, and at ULM, he is determined to make them. It is not for himself, but for everyone who aspires to be on this campus and those already here.




President Dr. Ronald Berry with his family, from left, son Michael, 20, a ULM senior, daughter Alea, 16, a high school sophomore, and his wife, First Lady Dr. Christine Berry.

photo by Siddharth Gaulee




hristine Berry wears many hats. She is the Kim Sledge Endowed Chair and Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, director of the Small Business Risk Management Institute, and program coordinator for Risk Management and Insurance in the College of Business and Social Sciences. After a five-month search process, her husband, Dr. Ronald Berry, was named the ninth president of the University of Louisiana Monroe, and with that announcement, Christine Berry, Ph.D., added First Lady to her long list of titles.


During the presidential candidate interview process, Berry stated, “When people ask me where I’m from, I say, Monroe, Louisiana, and I didn’t always know how to answer that question. I’ve lived in 11 different states and for no more than six-and-a-half years until I came to Monroe. I am going on my 20th year now, so Monroe is home and ULM is family.” Where are you from? “Where are you from?” is a difficult question for Berry to answer. Christine Taylor Berry moved around a lot as a child and young adult. Berry’s father was a railroader, and she and her family lived in 11 different states, usually only staying in one place for one or two years. Berry was born in West Virginia and moved to Kentucky when she was two years old, so her earliest memories were in Kentucky. From Kentucky, the family moved to Toledo, Ohio. At the end of third grade, her father told their family they were moving to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the town where the Groundhog Day tradition takes place. Berry remembers telling her friends she BY KELSEY BOHL, ED.D.


photo by Siddharth Gaulee


But just before her family moved to Punxsutawney, her father was transferred to Michigan, and they lived there for eight months. “Michigan was really fun because my family had a cabin in Canada, and we were closer to the cabin in Michigan. One of the best parts of my childhood was going to this cabin every summer. You actually had to boat an hour to it in northern Ontario. No electricity, outhouses. It was really a fishing camp, but we used it as a family vacation spot,” said Berry.


was moving again. “It’s hard to keep friends when they know you are moving,” she stated.

From Michigan, the family moved to Maryland for 10 months, then to Cincinnati, Ohio.


“Years ago, if people asked me where I’m from, I would usually say Cincinnati because that is where I went to high school,” stated Berry. In high school, Berry was involved in the marching band and orchestra. “I was very much into music. I played handbells for our church choir. I was in the marching band and orchestra. I played the flute, piccolo, and even cymbals one year, and most of my friends were in the marching band.” Berry’s family was avid sports fans, with season tickets to the Cincinnati Reds and Purdue football. Theme parks were also a big part of her childhood. “I was a huge Cincinnati Reds fan ever since we lived in Kentucky. I loved going to baseball games and King’s Island. I am a huge amusement park buff, and now Ron and I are season pass holders at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios,” stated Berry. “School has always been an anchor for me” Because Berry’s family moved so frequently, keeping friends was difficult. “School was my identity,” stated Berry.

Berry attended a large high school in Pittsburgh. The best thing about the move was the variety of course offerings at this high school. “I buried myself in classes,” she said. “I remember taking political science,


Dr. Christine Berry teaching a course in Risk Management and Insurance. Berry adds First Lady to her titles of Kim Sledge Endowed Chair and Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, director of the Small Business Risk Management Institute, and RMI program coordinator. She and husband President Dr. Ronald Berry met when she came to ULM for an interview. They have been married 17 years.

In the middle of her senior year of high school, after living in Cincinnati for six-anda-half years, Berry’s father is transferred to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

photo by Siddharth Gaulee



psychology, and a literature class called satire and death, and French. School has always been an anchor for me.” After the move, college applications were not a priority. It was the spring of Berry’s senior year when she and her father toured the campus of West Virginia University, where she enrolled the following fall. She felt at home on WVU’s campus and loved the courses she took there. “ I loved being a part of college,” Berry said. Berry started out as a political science major thinking she would attend law school. She then switched to psychology, and eventually ended up majoring in finance.


“Honestly, I didn’t like my finance classes much, but at WVU there was an insurance track, and I loved my insurance classes,” said Berry. “It was the perfect mix of money, law, psychology, and how people behave and manage risk, and I just fell in love with that.” Terry Rose, Ph.D., was Berry’s professor in the finance program, and he was doing a presentation on the “Cost of Oncology” for the WVU medical school. He gave Berry and her classmates an assignment to do a research paper on the cost of oncology. “He loved my paper and encouraged me to go to grad school,” stated Berry. After graduating from WVU with her bachelor’s degree in finance, Berry enrolled in the doctoral program for risk management and insurance at Florida State University. Like most doctoral students, her original concept for her dissertation changed. She ended up researching the impact of attorney representation on worker’s compensation claims. After graduating with her Ph.D., Berry moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota, to begin teaching as a faculty member at St. Cloud State University. Faculty to private industry Berry was a faculty member at St. Cloud State University for two years. While there, she had the opportunity to teach social and health insurance and property and liability insurance.


“At some point, I got a call from a headhunter looking for someone to work with this reinsurance broker on special projects, and I was like ‘what about me?’ I had always been fascinated by reinsurance,” stated Berry.

The Drs. Berry, Christine and Ron, share a light moment during break in the photo shoot for the family's official portrait.


“This is done constantly in the industry,” Berry said.

In 2004, the Berrys had a year of highs and lows. She was pregnant with their daughter Alea, and Ronald’s beloved mother fell ill and passed away before she got to meet Alea.

Berry left her faculty position to work for E.W. Blanch and Benfield Group in Minnesota and later in Dallas, Texas.

“Fortunately, his mother got to see him get married,” Berry said tearfully.

“I went from a nice little office to a cubicle, and no one called me ‘doctor,’ and I was like ‘what did I do?’” Berry laughed.

Finding “home” at ULM While at E.W. Blanch, Berry visited many different campuses as a guest lecturer, one of those campuses was ULM. In 2001, a faculty member from ULM called Berry and asked if she was interested in taking over the Risk Management and Insurance program. She accepted, and in August 2001, Berry moved to Monroe from Dallas with her one-year-old son Michael. “I moved here not knowing a soul, with a one-year-old,” said Berry, “I could not find a good daycare, and someone mentioned the co-op, now the Emily Williamson Laboratory School. That’s where Michael went, and we loved it there.” Berry felt the pressure of being a mother, faculty member, and program coordinator, along with the other responsibilities she had and having to juggle everything at the same time. “One of the biggest problems I find is that women are socialized to believe we have to do everything,” Berry said. Berry and President Dr. Ronald Berry met during her interview process. She remembers when she was moving into her office and bringing boxes upstairs, Ronald volunteered help.

Their first date was Sept. 14, 2001, and they were married two years later in the summer of 2003.

“I have never worked as hard as I do as the program director of the RMI program and I have never loved a job more than this job. I am dedicated to the RMI program and serving our students.” – DR. CHRISTINE BERRY

Over the years, the Berrys have had the opportunity to leave Monroe to pursue other positions in leadership at different institutions. They chose to stay because “Monroe had become like home and ULM was where we belonged,” stated Berry. Professor, program coordinator, First Lady Berry has grown Risk Management and Insurance into a nationally recognized program with students securing extremely competitive internships and jobs all over the world, from Baton Rouge to Houston, Texas, to London, England. Since 2015, the Risk Management and Insurance program has grown enrollment from 69 students to its current enrollment of about 125. Students have gotten jobs post-graduation at AmWINS Group, Inc., CRC Inc., Liberty Mutual Insurance, All Risks, Louisiana Worker’s Comp Corp., and many more. “I have never worked as hard as I do as the program director of the RMI program and I have never loved a job more than this job. I am dedicated to the RMI program and serving our students,” Berry stated, “I think it’s so important to think about the whole student and not guide them down a path you set, but help them set the right path for them while giving them the tools to do it.” Berr y will continue teaching and leading the RMI program but is looking forward to her role as First Lady. “I really look forward to getting out and telling the story of ULM and meeting alumni and hearing their stories. I want to learn more about all of our other academic programs at ULM,” said Berry, “Ron and I are a team and we are ready to serve ULM and the entire Northeast Louisiana region.”


“My dad was helping me move and he said to me, ‘He seems really nice,’ and I was like ‘no, but he might be a good babysitter,'” laughed Berry.

A month after Alea was born, Ronald Berry started as dean of the College of Business.


At E.W. Blanch and Benfield, Berry led an internationally recognized reinsurance training program. Berry helped develop courses and professional development for insurance and reinsurance employees.


“We went to a justice of the peace. This was my second marriage, so we wanted something small. The justice of the peace was also in a tile store. Fortunately, the tile store had a display with a small fireplace mantel so it was a good place to take pictures” recalled Berry.

Reinsurance is similar to a lender selling a mortgage. The policyholder will still have a policy with the original insurance company, but the company sells off a portion of the exposure to a different company to diversify risk.











Fields joined ULM on July 1, 2020, as interim vice president for Student Affairs. She came to Monroe after receiving a voice mail from then-Interim President Edwin Litolff, Ph.D.

“My experiences over the last 113 days have been filled with excitement and opportunities.” – DR. VALERIE FIELDS

“I am heading up to UL Monroe in a couple of weeks and would like to speak to you for a few minutes,” he stated. Fields returned his call, and they discussed ULM, diversity, the students, and the community. Litolff asked Fields if she would be interested in serving as interim vice president after the June 30 retirement of former Vice President for Student Affairs Camile Currier. Fields’ plans to continue to serve as an Independent Education Consultant for her consulting firm, Valiant Achieving Leaders, LLC, a research assistant for a federal grant in South Carolina, and planning a wedding were all on the table.

Fields earned an M.Ed., Administration and Supervision, in 1992, and went on to add Education Specialist (Ed.S.), Administration and Supervision, to her academic credentials in 1997. She received her undergraduate B.A. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge and received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Instructional Technology) from Louisiana Tech University. Almost immediately upon arriving at ULM, Fields set out to connect with university stakeholders to frame the future direction of Student Affairs. “Today, in the midst of civil unrest amid a global pandemic, I am excited to propose Unlimited Lenses Magnifying Warhawk Student Life. My experiences over the last 113 days have been filled with excitement and opportunities,” stated Fields. Fields is a veteran educator, beginning as a teacher at J.S. Clark Magnet School in Monroe before holding associate and assistant professorships at two universities, including ULM, where she was a ULM Online assistant professor and supervisor of teacher and alternative certification candidates. Applying her education management and academic skills in the business world, she founded Valiant Achieving Leaders, LLC, in 2016 to “create partnerships and produce solutions for project management, assessment, technology integration, and


While contemplating her next move, she was reminded of the Rev. C. L. Franklin’s sermon, “The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest.” She likened the eagle to her parents who live in Winnsboro, and, due to their age and health, the nest “had been stirring for quite some time.” So much so that she briefly thought of moving home. Interestingly enough, she never considered returning in the capacity of interim vice president for Student Affairs at ULM. However, in a few short months, the stars began to align.

The Winnsboro native is a two-time ULM alumna and served at the university as director of Student Development from 1996 until 2003 when she was named assistant dean for Student Life and Leadership. She served in that position for two years.



n Oct. 22, 2020, the Board of Supervisors for the UL System approved the appointment of Valerie Fields, Ed.D., as vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Louisiana Monroe. Fields is the first female vice president in the university's 89-year history.




Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Valerie Fields, standing, fourth from left, gives the ULM Talons Out sign surrounded by members of the Office of Student Life and Leadership and the Campus Activities Board.

curriculum development.” Fields held several administrative positions at Denmark Technical College in Denmark, S.C., including chief academic officer/vice president of Academic Affairs (2014-16) and chief Student Affairs officer (2014-16). Among her many responsibilities were direct oversight in student affairs, including enrollment management, student services (student activities, student organizations, judicial affairs, student center, residence life and housing, ID services, Health and Wellness Department), registrar, career planning and placement.


At South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C., Fields was assistant/ associate, interim, and vice president for Student Affairs (2006-12). She was also an associate professor, LiveText administrator, and middle school coordinator (2010-14).

“I see a myriad of students engaging in a plethora of HyFlex opportunities while transitioning through various departments of university life to include co-curricular activities.” – DR. VALERIE FIELDS

Fields’ accomplishments at SCSU are numerous and varied. Her responsibilities focused on all aspects of Student Affairs as well as management and oversight of more than $39 million in state funds and $74 million in financial aid awards. At Southeastern Louisiana University (2005-06) in Hammond, she served as executive director of Louisiana Campus Compact for the Louisiana Board of Regents, forging partnerships with organizations committed to public and community service. Fields secured more than $2 million in grants, memberships, and in-kind services. Fields has numerous publications and research in education and learning, most recently as a co-author of a study on virtual learning strategies (2018). Utilizing her years of experience working


Fields is currently assessing all programs that are a part of Student Affairs and determining ways in which students can gain experience outside of the classroom. “While it is not always immediately

“I can recall placing a dry leaf under a magnifying lens one day. When the sun began to radiate on the lens the leaf began to smoke – it caught fire,” said Fields, “As I begin to work with Dr. Ronald Berry, the university leadership team, university community, the cities of Monroe and West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, and other key stakeholders across the United States, we will begin exploring frames to place the lenses that will be developed and recommended for the Division of Student Affairs to cultivate a vision that speaks to all students – past, present, and future. Join me as we take a look through Unlimited Lenses Magnifying (ULM) Warhawk Student Life. If you see a little smoke, no worries, it will be the sun radiating.”


“As I begin to work with Dr. Ronald Berry, the university leadership team, university community, the cities of Monroe and West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, and other key stakeholders across the United States, we will begin exploring frames to place the lenses that will be developed and recommended for the Division of Student Affairs to cultivate a vision that speaks to all students – past, present, and future.”

“As the vice president for Student Affairs, when I think of Unlimited, I see a myriad of students engaging in a plethora of HyFlex opportunities while transitioning through various departments of university life to include co-curricular activities,” stated Fields, “The Lenses assist with the ability to observe first, close up, then in the middle, and far away. Accountability and assessment will frame what happens next.”

clear, all things align with the overall strategic plan, which brings me to using Magnifying lenses to focus light,” she said.


with students in higher education, Fields has developed a three-point plan to guide Student Affairs. Her plan has a familiar acronym – ULM, which stands for Unlimited Lenses Magnifying.



Dr. Valerie Fields and her husband, Usef Simmons, joined in a bicycle ride through campus during the summer.



Kelsey Bohl

Ahmaad Solmone



Welcome to


illustration by Shanette Washington



he ULM Sound of Today (SOT) Marching Band practices for days preparing for the fall football season. It’s August in Louisiana and feels like you’re wrapped in a hot, wet, wool blanket – a sweltering mix of high humidity and even higher temps. Sean O’Pry remembers those hours of SOT practice and in early August was planning to be back on the field. Instead of leading the band as drum major, he is leading it as the director. As the new interim director of athletic bands and visiting assistant professor of music. O’Pry welcomed “enthusiastic, music-making Warhawks” to August band camps.


Sean O'Pry, a saxophonist at heart, is an alumnus of ULM's School of Visual and Performing Arts. He joined ULM in August as interim director of athletic bands and visiting professor of music.

“Our pre-band camp is in two short weeks, and there is much to be done. I am currently choosing and sorting music to pass out to the students upon their return. I am also arranging and transcribing some pep tunes that will be sure to get the student section on their feet at the games!” he said. O’Pry graduated from the School of Visual and Performing Arts, College of Arts, Education, and Sciences with a B.A. of Music in 2018 and an M.A. of Music Education in 2018. He was an adjunct instructor and athletic pep band director at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., when he received the offer to join the faculty at his alma mater. “Returning was a no-brainer. I am happy to be here at an institution that I love surrounded by colleagues that I admire and respect,” O’Pry said. In high school, the saxophone player from Pineville auditioned for music programs at universities throughout the state. When he came to ULM, something clicked. “I vividly remember the first time I walked into the band building on ULM’s campus. I had never been on this campus before, much less in the band building, but it already felt like home,” O’Pry said. “All of the music faculty that I met were kind and welcoming. It was the best audition experience I had by far.” As an undergraduate, O’Pry studied saxophone with VAPA Associate Professor of Music Scot Humes, D.M.A. O’Pry was the principal saxophonist in the Louisiana Intercollegiate Band. With SOT, he played the tuba.

O’Pry immersed himself “in all of the musical opportunities that the music department had to offer.” “I played in all three concert bands, jazz band, marching band, basketball pep band, the tubaeuphonium ensemble, the clarinet choir, several musical productions, the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, and the saxophone quartet. I also sang in the choir for several years,” he said. As a graduate assistant while pursuing his master’s, O’Pry worked with marching band development and implementation, conducted wind bands, oversaw SOT drum majors, and tutored music theory.

experience at ULM as much as he did. “I hold the memories of making music with the lifelong friends I made at ULM very close to my heart. I am looking forward to contributing to a student-focused, collegial atmosphere in which the college students enrolled at ULM can grow, learn, and earn experiences,” O’Pry said. O’Pry described one encounter as “the best thing that happened to me in Sound of Today” when a pretty brunette playing the French horn caught his eye. Now his fiancé, Emiley Bryant graduated from ULM with a B.S. in Biology in May 2019. She’s now in medical school at Lincoln Memorial University.

O’Pry has a full schedule in VAPA’s music program. He teaches an elementary conducting course for third-year music education majors and a band history and literature course. At Warhawk basketball games, O’Pry will direct the Technical Fowls Basketball Pep Band. A couple of spring concerts are planned, too.

Their June wedding was postponed by the coronavirus, and the couple hopes to marry in the spring,

He hopes the music students will enjoy their

Until then, O’Pry will focus on the music students at ULM. “I am so excited to be back at ULM. I hope to provide for my students the same types of opportunities that I had here to learn and grow.”






Dr. Lisa VanHoose

Dr. Ashanti Jones photos by Siddharth Gaulee


fter a delay in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Louisiana Monroe, the program is on track to accept its first class in 2022. Leading the DPT program through the accreditation process, curriculum development, and welcoming the inaugural class are two experts in the field of functional mobility, health disparities, and rural health, Lisa VanHoose, Ph.D., MPH, PT, and Ashanti Jones, DPT, PT.

VanHoose holds a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science and a Master of Public Health from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Before coming to ULM, VanHoose served as a physical therapy faculty member and director of the Cancer Rehabilitation and Wellness Laboratory at UCA. VanHoose has practiced oncologic physical therapy since 1996. She is a BoardCertified Clinical Specialist in Oncologic Physical Therapy.

In 2018, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved the DPT program at ULM. ULM’s program's opening was delayed due to a reduction in programs accredited annually (from 18 to 12) by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

VanHoose’s research investigates socioecological models of cancer-related side effects, emphasizing minority and rural cancer survivorship. VanHoose has led research into qualitative investigations into community-identified risk factors of cardiovascular disease in Black men.

Because of ULM’s extensive preparation, the university was able to accept an invitation into a CAPTE pilot program to advance ULM’s accreditation.

VanHoose serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion staff workgroup for the American Physical Therapy Association. She was recently recommended by the APTA as a nominee to serve on the Advisory Committee on Minority Health under the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health. She currently serves on the Special Populations: Nursing Home subcommittee for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. VanHoose is an advocate for all persons' movement, including eliminating social policies and practices that are barriers

Lisa VanHoose, Ph.D., MPH, PT


Lisa VanHoose, Ph.D., MPH, PT, was named director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and associate professor in June 2019. Vanhoose earned a B.S. in Health Science and an M.S. of Physical Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas.

to movement-friendly environments. “We are excited to partner with the community to develop the DPT program. The program will create practitioners who are committed to rural health and wellness, advocacy, and research. We are currently working with local physical therapists to design the curriculum and instructional spaces,” stated VanHoose. Ashanti Jones, DPT, PT ULM recently named Ashanti Jones, DPT, PT, Director of Clinical Education and assistant professor for the DPT program. Jones is a native of Lake Charles, and graduated with honors from Dillard University of New Orleans, with a Bachelor of Science in 2003. She attended the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where she obtained a Master of Physical Therapy. Jones went on to further her education with a Doctorate of physical Therapy from the University of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio, Texas. Upon graduation, Jones worked in acute rehabilitation settings where she was hands-on in helping individuals regain neurological and functional mobility which, was deemed lost and/or damaged. Jones brings 15 years of physical therapy experience to ULM. She served in numerous physical therapist positions at Kindred at Home – Gentiva Healthcare, Ridgecrest Community Care Center, Reliant Rehabilitation, Synergy Care, and St. Francis Medical Center and Outpatient Rehabilitation. Jones wil l a ssist VanHo ose in completing the application for candidacy and accreditation process with CAPTE accreditation agency. Jones will participate in developing the DPT curriculum and securing affiliation agreements with clinical sites for DPT students. “I am looking forward with much enthusiasm to inspiring and educating the bright minds of future Doctors of Physical Therapy. I am beyond honored and extremely elated to be a part of constructing a program that will create opportunities to enhance the lives of our students as well as our community,” stated Jones. The Monroe Chamber of Commerce recently recognized Jones, the Northeast Louisiana Young Professionals, and Bayou Life Magazine as a top 20 under 40 Young Professionals award recipient.




Order your Commemorative Brick Today! Leave your legacy and become a part of ULM forever! The University of Louisiana Monroe invites you to add your personal touch to the Scott Plaza Fountain. Purchase your Commemorative ULM Brick to: COVID-19

CELEBRATE commencements or other milestones HONOR a family member or influential person in your life CREATE a meaningful message for future generations of students, educators and leaders The commemorative brick will encourage current and future students to leave a legacy of their own. Your brick purchase is 100% tax-deductible! All brick sales are available to the public.

700 University Avenue, Monroe, LA 71209


SCAN* & ORDER! www.ulm.edu

*Open the Camera app from your device's Home screen. Hold your device so that the QR code appears in the Camera app's viewfinder. Your device recognizes the QR code and shows a notification. Tap the notification to open the link associated with the QR code.

Leave Your Legacy with a Commemorative ULM Brick For your convenience, purchases can be made online: ulm.edu/brick


photo by Siddharth Gaulee



“There's such a need for health sciences and health professionals. Usually, when the economy tanks is when people go back to school. There's no better time to be in school, in health sciences, at this point.” Dr. Don Simpson, Dean of the ULM College of Health Sciences, grew up in Bernice. Simpson believes ULM Health Sciences is essential to changing health care in Northeast Louisiana, particularly in underserved areas of the region.

– DR. DON SIMPSON programs in the College of Health Sciences.”



T “This is a position that really married all of my interests.” www.ulm.edu


he last place Donald “Don” Simpson, Ph.D., imagined he'd be on a hot day in late August was standing on the roof of the home of people he did not know. The new dean of the University of Louisiana Monroe College of Health Sciences, high-powered leaf-blower in hand, removed limbs and debris from an elderly couple's house after Hurricane Laura hammered Northeast Louisiana. Simpson's volunteering for the posthurricane cleanup illustrates why this son of the pine hills of Union Parish returned after more than 30 years – he's here to help. An example of synchronicity in action, Simpson said the opportunity at ULM “was just a perfect fit because of the involvement with VCOM and the ecosystem of the

Simpson is the former director of the Master of Medical Science Program at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Fla. “This is a position that really married all of my interests. Having experience with osteopathic medicine, dealing with holistically rural areas, and a passion for underserved communities,” he said. College of Health Science essential to region’s change Growing up in Bernice, Simpson understands the myriad of needs in the region, especially adequate, available health care. The quality of life in the Louisiana Delta is stagnant at best, and declining at worst. Simpson believes ULM Health Sciences is essential to its transformative change. “The riddle is yet to be solved about getting people access and improving health. Your ZIP code shouldn't determine whether you live or die, but it does,” he said. “Everything changes in health care, in the economy, and education. But the one thing that's perpetuated is poverty, which


Faculty growth professionally and as researchers requires more than one discussion.

“When a person, like myself, is at a point where they want to do and be where they want to be … I'm here by choice. We are all-in with regard to the opportunity that Monroe poses, and always has,” he said. The “we” is Simpson and his wife, Shelley.

“What works for you or me might not work for someone else. How do we knock down the barriers to facilitate communication so that program directors and faculty feel like they have a voice and are heard?” he said.

Simpson said now is the time to promote health sciences education. “There's such a need for health sciences and health professionals. Usually, when the economy tanks is when people go back to school. There's no better time to be in school, in health sciences, at this point,” he said.


is manmade, and the underserved health disparity.”

Simpson has definite ideas on partnerships. “We need to partner appropriately and responsibly so we benefit and also our partner develops. We need to develop more clinic space, and we must ask, what do they need? Do they need students? Do they need graduates? Do they need rad techs? Do they need dental hygienists? You provide the rotation spots; photo by Julia Letlow


Dr. Don Simpson blows leaves and pine needles from the roof of the home of an elderly couple after Hurricane Laura. Simpson joined the ULM volunteer effort to clean up the campus and homes of those who needed assistance.

photo by Siddharth Gaulee

About Dean Don Simpson, Ph.D. Simpson holds two bachelor of science degrees – microbiology from Louisiana Tech and cytotechnology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science, a Master of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a Ph.D. in Health Sciences from the University of Arkansas.

Facets of growing Health Sciences The College of Health Sciences is moving toward growth on several fronts. “Developing new programs and examining traditional programs; looking for ways we can serve the underserved, public health and health services administration, these kinds of programs are needed,” he said. But first, Simpson must find ways to train students during COVID-19.

Simpson said we must be aware of the world students live in – before and beyond COVID-19 – which is where development is needed. “Many of our students are just one flat tire away from academic difficulty. Too many times, their dreams or their career choice is derailed by their personal life. I want to create an emergency fund for students in need. If somebody needs a tire, we can buy that tire. If they need assistance with housing, we can provide that, or daycare, or whatever so they can go to their rotations, and they can graduate and make a living that pays the bills.”

He's worked as a microbiologist, morgue attendant and autopsy assistant, cytotechnologist (the study of cells and their abnormalities, such as in cancer), and a researcher in pediatrics and emergency medicine, to name only a few. His research experience ranges from women's, children's, and adolescent health to bacterial pathogens to pharmaceuticals. He has authored or co-authored 23 publications, four book reviews, one book, and 66 peer-reviewed abstracts in journals associated with public health, pathology and laboratory medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and pulmonary medicine.


“The biggest challenge is trying to educate the health care heroes of tomorrow with limited, often non-existent resources. For instance, trying to get PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), so students and patients are protected,” he said.

we'll provide the students. It's that symbiotic relationship that, as a college, I think we need to look for,” he said.

He has held director, dean, and tenured faculty positions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, State University of New York, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.





DJ Davis Combines Education And Athletics To Shape Young Lives DJ Davis Alumnus www.ulm.edu





After graduating from ULM, DJ worked at Chase Home Finance for seven years before opening an insurance and investments business in 2005, but saved his free time for the kids. He still volunteered and coached Little League games. He started spending less time in the office and more on the field. He missed that connection with the youth. In 2006 he created Rise and Shine, a junior training football camp. For three days each summer, kids ages 5-12 flooded onto the field and developed camaraderie, learned how to operate as a team, and picked up valuable life lessons. DJ thrived in this environment. He was making a difference, and it never felt like work. He built lasting relationships, reaching out to kids throughout the year to make sure they were staying on track. DJ could see the fruits of his efforts. His community outreach continued when he joined the Monroe Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in 2012.

DJ has published one book and has two more coming out soon. “Just Run the Play: A Playbook for Playmakers” came out in 2017. It chronicles his first year as a middle school teacher. DJ acknowledges that football saved his life, that statistically he should be dead or in jail by now. Football kept young DJ excited about something. He credits his Little League coach Larry Jackson for instilling a love of the sport. DJ continues to give back to the university by serving on the ULM Alumni Association Board of Directors. He wouldn’t be where he is today without Tosha, his wife of 20 years. Their daughter Dejanai is 25 and their son Jouhnethan is 18 and a freshman at ULM. DJ’s education opened doors he only dreamed possible, and he strives every day to make that dream a reality for the youth in our area.

The ULM Alumni Association reaches, connects and celebrates alumni and friends to build lifelong relationships, and commit to the university’s missions of academic freedom, scholarship, diversity, excellence, integrity and service. We represent alumni who honor the traditions of our university and who share a sense of achievement and pride. We create a network of professionals, establish scholarships and advocate for our University through community engagement. Members of the Alumni Association support countless initiatives, and annual memberships are just $35. To learn more or to become a member, please visit our new alumni network at ulm.edu/alumni.


In late 2010 after the stock market drop, DJ started pondering his future. His heart was with the kids, but could he make it his profession? His friend and former teammate Jeremy Many began recruiting DJ to teach and coach, an opportunity to combine his passion and his career. DJ was hesitant. He’d been out of school for 10 years, and he needed another degree and training for upward mobility in education. In November of that year, after many conversations with his wife, Tosha, DJ

DJ finished his master’s degree in the ULM Teach Program in 2013 and again enrolled pursuing a master’s in Educational Leadership in 2016. He was named head football coach at Riser in 2013 and assistant principal in May 2020. DJ is where he belongs again. He says, “Middle schoolers think they know everything, but they still need everything.” It’s an awkward age, where they’re not mature enough to make their own decisions but are often forced to adapt anyway. Continuing his efforts outside the school, DJ created Just Run the Play, Inc., a youth program with three flagship services. the Power Play Lunch Series teaches kids to network and introduces them to community leaders and advocates. The Student Athlete Program (SAP) focuses on character development, community involvement, and time-management skills. My Talent My Biz Program teaches the business basics to budding entrepreneurs, turning passion into profit.


Ever since he was a teenager, DJ enjoyed working with young people. Growing up without a consistent father figure, DJ knew the troubles young people faced, especially concerning authority figures who couldn’t relate to their struggles. Active in the Boys and Girls Club, DJ focused on making kids feel seen and understood. He looked into their eyes and saw himself and friends at that age. He created games to foster involvement and teach valuable life lessons. He could balance necessary discipline and a listening ear. DJ understood the kids needed both.

DJ Davis created Just Run the Play, Inc., a youth program with three flagship services: Power Play Lunch Series teaches kids to network and introduces them to community leaders and advocates; Student Athlete Program focuses on character development, community involvement, and time-management skills; My Talent My Biz Program teaches business basics to budding entrepreneurs, turning passion into profit.

made the decision to enroll in ULM again. He’d reached his ceiling with financial services. While in school, DJ frequently subbed at schools like Riser Middle, where DJ had attended as a young teenager. He knew the kids at Riser, he knew their parents, and that household knowledge made DJ a valuable asset to the school community.



J Davis belonged at ULM. His mother had attended the university during his childhood, and he frequently accompanied her to campus. He played on the first West Monroe High School championship football team in 1993, and started his freshman year at ULM in the fall of 1994. The local university was a logical, comfortable choice, where DJ initially majored in biology before switching to business management. He joined the ULM football team as a walk on and earned a scholarship. He performed community service activities and worked with Pi Sigma Epsilon. Dr. Bruce Walker served as one of DJ’s mentors at ULM. Walker displayed a genuine concern for his students, and he and DJ built a relationship that continues decades later.










employee in the physical plant.” Joe Day, a master mechanic, has been on the job in the grounds department of the ULM Physical Plant for more than 36 years. A U.S. Navy veteran, Day holds a degree from ULM.


Day started in the grounds department more than 36 years ago, after 10-plus years in the home and garden department at Monroe’s beloved-but-now-gone Howard Griffin, military service to his country – and earning a business degree from ULM. Day proudly says he has a “knack for machines. I guess it’s in my blood. My grandfather was a blacksmith; Dad was a mechanic and chief petty officer in World War II.” His son is also a mechanic. Day enrolled at ULM, then-Northeast Louisiana University, at 17. After two years, “I told my dad, I’m sick of going to school. I’m going to join the navy and get my military obligation behind me and take it from there.”


“I came back here, went right back to school. I graduated with my little brother. Mom and Dad got to see two of their five kids graduate in the same night, that was a special occasion in my heart,” he said. While students, Day and his younger brother David, worked at Howard Griffin. After graduation, David left, and Day stayed. When a salesman brought Day to demonstrate new equipment to the ULM Athletics Department, he looked around and thought, “I wonder who takes care of all this equipment?” BY HOPE YOUNG




“I graduated with my little brother. Mom and Dad got to see two of their five kids graduate in the same night, that was a special occasion in my heart.” – JOE DAY


here is a loyalty to the University of Louisiana Monroe that runs through this region like Bayou DeSiard meanders through campus. Alumni and friends, students and supporters, faculty and staff know what it means to have this university in Northeast Louisiana. Perhaps the people to whom it means the most are those who have been here the longest. Five employees of the ULM Physical Plant have a combined 197 years of keeping the engines running, the grounds meticulously trimmed, and the lights on. These dedicated and friendly men humbly shared a bit about their work at ULM, and their lives off-campus. Joe Day, 36 years Grounds, Mechanic 4

“I’ll be 72 in October, if I make it,” said Joe Day, a master mechanic. “I’m the oldest

At the personnel office, he learned they were looking for a mechanic. Day applied, and the rest is history. Day is the first mechanic hired in the grounds department, and he’s the only one. “Hey, I can do it by myself. I’ve been doing it all these years. I’m used to it,” he said. “These guys know they can’t do their job unless I do my job. They come straight to me with a problem. I fix it or give them another piece of equipment and send them right back out. It’s efficiency.” What’s the most unusual thing Day has repaired at ULM? “The ski ramp can be set at different inclines, hydraulically. They asked me if I could go out there and work on it. I said I’d take a look at It, but how was I going to get out there? Swim? The ski team took me out there in a boat and I got up in that thing and worked on it.” Johnny Ellis, 43 years Auto Services, Mechanic 5 After 43 years of working at one place, more than 40 in the same department, it is understandable that whatever made those days, weeks, and months memorable would slip away like last night’s dreams. Not so for Johnny Ellis, a master mechanic in auto services. His eyes light up when he talks



Johnny Ellis can, and has, repaired just about everything on campus with a motor. For the past 43 years he's been with the ULM Physical Plant, the last 40 in auto services.

about some of the things he’s done and seen during his career at ULM.

“I was there when they won that championship,” he said. “It was great.”

In 1976 he started in the plumbing shop and was there about a year-and-a-half. He moved to auto services, where Ellis has repaired, cussed at, and junked so many vehicles he can’t name half of them.

Jenkins said he could have retired 10 years ago, but he wants to be here. “I like what I’m doing, I like working here,” said Jenkins. “I believe everything has been good. I’ve had ups and downs, but I thank God I had a good job.”

But there’s one he’ll never forget – the Silver Eagle buses. When he wasn’t keeping them road-ready, he was at the wheel.

When he does retire, there is a place he’d like to revisit.

“I started driving buses in 1982 until 1995. Our buses were different then; they were Silver Eagles. You had to shift them. Driving them was something else,” said Ellis. He made some football trips, but the women’s basketball players and coaches were his main passengers. “I was driving whenever E.J. Lee and Lisa Ingram were on the team. Linda Harper was the coach. It was great. I really enjoyed it,” he said. When he retires, Ellis isn’t taking to the road. He’d like to fly to the home of the moptop Fab Four whose music seared into the brain of a teenage boy and still plays in the memory of a 68-year-old great-grandfather. “I’d like to go to England, home of The Beatles,” he said with a grin. “I’d love it.” Arthur Jenkins, 45 years Maintenance, Repairer 2

A sports fan, Jenkins loved the days of Calvin Natt, a ULM basketball great in the ‘70s who went on to 11 seasons in the NBA,

“Salt Lake City, Utah,” said the 65-year-old Monroe native. “I went to Job Corps there and I stayed two years.” Jenkins learned cement finishing through Job Corps … and learned something else, too. Arthur Jenkins of the maintenance department began working at ULM 45 years ago. He remembers watching ULM basketball legends Calvin Natt and E.J. Lee play at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

and E.J. Lee, the women’s basketball phenom who led the team to a berth in the Final Four in 1985. Lee would return to ULM as an assistant coach. “When I came, the basketball and football teams played championships games, and you could hear them on the radio. It was real nice,” recalled Jenkins. While he wasn’t in the stands for the games, he often saw the action. “I used to work them, cleaning up after the games, but I would watch whenever I could,” Jenkins said. He had a seat in Malone Stadium on Dec. 19, 1987, when the then-NLU Indians faced Marshall in a high-stakes match for the National Championship. The crowd exploded with the 43-42 win.

“The atmosphere is different up there than it is here. When it snowed up there, I used to wear short pants. When it snows down here, it’s a whole lot different,” he said. Harold McClinton, 35 years Grounds, Mobile Equipment Operator 2 In Louisiana’s subtropical climate, the grass seems to grow inches overnight, especially after a good rain. Harold McClinton, 63, a groundskeeper at ULM for 35 years, wouldn’t have it any other way. If he’s here, he’s mowing. Years ago, starting as a general worker, the boss noticed McClinton’s skill for cutting grass. “During the summertime, I would be on the mower tractor,” said McClinton. “After that, I would go back to being a laborer.” With few people who could maneuver a mower between buildings, around students and the sloping banks of Bayou DeSiard, McClinton was soon moved into the job he


Memories fade after 45 years, so Arthur Jenkins doesn’t remember the exact date he started at ULM, sometime in early February of 1977, as best as he can recall. He began on the night shift as a custodian.


photos by Siddharth Gaulee



“You just don’t go and start doing it. There’s a technique to it.” – HAROLD MCCLINTON “One of the trainers said I ate more than the players,” he recalled with a grin. Payne said he likes the half-day off on Fridays and the free weekends. It gives him time to take care of his home and property. “Around the house, I’m kind of a handyman. I try to do all of my own repairs. I’ve even done a little bit of air conditioning work, on my own, I don’t do anyone else’s,” he said.


Ralph Payne has kept the ULM fleet of cars, trucks, buses and equipment running for 38 years.

has today.

Ralph Payne, 38 years

McClinton takes care of the grass around campus housing, the stadium, and athletic facilities.

Auto Services, Mechanic Supervisor A

“I’m an outdoors person. I like plants. I like making the grass look good and shaping the hedges,” he said. There’s more to neat hedges than whacking away with rusty clippers. “You just don’t go and start doing it. There’s a technique to it. You have got to have sharp trimmers to make it look good,” McClinton said. He operates heavy equipment for bigger jobs and recalls the day his front-end loader was front-ended. He was removing debris and a slow-moving car headed straight for him.

Thirty-eight years ago, Ralph Payne arrived for his first day at the ULM Auto Services – he’s been there ever since, still keeping the ULM fleet of cars, vans, trucks, and buses ready to roll. “I started in the shop here as a mobile equipment mechanic,” said Payne. “I’ve been here the whole time.” Payne drove the buses for ULM Athletics from time to time, which he enjoyed. Once driving one of the men’s teams, they stopped at a restaurant for a bite to eat.

It seems there’s always something that needs fixing or mending between his house and automobiles. Then, there’s the yard – about 6 acres to mow. “It’s not enough time in the weekend to really do what you need to do. If you don’t get up early enough you’re going to miss it,” he said. Payne, 63, grew up in Rayville and prefers country living to the confines of city limits. “I live on the outskirts of Monroe in Bosco,” he said. “Basically, when you go in that direction, you’re going to see cornfields, cotton, soybeans or something like that.” To the dismay of his family who lives elsewhere, this homebody admits, “I’m not much of a traveler. I don’t really like it. On Christmas holidays, I just stay home.”

photos by Siddharth Gaulee

“When I turned around, I saw him, Coach Mike Collins, coming. He was on the phone and he didn’t see me, and he ran into my front-end loader,” he said. No one was hurt and the front-end loader was unscathed. McClinton couldn’t remember how the coach’s vehicle fared. After the shock, they had a good laugh about the run-in a big, empty parking lot. McClinton doesn’t have plans to retire, but there’s one place he would like to visit.


“Jerusalem, Israel! That’s where I would want to go because that is where Jesus walked and he lived his ministry in Israel,” McClinton said. “I would like to go and walk where he walked and visit some of the places he visited. That would just make my day.”

When Harold McClinton retires, although he has no plans after 35 years in groundskeeping at ULM, he'd like to visit Jerusalem.



he University of Louisiana System Board unanimously approved the University of Louisiana Monroe's request to recognize the dedication of former Louisiana State Rep. Charles R. McDonald, Ed.D., and the late Emily Williamson. The financial aid suite in Sandel Hall has been named the Dr. Charles R . McDonald Financial Aid Suite in honor of his service to ULM as an administrator, state legislator, and his service to Louisiana's students authoring and sponsoring the TOPS legislation.

Former Louisiana State Representative and University of Louisiana Monroe administrator Charles R. McDonald, Ed.D., has been honored with the Dr. Charles R. McDonald Financial Aid Suite in Sandel Hall.

“The Father of TOPS” Dr. Charles R. McDonald has held many positions in education. He moved from high school educator to principal, then director of Counseling, Placement, and Financial Aid at Northeast Louisiana University, now the University of Louisiana Monroe. After 17 years as a university administrator, in 1991, McDonald was elected to the state House of Representatives. Deemed the “Father of TOPS,” he authored HB 2154 that created the TOPS scholarship program. More than 50,000 students currently receive this scholarship. As lead author of TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program for Students), McDonald is credited with helping pass one of the most significant pieces of legislation designed to reward Louisiana's brightest high school students for performing in the classroom and going on to attend Louisiana's postsecondary schools. To date, TOPS has provided scholarship funding for more than 720,000 students to pursue postsecondary education.

EMILY WILLIAMSON The Child Development Center was renamed the Emily Williamson Laboratory School in memory of the longtime director. Williamson died in October 2019.

“Dr. McDonald is highly regarded at the university as well as in the Northeast Louisiana community, and he has served

Williamson became director of the then-Child Development Center in 2003 and remained in that position until she lost her lengthy battle with breast cancer on Oct. 27, 2019. Under her leadership, the center received its first 5-star rating in 2008 and continued with six consecutive 5-star ratings from the Louisiana Quality Start School Readiness Rating System. A three-time ULM alumna, Williamson, was extremely dedicated to ULM. She ser ved on ULM's Commencement Committee as co-chair for 14 years and represented ULM on numerous state and regional early childhood education professional organization boards. Williamson also served as an instructor in the School of Education. “In my own professional and personal interactions with Emily, I remember her best for her vitality and passion for early childhood education and our Child Development Center. Her leadership and work ethic has given the center its renowned reputation for excellence respected throughout the community and state. She was an advocate for her students and the center,” stated Myra Lovett, Ed.D., director of the School of Education. Early childhood education and her accomplishments at the ULM Child Development Center were her passion and life's work. “Emily was one of the most dedicated, hardworking, and resourceful directors that ULM has ever had. Even while dealing with severe illness, she continued to lead the center and keep it as a crown jewel at the university. By renaming it to the Emily Williamson Laboratory School, we are honoring her commitment and contributions to ULM, the region, and the state. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to honor her than this,” stated Dean John Pratte, Ph.D., of the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences.


McDonald also served on numerous boards and commissions of education. He served as chairman of the House of Representatives Education Committee. He is currently serving on the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education.

Emily Williamson Laboratory School



The ULM Child Development Center was renamed the Emily Williamson Laboratory School in memory of its longtime director and early childhood education advocate.

as an outstanding leader at the University of Louisiana Monroe and Louisiana Legislature. Based on his loyalty and service to the university and the state of Louisiana, I am glad the university can recognize his accomplishments and service with this dedication,” stated Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D., former ULM president.





“To most people in the pageant world, it's about empowering women, and these are just facets I have chosen to pursue.” – ALLISON NEWTON

MISS ULM www.ulm.edu

photos by Siddharth Gaulee

Allison Newton was a barrel racer long before she was crowned Miss University of Louisiana Monroe 2020. Due to the postponement of the Miss Louisiana Pageant, she will reign a second year as Miss ULM. She rides Sutton, her American Quarter Horse, on campus.





he COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the lives of many. Miss ULM 2020 Allison Newton's experience is one that speaks of adaptability and the power of trust, both in herself and those around her. Allison wears many different hats – a senior vocal performance major, barrel racer, travel trailer renovator, but most notably, the first Miss ULM to have a two-year reign. Allison worked persistently for four years to reach her dream of becoming Miss ULM. In November 2019, Allison realized that dream as she was crowned on the stage of Brown Auditorium.

dilemma, ULM decided to forego this year's contest and allow Allison to continue her reign. “I wanted more than anything to give Allison the year she had waited for, worked for, and deserved, but it took us several months to officially make the call – we would postpone this year's competition. Allison will be the first Miss ULM in history to serve two consecutive years and hold the titles of Miss ULM 2020 AND Miss ULM 2021. She will compete for the title of Miss Louisiana 2021 next June representing the Warhawks,” Lee said. Allison speaks highly of Lee and the Miss ULM team. “They encourage you, foster your passion, and build you up. It doesn't surprise me that they've worked with me like this,” she said, assured in the preservation of her title. “They take care of their girls.”

Equipped with a vision to bring joy to others through music, this and many of her ideas were sacrificed due to COVID-19.

Allison graduates in December 2020 and will continue taking courses at ULM to maintain her scholarship eligibility. In 2021, she will compete in Miss Louisiana with the title she's worked so hard for, Miss University of Louisiana Monroe.

“Music is magical, and I love to share that with others to help them find joy,” she said. “I was saddened that I didn't get to finish my spring semester, things had just begun,” said Allison, explaining how the pandemic impacted her reign. “It really hit me when they canceled the Miss Louisiana competition,” she said. Miss ULM's reign typically lasts one year, and in that time, the titleholder represents the university in the Miss Louisiana competition, traditionally held in June in Monroe. When Miss Louisiana was postponed until 2021, Allison's path suddenly shifted. “It's difficult when something is thrown at you that you can't control,” she said, stressing the necessity of adaptability during difficult times. “… but it's important to overcome your feelings about these things.” Briefly, Allison wondered if all of her dedication meant nothing. She devoted hours developing as a vocalist, practicing for the judges' questions, and focusing on physical fitness. She could not change the situation, but through faith and trust, she could move through it. For guidance, Allison turned to Megan Lee, assistant director of Student Life and Leadership, and director of the Miss ULM Pageant. Lee is also coordinator, mentor, and confidant to the reigning Miss ULM. Lee said the Miss Louisiana Organization left it up to local organizations to have competitions naming new title holders for 2021, or allow current title holders to reign an additional year.

After many conversations with colleagues in Student Life and Leadership, CAB, and other UL System universities facing the same

In the meantime, she plans to focus on her social impact initiative – which was born from a tragic personal loss. After Allison's aunt passed away from breast cancer at age 31, she channeled her pain into a passion. She created a platform known as “The Best Test – Early Detection and Prevention of Breast Cancer.” Her platform is to help women have better access to health care resources. She strives to raise awareness in college-aged women of the importance of mammograms. Because her aunt was diagnosed at 29, she encourages women to “get regular mammograms and start being aware” at an early age. While Allison has been heavily involved in pageantry, she isn't your typical beauty queen. One might find her hobbies and interests to be quirky. She loves horses and has been a barrel racer for 10 years. She also renovated a vintage Avion travel trailer from the 1980s that she calls “Shiva,” on her own, with “some” guidance from her grandfather. Allison pushes gender norms as she can have fluent conversations about trucks, engines, electricity, and more. She is aware this may make some feel uncomfortable, but to her, it's empowering. “To most people in the pageant world, it's about empowering women, and these are just facets I have chosen to pursue,” she expressed. “I have a pretty cool resume of things I've done, and the obstacles I have overcome,” Allison said, reflecting on her past achievements. But Allison Newton is making history in the present as she overcomes the obstacles of 2020 and proceeds to reign as Miss ULM for another year with her eye on the prize of being the next Miss Louisiana.

Follow Allison Newton's journey as Miss ULM on Instagram @missulm, and her travel trailer endeavors @shive_the_84_avion.


The Miss ULM Pageant is “one of the oldest and largest traditions on our campus,” said Lee. “It utilizes a large portion of the Campus Activities Board's annual budget.”


Eager to fulfill her mission as Miss ULM, she went into 2020 wanting to be a leader and an example of the highly skilled vocal artists produced by ULM's School of Visual and Performing Arts.






photos by Jansen Nowell

ULM FOUNDATION The David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management was named in the College of Business and Social Sciences at the University of Louisiana Monroe. Pictured at a reception in April honoring the Turrentines' more than $1 million gift are, from left, are, President Dr. Ronald Berry, Dr. Susie Cox, director of the school, David and Sharon Turrentine, former President Dr. Nick J. Bruno and Allen Otts of the ULM Foundation.

“The Turrentines have made an impact on the School of Management for generations to come.” www.ulm.edu



n the spring, David and Sharon Turrentine of Monroe and Hot Springs, Ark., made a generous gift of more than $1 million to the University of Louisiana Monroe. In recognition of their magnanimous donation, the university named the David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management in the College of Business and Social Sciences in their honor. A reception to honor the Turrentines and announce the school's naming was held at The Terrace, hosted by the ULM Foundation and the university. Family, friends, and faculty members attended to extend their thanks.

Then-ULM President Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D., welcomed the Turrentines, saying, “This is quite a show of generosity, of paying it forward.” “Gifts such as these allow the university to excel, to provide scholarships, support faculty, and build the quality of the programs, which is a continuing effort of the university,” Bruno said. “Thank you both, Sharon and David, so much for what this gift is going to do for the university and the students.” Before making his remarks, President Ronald Berry, D.B.A., then-dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences,

35 The ULM Foundation and the university hosted a reception to honor the Turrentines for their generous donation.


“You can give people money, and they will be happy for a little while. If you give them the opportunity to go to college, then their lives will be forevermore changed for the better,” Mr. Turrentine said in closing.

David Turrentine said he and his wife Sharon made the endowment because he struggled attending college and working at the same time.

introduced Susie Cox, Ph.D., the first director of the David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management. “If you begin to think about characteristics of people willing to donate over a million dollars, automatically you think of the words generous, successful, caring, compassionate, and impactful,” said Berry. “The Turrentines have made an impact on the School of Management for generations to come. It is truly going to be immeasurable.” David Turrentine (BBA '67) shared his life story, noting that getting through college was not easy for him, which is why he and his wife made the endowment.

“Education. It's all about education. I went to school every chance I could to improve my knowledge about what was going on in my life,” Mrs. Turrentine said. “To be able to help untold numbers of students from this point forward with their education is just so rewarding. One of the scholarships I asked to name is the Entrepreneurial Scholarship for Women. I'm really proud of that. I know that if I would have had financial help, I would have gone much further with my local studies. Life doesn't always give you what you expect, but believe me, I have no regrets. Thank you.” A plaque was installed in the College of Business and Social Sciences at the David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management. About David and Sharon Turrentine Mr. and Mrs. Turrentine are longtime business leaders in construction, real estate, property management, and physical fitness. While attending Northeast Louisiana State College, now ULM, David worked part-time

Today, the Turrentines' son, Mark, is president of the company, and David serves as board chairman. Standard owns and/or manages some 6,000 apartment units in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas and employs 275 people. Sharon Griffith Turrentine is a native of Monroe, and like her husband, graduated from Ouachita Parish High School. She studied at Northeast Louisiana State College then attended the University of Houston in vocal performance. Sharon continued her vocal studies at Columbia University in New York City. She performed nightly in Greenwich Village and worked full-time at an advertising agency. Sharon returned to Monroe and put her advertising experience to work at her father's radio and television stations. Sharon and David married in 1975. In the 1970s, Sharon developed a passion for physical fitness, including weight training and competitive body-building. For nine years, her program “Shape Up With Sharon” aired on KNOE-TV. Her company designed physical fitness programs for women, and she trained contestants from every state for the Miss America Pageant. Sharon was appointed to the Louisiana Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and taught weightlifting for women and water aerobics at ULM. Now retired, Sharon continues to motivate women to stay active at any age.


“I worked my way through college. I cannot tell you how many part-time jobs I had,” Mr. Turrentine said. The problem was, “I had absolutely no time to study. I would go to school, and I would go to work. Sharon and

In her comments, Sharon Turrentine recognized their two grandsons, Nicholas Turrentine and Dare Gueydon, both students at ULM.

for Mid-South Homes, owned by Standard Enterprises. After graduating in 1967, he joined Standard Enterprises. In 1978, David and three partners purchased the business, which develops, builds, owns, buys, and manages apartment projects.


I want to provide these scholarships so our students who receive them will have enough money, so they don't have to work like I did. They won't have to spend as much time trying to earn a living and try to pay bills. They can go to school and study. That's the bottom line of why we did this.”








Accounting – Established by the family to honor their patriarch, a 1961 ULM accounting graduate, this professorship will assist in recruiting and retaining quality faculty in the William D. Hoover School of Accounting, Financial and Information Services in the College of Business and Social Sciences.

onors to SOAR through the ULM Foundation were recognized at the Warhawks winning football game against South Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. Thanks to donors' generosity and the Louisiana Board of Regents, the University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation announces $1.2 million in new endowed professorships and scholarships.

Lawson & Sharon Swearingen Professorship in Political Science – Lawson Swearingen, a 1966 ULM graduate, practiced law in Monroe for 22 years, including 11 years as a Louisiana State Senator. He was president of ULM from 1991-2001. During his administration, the signature seven-story ULM Library was constructed, also housing administrative offices and a conference center. Sharon is a 1972 ULM graduate.


“The ULM Foundation applauds these benefactors who appreciate the opportunity to leverage their investments in ULM with Louisiana Board of Regents Sponsored Programs' matching dollars,” said Susan Chappell, Executive Director of ULM Advancement, Foundation, and Alumni Relations. In June 2020, Board of Regents matching funds totaling $460,000 was added to private contributions, resulting in $1.2 million for the professorships and scholarships. “The ULM Foundation greatly appreciates these esteemed donors and their desire to impact higher education at ULM positively,” Chappell said. “Gifts dedicated to establishing endowments last forever. The fruits of these endowments create opportunities that did not exist before.” Superior Graduate Student (SGS) Scholarships Elsie Webb Endowed Super SGS in Education – Elsie Webb was a dedicated businesswoman and owner of the Canary Motel and Trailer Park in West Monroe. Previously, she owned and operated other businesses, including the Hob Nob Restaurant. For over 15 years, Webb contributed to scholarships and cancer research at ULM, totaling $573,000.


Lawrence Alton & Elizabeth Ann Robinson SGS in Healthcare Education – Larry Robinson is a 1968 graduate of the ULM College of Pharmacy and received an M.S. of Hospital Pharmacy in 1973. Ann Robinson is a 1972 education graduate. Both have

enjoyed successful and distinguished careers. They established their endowed scholarship to recruit and retain high-quality graduate students in the College of Pharmacy and Kitty DeGree School of Nursing. The scholarship emphasizes providing excellent health care to underserved communities in rural Louisiana. Professorships Willis-Knighton Professorship for Nursing – Willis-Knighton Health System established its fifth endowed professorship to enhance recruitment and retention of exceptional faculty in the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing. John & Tasha Gardner Professorship in Marketing Analytics – A 1994 ULM accounting graduate, John is the vice president and treasurer of Murphy Oil, and contributes his analytical expertise through the finance & administrative committee of the ULM Foundation Board of Trustees. John and Tasha created their legacy to support marketing analytics. Henry A. Little, CPA, Professorship in

Charles Allen Professorship in Biology – Dr. Charles Allen is a former ULM professor and accomplished botanist in Louisiana. Dr. Harry and Mary Lou Winters donated 105 acres in the rolling Ouachita Hills region near Columbia, to the ULM Foundation and named the Charles Allen Nature Preserve property. Over the years, Winters and Allen co-authored several books on Louisiana and the Gulf South's plants. Funds from the sale of the property established this professorship and an endowed scholarship, both named in honor of Dr. Charles Allen and to support the ULM biology program. First Generation Scholarships Paul & Mary Fink Super First Generation Scholarship – Paul Fink was awarded an honorary degree from ULM in 1988. He served as a judge and later as an estate attorney, assisting individuals with their estate planning, including many who designated gifts as their legacy to ULM. He desired to provide support to students with financial need who resided in Louisiana. Oscar Cahn & Kurt & Irmgard Fisher Super First Generation Scholarship – James Kurt Fisher and his wife Irmgard Cahn Fisher established this scholarship to aid Louisiana students who could not otherwise afford a college education.




$100 MILLION BY 2031

On July 1, 2019, the ULM Foundation launched a continuation of the SOAR campaign with a new goal of reaching $100 million by September 1, 2031 – the university’s centennial celebration. The university’s first day of classes was Sept. 28, 1931.

About SOAR


“The new SOAR campaign goal of $100 million is in addition to the former goal of $55.4 million. We set this brand-new goal because I believe our team and the university as a whole can exceed expectations while making a significant impact on the future of ULM,” stated Susan Chappell, Executive Director of ULM Advancement, Foundation, and Alumni Relations. “Funds raised through the SOAR campaign will provide our students and faculty with remarkable opportunities and allow ULM to thrive as a premier institution of higher education.”



he ULM Foundation SOAR campaign officially concluded on June 30, 2019, with the goal of $55.4 million exceeded with a total sum of $56,000,985. The SOAR campaign is the most successful capital campaign in the 89-year history of ULM.

Paths to Educational Excellence Through Giving

SOAR, which stands for Students/Succeed, Opportunities/Educate, Athletics/Achieve, Renovations/Build, is a university-wide capital campaign. • Students/Succeed funds private Foundation scholarships to assist students as they progress through their academic journey. Through the philanthropy of committed donors, there are more than 400 ULM Foundation scholarships available for undergraduate and graduate students. • Opportunities/Educate is dedicated to innovative academic opportunities for both faculty and students. This includes technology improvements, research, and professional development. Opportunities range from travel for faculty to present their groundbreaking research at national and international conferences to new technology purchases for students, which is vital during the time of increased online learning.

• Renovations/Build funds are dedicated to the construction of new facilities and renovation of existing facilities to ensure

“The SOAR campaign is going to create an incredible opportunity for our studentathletes. It will provide a state-of-the-art softball complex for competition and fan experience, along with a leadership center that will contribute to success off of the field. Words cannot describe the impact this will have for our program and community,” stated Molly Fichtner, head softball coach. The ULM Advancement team and Foundation manage fundraising, and every gift that comes to the university whether to the alumni association, athletics, or any other department on campus is counted towards the overall goal.

SOAR results The ULM Foundation is already making progress towards the $100 million goal. A total of $6,900,754 has been raised since July 1, 2019. S - $1,419,650 O - $3,889,350 A - $1,060,000 R - $531,754 “The efforts spearheaded by the ULM Foundation are vital to ULM’s future success. We have to stop relying on the state for funding of higher education and increasing the cost of attendance for our students. Efforts like the SOAR campaign allow us to keep moving ULM forward to provide more opportunities for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Please consider giving back to your university and have a direct impact on the students we serve at ULM,” stated Dr. President Ronald Berry. If you are interested in making an investment to keep the Best on the Bayou, please contact the ULM Foundation office at 318-342-3636 or foundation@ulm.edu.


• Athletics/Achieve supports Warhawks athletic programs to provide ULM student-athletes with scholarships so they can compete at the highest levels while also succeeding in the classroom.

our campus is attractive for potential and current students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The renovation of the band room in honor of the beloved Band Director for Sound of Today, Jack and Coralie White, the complete renovation and expansion of the softball complex as designed by Coach Molly Fichtner, and the renovation of physical therapy labs managed by Dr. Lisa VanHoose are a few examples of renovations to be completed under the new SOAR campaign.

photo by Emerald McIntyre


Cindy and Dennis Rogers established the Cindy and Dennis Rogers endowed scholarship in Social Work with a $50,000 donation and a matching $10,000 gift from the ULM Foundation. The scholarship is available to full- or part-time students majoring in social work.


Cindy holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from ULM and Dennis was also an alumnus. Cindy is a member of the ULM Foundation Board of Directors and serves as vice chair of the development committee. She is president of the Kitty DeGree Foundation, which recently provided $50,000 for a neuromuscular lab at ULM. Cindy’s career started in social work and transitioned into leadership roles with St. Francis Medical Center and Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health Systems in Baton Rouge.


Pictured, from left, are former President Dr. Nick J. Bruno, Dr. Pamela Higgins Saulsberry, President Dr. Ronald Berry, Cindy Rogers, Dr. Jennifer Savage, and Susan Chappell, executive director of ULM Advancement, Foundation and Alumni Relations.

photo by Emerald McIntyre

A scholarship honoring retired University of Louisiana Monroe Professor of Nursing Nancy Albright Lowery scholarship was endowed with an initial gift of $25,000.


A native of Monroe, Lowery earned a nursing degree from Northwestern State University and master’s from Emory University. Lowery taught nursing at ULM for 40 years, including the first class of graduates from what is now the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing. Lowery was an award-winning professor and an expert witness in malpractice cases. She was president of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing in the 1980s. Scholarships of $500 will be awarded each semester to a student at ULM.

Pictured are, from left, front, ULM nursing student Nancy Ragona, Nancy Albright Lowery, her daughter Kate Lowery, and her sister Mary Dezendorf, and in back, Lowery’s brother Paul Albright and her son, John Lowery.


The Louisiana Cancer Foundation presented a check for $10,000 to support ongoing breast cancer research at the University of Louisiana Monroe. The Louisiana Cancer Foundation has a 14-year tradition of supporting breast cancer research at ULM, helping to fund the work of Paul W. Sylvester, Ph.D., associate dean of research in the College of Pharmacy. In addition to research funding, the LCF supports the Theresa Marsala Memorial Nursing Fund in the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing. The LCF recently established a $50,000 endowed scholarship at ULM for cancer survivors, those undergoing treatment or with cancer in their immediate family, which has led to financial hardship.



Pictured, from left, are Mary Linda McCann, president of the Cancer Foundation League, Dr. Paul W. Sylvester, associate dean of research in the College of Pharmacy, James Adams, LCF executive director, Donna Jackson, LCF assistant director and Nell Seegers, chairman of the LCF Board of Directors.

photo by Siddharth Gaulee

Todd Tauzin established the Todd Tauzin Wealth Management Endowed Scholarship for $25,000 for students majoring in finance or risk management and insurance at ULM.



Todd Tauzin returned to the University of Louisiana Monroe, his alma mater, on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, as a speaker at the annual College of Business and Social Sciences Symposium. Tauzin graduated in 1987 with a BBA in finance and real estate. Tauzin grew up in Bossier City. He is the owner of Tauzin Wealth Management - Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company in Ridgeland, Miss. His career with Northwestern Mutual began in 1988 in Dallas.


Pictured, from left, are Dr. Christine Berry, former President Dr. Nick J. Bruno, Morgan P. Morgan, President Dr. Ronald Berry, Todd Tauzin and his parents Caroline and Joe Tauzin and brother Paul Tauzin. photo by Emerald McIntyre

The students and citizens of Caldwell Parish created The Caldwell Parish Morris Endowed Scholarship for $25,000 with the ULM Foundation. The scholarship will be awarded to a graduate of Caldwell Parish High School, entering as a freshman at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

The Caldwell Parish Morris Endowed Scholarship was created in honor of longtime high school teacher Francis Morris. Pictured are her daughter, Fran Morris Childress, and Kitty DeGree Bell Tower Society member Freeman Stamper with the $25,000 check establishing the scholarship at ULM.


In 1986, the class of 1957 of Columbia High School established the Frances Morris Scholarship Fund in memory of Frances Morris, who was a beloved English teacher at Columbia High School and later at Caldwell Parish High School. Over the years, donations to the fund increased and many students applied for scholarships. The founders decided to turn the scholarship over to ULM to be administered by the ULM Foundation.


photo by Emerald McIntyre

On his first day as president of the University of Louisiana Monroe, Dr. Ronald Berry, joined by his wife, Dr. Christine Berry, held a press conference to announce their establishment of the ULM Opportunity Fund, to be administered by the ULM Foundation. The Berrys started the fund with a personal gift of $100,000, with the original goal of matching that amount through alumni, community, and business support. When Berry came to his office soon after being named president, there was a check for $100,000 on his desk with a note stating, “I hope this donation helps get your presidency started in the right direction.”



Designed with limited conditions, the fund can assist students, faculty and staff in many ways, from emergency circumstances to special projects.


guests available at the door. Friends and colleagues came to wish the president and Mrs. Bruno well and thank them for years of serving the university and the community. Projects and completions under Dr. Bruno


After a 45-year career in higher education in Louisiana, Bruno stated in a Jan. 16, 2020, press release that the programs and projects in ULM's future would take “several years of coordination and commitment to be realized,” and he could not commit to remaining in his position to see those projects to completion.” BY HOPE YOUNG



suspended, employees began working from home, students were asked to move out of campus residences if they could, and finally, the campus was closed to the public on March 23.

When Bruno announced he was retiring after the 2020 spring semester, he did not know that the most challenging days at ULM lay before him.

Following Gov. John Bel Edwards’ phased reopening of the state, in late May and early June, some employees returned to campus. New guidelines for face masks, sanitization and social distancing were in place.

n June 30, 2020, University of Louisiana Monroe President Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D., and First Lady Linda, left those titles behind as they ended an almost 10-year chapter of their lives to begin a new one.


In early January, Bruno told his executive committee his last official act would be May 16, 2020, when he would confer diplomas on the largest class in ULM's history – 1,023 graduates. By mid-February, the United States was warning residents of a fast-moving, crippling and sometimes deadly illness striking citizens young and old. The coronavirus, also called COVID-19, was claiming lives around the globe. On Feb. 28, more than 2,000 miles away from Monroe, in Washington state, the first COVID-19 death in the U.S. was reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In August, it was determined at least two COVID-19 deaths occurred earlier in the year. “At that time, there were many unknowns and questions about COVID-19, its potential to spread, how to treat it, and how to stop it,” Bruno said. “Among the first places identified for the likelihood of infection to spread were schools and universities. By early March, universities in the UL System knew we must make major changes and make them quickly.”


At ULM, the first change was suspending face-to-face classes and moving all classes online. The second was implementing the CDC’s social distancing and limiting the number of people at gatherings on campus. From the Oval Office to the state Capitol orders came swiftly and directly, setting off a domino effect that would forever change not only life at ULM, but everywhere else, too. ULM spring events were canceled, athletics

Bruno worked closely with Edwin Litloff, Ph.D., appointed interim president by the UL System, to help prepare for the Fall 2020 reopening. “There were so many factors to consider in how to safely bring students, faculty and staff back to campus,” said Bruno. “Dr. Litolff and the executive staff, directors and managers are doing an excellent job preparing to welcome everyone back in the fall.” A scholarship honoring Dr. Bruno A group of Bruno’s friends, who call themselves the Warhawk Coffee Club, established the Nick J. Bruno Endowed Scholarship in recognition of the retiring president. Friends and family supported the scholarship with a $25,000 endowment to the ULM Foundation. The scholarship is for deserving full-time students pursing an undergraduate degree. The recipients must meet ULM admission requirements and maintain a 2.5 GPA.

Projects and completions have defined Bruno's presidency since being appointed by the UL System as the eighth president of the university. He began that role on Nov. 8, 2010. As president, Bruno immediately reached out to the community by creating the Business & Community Advisory Committee, a group that analyzes the workforce needs of the region. Bruno knew of the economic and educational needs of the area. From 2002-05, he served as ULM associate vice president for business affairs and then vice president for business affairs. He departed ULM for the UL System office in Baton Rouge, where he was vice president for business and finance for over five years before he was appointed president. Bruno returned to ULM with a vision of taking the university beyond the geographic confines of Northeast Louisiana. He envisioned ULM on the national stage as an institution with dynamic research and offering more programs in the health sciences. He saw the university as an institution of higher education, providing multiple degree programs in high-paying, highdemand fields – the STEM majors of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Bruno consolidated the university into four colleges in 2016, the College of Arts, Education and Sciences, College of Business and Social Sciences, College of Health Sciences, and College of Pharmacy. This move centralized schools, programs, and departments under deans dedicated to enhancing those fields within each college. Under his leadership, in 2016, ULM was elevated from a regional to a national university by receiving the Carnegie R3 Doctoral University classification and recognition by U.S. News & World Report as a Best National University, both for the first time in its then-85-year history.

“I am deeply touched by this scholarship established by my coffee-drinking buddies, my family and friends. Nothing could honor me more than knowing more students will receive the help needed to earn their college degree,” he said.

Among Bruno's most significant accomplishments at ULM – and there are many – was securing the partnership with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) to build a medical school on the ULM campus. Where a groundbreaking ceremony was held in September 2018, today stands a $38 million-plus, 100,000-square-foot, four-story medical school. The first class of students will begin in 2020.

A retirement reception for Bruno was held June 16 at Bayou Pointe, with ULM masks for

The benefits of a medical school are many, and one of the largest is the economic impact.

Donations to scholarship may be mailed to the Nick J. Bruno Scholarship, ULM Foundation, 700 University Ave., Monroe, LA 71209.

photo by Siddharth Gaulee

“I am deeply, truly honored for the RambinSilverstein Memorial Civic Award,” said Bruno. “I am humbled to receive such an honor from my peers and colleagues in this wonderful community.” Former President Dr. Nick J. Bruno poses for a selfie with student Rachel Abadie of the Campus Activities Board.

VCOM's direct and indirect economic impact during the two-year start-up period is expected to exceed $60 million. By 2025, the economic impact of VCOM will grow to $78.9 million as graduates of the college begin practicing medicine in the region and state.

During Bruno's administration, facilities were added, expanded, and renovated. To name a few: • $5 million renovations to Brown Stadium and Groseclose Track • Construction of the $7 million Bayou Pointe Student Event Center • Installation of a $3 million Doppler radar weather system • Renovation of the former president's home, University House, which is a facility for campus guests • Construction of the $800,000 Wally Jones Golf Complex • Renovation of Sandel Hall, resulting in the first one-stop student center/academic building in Louisiana • Sugar and Caldwell halls scheduled for renovation beginning in 2021 and will house the new Doctor of Physical Therapy School and health sciences classrooms and lab. The ULM Foundation's SOAR Campaign started in 2013 with a goal of $55.4 million. When the campaign closed at the end of FY 2018, that goal was exceeded with a total of more than $56 million. It was the first capital campaign in ULM’s history.

“Many great things were accomplished due to the many amazing people I've had the pleasure of working with over the years. Nothing is done in a vacuum. No one person can do anything. It is only together that projects are conceived, planned, and then executed.” “I have been surrounded by people who shared a vision for the university. Whether faculty or staff, each brought their experience and expertise and added those talents to benefit ULM as a whole.” “What will I miss? Oh, many things, but cooperation and consensus for the greater good of the university and students are near the top of my list,” he said. What was at the top of his list?

– DR. NICK J. BRUNO Serving the campus and the community Bruno's presidency was more than a job. For him and Linda, it was their lives. Service to the community and the university was their priority for nearly a decade. The Brunos hosted student groups at dinners to celebrate achievements – such as the ULM Water Ski Team for bringing home another national championship. They opened their Bon Aire home to honor outstanding faculty members and served employees holiday meals at the Student Union Building. Dr. and Mrs. Bruno greeted guests at the President's Suite in Malone Stadium for Warhawks football on Saturday nights. They were consistent attendees at most university events. Bruno served on the boards of numerous civic, government, and private organizations. Too many to list them all, some are the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the St. Francis Medical Center Board of Directors where he continues to serve. He is also a member of the Ouachita Business Alliance, and the Workforce Development Board Area 81.

“The students. Absolutely, the students,” Bruno said. “When I see the accomplishments they make, in many cases overcoming significant obstacles, I am tremendously proud of each one. “ULM serves an area of the country mired in economic stress, a population that has not had generations of educational and employment opportunities. Our students come to ULM to rise above the disadvantages they were born into – and I don't mean their family situations necessarily. I mean being here in the Louisiana Delta. They chose ULM as the institution that could give them the education they need to make the future better for themselves, their families, and the community around them. Perhaps they don't realize it at the time, but it is a powerful choice. One that I am honored to have been part of for these many years,” he said. The Brunos returned to his roots in Tangipahoa Parish near the town of Amite. Their three children are grown; they have one grandson, Porter Joseph, whom Bruno affectionately calls “PoJo,” and a new granddaughter, Mia Grace. Retirement life is different under the mossdraped oaks of Louisiana's Florida Parishes, but not so far removed from the cypress trees lining Bayou DeSiard. Some morning, Nick Bruno may look up and see a red-tailed hawk gliding overhead and think of the time and the place when he was Warhawk No. 1.


Campus beautification, enhanced technology in the classroom, and access for students, plus expanded campus housing, have been continuous under Bruno.

Bruno was retrospective about his years leading the university.


“VCOM will most importantly expand health care access for underserved populations. As a result, the healthier our people are, the healthier our community becomes, and it will be a higher quality of life for us all,” said Bruno.

“Many great things were accomplished due to the many amazing people I've had the pleasure of working with over the years.”

Looking back and looking forward



Bruno was honored for his outstanding service in February 2020 with the Monroe Chamber of Commerce's highest honor, the Rambin-Silverstein Memorial Civic Award. The Rambin-Silverstein Memorial Civic Award recognizes a resident of Northeast Louisiana who has demonstrated achievement, leadership, and service for the benefit of the greater community.







amile Currier, vice president for Student Affairs, retired from the University of Louisiana Monroe on June 30, 2020, after devoting more than 50 years to ULM, beginning as a student in 1969. A native of Amite, Currier spent more time outdoors than indoors. His youth was filled with hunting, fishing, swimming, and waterskiing. As an athlete at Amite High School, Currier played football, basketball and ran track. During the summers, he played Dixie Youth Baseball.


“I've been here a long time, and started as a student worker in athletics with the track teams.” – CAMILE CURRIER After graduating from high school, Currier headed to ULM, bringing his love of sports and outdoor activities with him. He signed on as a student worker to manage the track and cross country teams. This position accomplished two things: he was involved in sports and helped pay for his education. Currier earned a B.S. in Health and Physical in 1973, and remained on campus another year to complete his Master of Education. While studying for his master’s, Currier was a graduate assistant in athletics and assistant track coach. “I’ve been here a long time, and started as a student worker in athletics with the track teams,” said Currier. “I spent hours loading and unloading equipment and uniforms. We’d travel to meets all over the South. It was a lot of fun, but it was work,” he said.


Camile Currier on the job at ULM in 1986. Currier retired June 30, 2020, over 50 years after he came to the university as a freshman.

At age 24, married and with a family, Currier joined the ULM staff as intramural coordinator (1975-80) and later became director of intramurals (1980-92). Through the years, Currier remained

photo provided by Special Collections & Archives


photo by Siddharth Gaulee

At its June 25, 2020, meeting, the UL System Board of Supervisors approved the renaming of the Lagniappe Theatre inside Bayou Pointe to the Camile W. Currier Student Theatre.

ACOMPLISHMENTS INVOLVING CAMILE CURRIER • Developed, coordinated, and passed a referendum for the ULM Student Intramural Fee.

“Camile is highly regarded at the university as well as in the Northeast Louisaina community.”

• Developed, coordinated, and passed a referendum for the construction of the ULM Student Activity Center. • Co-authored the Louisiana Collegiate Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (LCIRSA) Constitution. • Developed and coordinated the publishing of the State LCIRSA Directory.

• Acquired resources by working with the city of Monroe to construct the University Park Outdoor Complex at no cost to the university. • Developed the ULM Judicial Reference Manual. • Served on Residential Life developmental team to renovate and construct new housing 2004-2007. • Developed, coordinated and passed a student referendum fee to support all of ULM’s registered student organizations. • Secured funding from the CVB, city of Monroe and Self Assessed student funds to renovate and turf University Park. • Worked with student groups to renovate the obsolete natatorium into the new Bayou Pointe Student Event Center 2016-2018 (opened March 2018). • Started the University Mile, a ULM tradition, in 1984. • Participated in the selection, development, and construction of new residence halls and apartments and the ongoing renovation of the Student Union Building.

in roles focusing on students: director of Recreational Services and Facilities (19922000), assistant dean for Student Affairs (2000-04), ULM Liaison for Residential Life for the Division of Business Affairs (200307), director of Residential Life (2003-04), associate dean for Student Services and Judicial Affairs (2004-07), assistant vice president for Student Affairs (2007-13), interim vice president for Student Affairs (2014-17), and vice president for Student Affairs (2017-2020). He has served on numerous committees, boards, and task forces. Currier was affiliated with many organizations within the university, the state of Louisiana, and on a national level, including L Club, the Louisiana Collegiate IntramuralRecreational Sports Association, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and the United Way of Northeast Louisiana. Perhaps the accomplishment is that he is proud of the most is Bayou Pointe Student Event Center. Constructed on the Lake C. Oxford Natatorium site, the $7 million event center is open to students, faculty,

– FORMER PRESIDENT DR. NICK J. BRUNO In the letter to UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson, now-retired ULM President Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D., wrote: “During his tenure, Camile was directly involved or part of the planning, and in some cases securing funding for the following facilities: The Activity Center, University Park, Masur Hall, and Madison Hall renovations, Student Union Ballroom renovations, student parking garage, Health and Counseling Center, Ski Team House, SGA Dock and Hammocks on the Bayou, Food Bank located in the Activity Center, and Bayou Pointe Event Center. “Camile is highly regarded at the university as well as in the Northeast Louisiana community, and he has served as an outstanding leader at the University of Louisiana Monroe.” Currier’s career at ULM began as a student worker and ended as a vice president. There were many titles in between, and even a retirement until Dr. Bruno convinced him to return. Although he’s left his office, he hasn’t gone far. In fact, if you’re up early enough, you’ll see him walking his 3-mile path around campus. “This is my home, ULM is my home. I love it here,” Currier said. “I’ll be around.”


• Recognized by the ULM Alumni Association in 2006 for his contributions to the community and progress to the university.

University of Louisiana Monroe recently retired Vice President for Student Affairs Camile Currier, speaks at the retirement reception for former President Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D., on June 16, 2020. Currier worked at the university since he was a freshman in 1969. His first job was as a student worker managing the track and cross country teams.


• Established the first ULM Wellness Program within the Department of Recreational Services.


staff, and the entire north Louisiana region. The student body approved funding for the facility through student fees.








Emily Williamson, M.Ed.

President Emeritus Dwight D. Vines, Ph.D. Dwight Vines, Ph.D., was president from 1976-1991. He joined the university in 1958 as an instructor of management and became a full professor. Vines served as dean of the College of Business from 1964 until he was named president. Vines served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-54. He earned his bachelor’s from Northwestern State University, an MBA from LSU, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado. As president, Vines accomplished several notable building projects. To name a few, he introduced the Grove, completed construction on Malone Stadium, Oxford Natatorium, School of Construction building, baseball and softball fields, and the Chemistry and Natural Sciences building. Vines also established the School of Nursing building, Heard Tennis Stadium, Activity Center, band building, bank, bookstore, University Police building, and Spyker Theater. Under his leadership, 40 new degree programs were added. During Vines’ presidency, the campus became home to National Public Radio – 90.3 KEDM and the Small Business Incubation Center. Vines also created the University Foundation.


An avid tennis player, he started the men’s and women’s tennis teams. During his administration, the university won the National 1-AA Football Championship in 1987, 10 national water ski championships, and NCAA championships in six track events.

illustration by Shanette Washington

Vines died Oct. 25, 2019, at the age of 88. He and his wife Jean made their home in Calhoun. In his honor, Bayou Suites was renamed Dr. Dwight D. Vines Hall.

Emily Williamson began her career with an interior design degree from ULM in 1988. By May 1991, she earned a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, followed by a Master of Education in Instructional Technology in 1991, both from ULM. She received her Family and Child Studies +30 from Louisiana Tech in 2009. She became director of the ULM Child Development Center in 2003 and continued in this role until her death. In 2008, the center gained a 5-star rating, which it maintains today. Williamson became an instructor in the School of Education in 2010. She was an instructor of Family and Consumer Sciences from 2003-10. Williamson was a member of the Southern Early Childhood Association, Louisiana Early Childhood Association, and Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. In 2015, she was the Distinguished Service Award recipient by the Twin Cities Mayor’s Committee on Disabilities. Other honors include 13 Women Who Shape the Delta, College of Arts, Education, and Sciences Award of Excellence Teaching/ Instructor and Ouachita Parish Interfaith Community Service Award. At ULM, Williamson was co-chair of the commencement committee and served as floor coordinator since 2005. She served on the convocation and the Arts, Education, and Sciences Gala Fall committees. Williamson died Oct. 27, 2019, at age 54. She and her husband Robert lived in Monroe. In honor of Williamson’s devotion to early childhood education, the Child Development Center was renamed the Emily Williamson Laboratory School.



Sharon Doaty

Julia Guernsey Pitchford, Ph.D. Julia Pitchford, Ph.D., was an associate professor of English for more than 20 years. Pitchford died Feb. 4, 2020, following a brief illness.

Among her many activities was serving on several committees, including commencement and the University Graduate Council. Pitchford was a mentor in the Emerging Scholars Program and to students in the ULM Research Symposium. With numerous publications and presentations, Pitchford authored two books, “The Pulse of Praise: Form as a Second Self in the Poetry of George Herbert” (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1999) and (soon-to-be-published by McFarland) “Milton and Postmodern Popular Culture.”

She is survived by a son, Christopher, of Monroe and many family members.

In the spring of 2020, Doaty was promoted to Administrative Assistant 3 and became the administrative coordinator for the Kinesiology program and the School of Allied Health. In 2019, Doaty received the ULM Foundation Award for Excellence for Service by Classified Staff. An article about her award read, in part: “Doaty’s commitment to the Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling programs in the School of Allied Health in the College of Health Sciences shines through her positive attitude and excellent communication with students, faculty, and staff. “Many students that come through the Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling programs have given credit to her for their success. In one instance, a student referred to Doaty as 'the glue that holds everything together.' “Her colleagues and supervisors have also given her praise for the wonderful work she has done saying that she is an asset to the Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling programs and especially to ULM. She makes life easier for these individuals by being selfless and devoted from an administrative and human perspective.”

University of Louisiana Monroe Director of Bands Emeritus Jack White died, Aug. 19, 2020, at the age of 84. White joined ULM (then-Northeast Louisiana University) on June 1, 1970, as associate professor of music and director of bands. He held these positions until retiring on June 1, 1991. He served as band director with the Ouachita Parish School System from 195870. Prior to his career in education and music, White served in the U.S. Army and completed Airborne Training. For many years he was a member of the Louisiana National Guard. White held a Bachelor of Music Education from ULM (1957), Master of Music from LSU (1961) and his Plus 30 from ULM. According to “The Bayou,” a publication about the history of ULM,” White named the ULM marching band The Sound of Today in the early 1970s after receiving a flyer which stated, “Give your band the sound of today with our music.” Under White’s leadership, the Sound of Today grew to more than 300 members and produced albums of their songs from halftime shows. After retiring from ULM, White was elected to the Ouachita Parish School Board where he served from 1991-2010. White never retired from music; he was past conductor of the Twin City Concert Band, played trumpet with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, and a University Chamber Arts Brass member.


Colleagues and friends remembered her at a Beer and Bards event at Enoch’s Irish Pub. At the time of her death, Pitchford was working on her second book. She had shared completed chapters for peer critique, and several colleagues read excerpts and shared memories of Pitchford.

Doaty died June 20, 2020, at age 57, after a brief illness.

Director of Bands Emeritus Jack White


She held a B.A. from Millsaps College and an MFA and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Arkansas. At ULM, she taught upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in literature, Milton, the Bible as literature and Shakespeare. Her special topics classes were “the literature of perdition” and poetics from Aristotle through postmodern theories, emphasizing the history of the lyric from Medieval through early 17th-century poetry.

As a ULM employee for more than 20 years, Sharon Doaty started as an administrative coordinator in the College of Education. Later she moved to Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling as administrative coordinator.





In 2020, the ULM Foundation updated the criteria used to calculate the ULM Associates List which recognizes donors giving at least $1,000 annually. The names listed below constitute the 2019 Associate Level Donors. Our sincere appreciation to all who support ULM! The following individuals and organizations deserve special recognition for their support as University Associates. From January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, these Associates invested $1,000 and above to the following affiliate non-profit organizations: the ULM Foundation, the ULM Athletic Foundation, the ULM Alumni Association, and KEDM Public Radio. Our University Associates provide the majority of private support annually... we honor and thank you!

ULM ASSOCIATES www.ulm.edu

INDIVIDUALS Dr. & Mrs. Ralph L. Abraham Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Scott Adams William Jeffrey Adcox Mr. & Mrs. John Loyd Albritton Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Mac Allen Chris Allen Jo Ann Alley Mr. & Mrs. Gaston Alvarez Kent Anderson Dr. & Mrs. Harold Glenn Anderson Mr. & Mrs. Sidney S. Anderson Mr. & Mrs. John Gregory Andrews Mr. & Mrs. Milt Andrews Orkan F Arat Eugenie Ann Ardoin Dr. & Mrs. Raymond A. Armstrong Paul Aron Mr. & Mrs. Carl W. Aron Mackie F. Ashton Lance Casey Auttonberry Jeffrey G Babcock Mrs. Toni L. Bacon Ashley Blanchard Barbo Mr. & Mrs. Guy Barr Mr. & Mrs. James O'Molloy Barry Harold G. Bates Maurice Lawrence Batiste Dr. & Mrs. David Gunter Baughman Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Robert Beard Mr. & Mrs. Jeffery Todd Beene Paula Kim Belle Michelle Bemis President & Dr. Ronald L. Berry Mr. & Mrs. Fredrick Murray Biedenharn Sandra C Blake Mr. & Mrs. Barry J. Boudreaux Mr. & Mrs. Irby R. Bourque Dr. Jessica Helmer Brady Dr. & Mrs. Edward Maurice Brayton Dr. Julie Cruse Breithaupt Mr. & Mrs. Matthew William Bridges Mr. & Mrs. Robert M. Brooks

Nathan Daniel Brown Mr. & Mrs. Jerry L. Brown Lillian I. Brown Dr. & Mrs. Nick J Bruno Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin Brady Buffington Virginia Marie Buller Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Dale Bush Mr. & Mrs. Drury H. Bynum Louis M. Caldwell Mr. & Mrs. John Daryl Cameron Dr. & Mrs. Michael A Camille Mr. & Mrs. George M. Campbell Guy Campbell Vicki A. Cansler Billy Carreto Mr. & Mrs. Stewart A. Cathey Stewart Causey Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Chappell Roberta & Pedro Chavarria Mr. & Mrs. William Cheek Kim Christian Pauline & Robert Clark Toni A. Coble Dr. & Mrs. Henry S. Cole Mr. & Mrs. James Michael Collins Mr. & Mrs. Curt Collins Mr. & Mrs. Don Thomas Conlee Mr. & Mrs. Robert Wayne Coons Lynn A. Copeland Jorge Coral G. Adam Cossey Dr. & Mrs. Jeffrey R. Counts Don Couvillon Gina C Craft Mr. & Mrs. Charles Darrel Craft Bobby Craighead John Robert Crain Camile W. Currier Dr. Lawrence J. Danna Mr. & Mrs. Thomas C. Dansby COL. & Mrs. William G. Davies Dr. & Mrs. Jonathan J. Davies Mr. & Mrs. W. Edward Davis

Gretchen Dean Mary Louise Debnam Emily Michelle Debnam Mallory Gayle Debnam Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Lee Denny Mr. & Mrs. Gareld E. DeWitt Dr. Judy H. Diffley Mr. & Mrs. Jimmy N. Dimos Dr. & Mrs. Maynard Dolecheck David B Donald Laura & Todd Dooley Mr. & Mrs. Charles Wesley Dorman Jim Doull Mr. & Mrs. Terry M. Duke Mr. & Mrs. Errol A. Duplantis Ellen R. Eade Mr. & Mrs. Paul Eason Anne R. Eberle Mr. & Mrs. Michael Charles Echols Mr. & Dr. Thomas G. Eddleman LTC Robert R. Edwards Charlotte Eich Mr. & Mrs. R Stewart Ewing Steven Farmer Mr. & Mrs. Douglas T. Farr Paul Taylor Farr Meryl E. Farr Mr. & Mrs. Elton R. Farrar Mr. & Mrs. Gregory Mark Felts Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Ernest Fields Mr. & Mrs. Morgan Flemister Trey Fluitt Gayle H. Frick E. Peyton Frick Nathan Scott Frick Stephen Mark Futrell Mr. & Mrs. Gregory G. Gammill Rita N. Garcia Mr. & Mrs. John B Gardner Beverly R Gaushell Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence A. Giambelluca Mr. & Mrs. Gerald A. Giardina Mr. & Mrs. Ray Glasgow

Mr. & Mrs. Maurice L. Gold Kevin Patrick Goldman Dr. & Mrs. William D. Gordon Mr. & Mrs. Gary G. Graham Alberta Brown Green Brandon Green Mr. & Mrs. Timothy J. Green Mr. & Mrs. James A. Greenlaw Mr. & Mrs. Rory Gresham Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Ryan Grigson John M. Guice Herbert D Guillory Mr. & Mrs. Steven Charles Gullatt Mr. & Mrs. Charles Gwin Dr. & Mrs. Raymond E. Haik Mr. & Mrs. Myrt T. Hales Dr. & Mrs. Henry Hamner Mr. & Mrs. David M. Hampton Mr. & Mrs. J. Keith Hanchey Mr. & Mrs. William Hanks Dr. & Mrs. Robert D Hanser Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Derek Hardy Claude Tyler Harris Mr. & Mrs. William W. Harrison Mr. & Mrs. G. Michael Harvey Margaret Hayes Mr. & Mrs. Larry Joe Head Janis P. Hearn Rene J. Hebert Gin Heflin Christie Hemphill Mr. & Mrs. Charles W. Herold Dr. Leigh Hersey Jamie Michelle Hilburn Mr. & Mrs. Frank Hoffmann Adam T Holland Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Wayne Holubec Linda & Joe Holyfield Mr. & Mrs. Christopher D Holyfield Mr. & Mrs. Leo B. Honeycutt Lena Hoonakker Mr. & Mrs. Gary D. Hoover Mr. & Mrs. William D. Hoover

THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA MONROE ASSOCIATES Mr. & Mrs. Lawson L. Swearingen Mr. & Mrs. Michael Joe Tannehill Mr. & Mrs. Kerry Taranto Mr. & Mrs. Hank Tarver Mr. & Mrs. Clinton Louis Thibodeaux Larry Roy Thomerson Mr. & Mrs. Francis C. Thompson Mr. & Mrs. David Eugene Tisdale Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Michael Tonore Mr. & Mrs. Todd M. Tonore Mr. & Mrs. Tom Torregrossa Mr. & Mrs. Robert B. Toups Mr. & Mrs. Elee Trichel Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Randy Turner Mr. & Mrs. David Turrentine Daniel Loyd Tynes Mr. & Mrs. Ken A. Upshaw Mr. & Mrs. James L. Vallee Mr. & Mrs. William Ray Vallery Mr. & Mrs. John Patton VanVeckhoven Steven Venters Stephen O. Vial Mr. & Mrs. Bernard Viator Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Gus Vines Mr. & Mrs. Paul Eric Von Diezelski Tom A. Walpole Michael A. Walsworth Mr. & Mrs. Ronnie Ward Ruth Ward Dr. & Mrs. Jerry W. Warner Mr. & Mrs. Brooks Watson Martha Weant Mr. & Mrs. Dewey F. Weaver Mr. & Mrs. Ralph M. Webb Mr. & Mrs. John S. Wells Mr. & Mrs. Barry O. White Mr. & Mrs. Larry N. White Mr. & Mrs. Dean K. White Mr. & Mrs. Clyde R. White LaDonna Michelle White Mr. & Mrs. John Mark Wilhite Mr. & Mrs. Glen Williams Dr. Adrienne M. Williams Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Williamson Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth W. Wilson Mr. & Mrs. John Delois Winchester James Wodach Mr. & Mrs. John W. Wong Russell A. Woodard Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Ray Woods Mr. & Mrs. Michael R. Wright Maria L Yiu E. Orum Young Matthew Younse ORGANIZATIONS State Farm Corporate Headquarters Johnny's Pizza House Ronnie Ward Toyota of Ruston Louisiana Charities Trust Towne Pharmacy, LLC Robertson Fruit & Produce, Inc.



Mr. & Mrs. Gregory Russell Poret Stephanie Hoover Porter Mr. & Mrs. Barry Kent Powers Dr. & Mrs. John M. Pratte The Honorable & Mrs. William Holcombe Pryor Mr. & Mrs. Micah John Pulliam Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Dale Quinn Mr. & Mrs. Thomas V. Rabb Mr. & Mrs. Charles L. Ray Dr. & Mrs. William Daniel Raymond Jeff Ready Charles D. Reed Mary LaMarca Rhea Coach & Mrs. Keith Richard James Timothy Rightsell Mr. & Mrs. Dan W. Robertson Dr. & Mrs. Lawrence Alton Robinson Mr. & Mrs. Roger Jack Robison Mr. & Mrs. August T. Rocconi Mr. & Mrs. Adams Rodgers Mr. & Mrs. Dave Rogers Mrs. Cindy M. Rogers Mr. & Mrs. James Robert Rogers Mr. & Mrs. Anthony N. Rome Emmett E. Roulaine Kyle W. Russell Madeline Hoover Salter Connie Mae Harter Sampognaro Laurel A Sampognaro Donna Deane Saterfiel Mr. & Mrs. Michael Savoy Mr. & Mrs. George H. Schaeffer Claire Scioneaux Raymond W. Scriber Mr. & Mrs. C. Ray Scurlock Mr. & Mrs. Stephen K Seale Mr. & Mrs. Ben Sheets Nancy W. Showalter Mr. & Mrs. T. J. Shuflin Michael J. Singley Lawrence Sisung Shannan Shade Smith Roxanne Smith Dr. Ruth E Smith Mr. & Mrs. John M Smith Dr. & Mrs. Gregory W. Smith Rev. & Mrs. Paul Solice Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Lee Spencer Mr. & Mrs. Donald R. Spicer Mrs. Mary Bruyninckx Spicer Coach Louis J. St. Amant Charles Freeman Stamper Mr. & Mrs. Lance Von Stanfill Dr. Martin B. Steffenson Ellen W. Stephenson Stephen Douglas Stephenson Dr. & Mrs. David W. Stewart Dr. Roxie L. Stewart Mr. & Mrs. John W. Storey Mr. & Mrs. William Glenn Swander


Dr. & Mrs. Shawn M Manor Mr. & Mrs. Harvey Marcus Mr. & Mrs. Charles Marsala Mr. & Mrs. Ronald A. Mason Frank E. Maxwell Dr. & Mrs. William G McCown Mr. & Mrs. Lynn E. McCready Mr. & Mrs. Charles R. McDonald Mr. & Mrs. Charles H. McDonald Mr. & Mrs. Scott McDonald Mr. & Mrs. Michael W. McGee Mr. & Mrs. Keith Aubrey McGough Mr. & Mrs. Gaylan Dariel McLin Quinton Medaries Mr. & Mrs. Karl Meeks Mr. & Mrs. Gary Merchant Mr. & Mrs. Robert Miller Elizabeth Miller Al W. Miller Senator & Mrs. Fred Mills Mrs. Jean Mintz Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Mitchell Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Mock Vada Montgomery Mr. & Mrs. David Robert Moore Matthew K. Moore Judge & Mrs. Milton Moore Mr. & Mrs. James Moore, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. Jeremy Moore Mr. & Mrs. James Moore, III Maxine & Brian Moreau Anthony W. Morrison Tim C Morrison Mr. & Mrs. Jay Roy Mount Mr. & Mrs. Walter Mulhearn Billy Myers Denise Lynn Names Mr. & Mrs. Mark Neal Laura N. Neumann Mr. & Mrs. Billy T. Newton Mr. & Mrs. Thomas J. Nicholson Dr. & Mrs. Jon Lance Nickelson Mr. & Mrs. Freddy Nolan Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Scott Nunnelee Terri H. Odom Mr. & Mrs. Kurt G. Oestriecher Meghan Bibaeff Olinger Teri Barr O'Neal Mr. & Mrs. Michael S. Page Dr. & Mrs. Eric A Pani Mr. & Mrs. Shawn Gary Patrick Mr. & Mrs. Robert Charles Payne Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Pederson Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Michael Perry Kent Perry Mr. & Mrs. John W. Perry Mr. & Mrs. Lannie Philley Mrs. Markey Winfield Pierre Mr. & Mrs. Walter J. Pierron Mr. & Mrs. William Wesley Pippin Mr. & Mrs. Victor Pisano


Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Michael Horrell Mr. & Mrs. Erik Joseph Hsu Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Jerald Huckaby Mr. & Mrs. Robert Tyler Huffer Dr. Larry Jacob Humble Mr. & Mrs. Paul E. Hutcheson Mr. & Mrs. J. Michael Inzina Mr. & Dr. Charles E. Jackson Mr. & Mrs. John C. Jackson Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Dewey Jacobs Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Douglas Jacola Robert James Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey L. Johnson Jeanie Michelle Johnson Mr. & Mrs. David R. Johnson Mr. & Mrs. J. Dixon Johnston Mr. & Dr. J. Bishop Johnston Mr. & Mrs. Courtney Terell Joiner Mr. & Mrs. John F. Jones Angylyn Jones Dolores Sue Jones-Brown William Jay Justice Rakesh Karn Michelle Moore Keeley Mr. & Mrs. Paul Joseph Keliher Mr. & Mrs. Derek S. Kennedy Wendy Bedell Kreps Mr. & Mrs. Albert J. Ku Mr. & Mrs. Sunil Kumar Frederica Primm Kushner Mr. & Mrs. Danny Lane Kyle Catherine E. LaGrange Christel McRae Noe Laine Linda Noe Laine Mr. & Mrs. John C. Laird Mr. & Mrs. William E. Laird Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Paul LaMarca Mr. & Mrs. William Land Mr. & Mrs. Cecil A Lara Dr. Rebecca Lynne LaRochelle Mr. & Mrs. Johnny E. Lawrence Robert C. Lebas Helen Ledbetter Mr. & Mrs. Willie Bruce Leggitt Loretta Vigil Lemoine Mr. & Mrs. Phillip M. Lester William J Letson Mr. & Mrs. Jay A. Lewis Mr. & Mrs. Eric Liew Mr. & Mrs. Howard Lynn Lincecum Violet L. Liner Mrs. Anne A. Lockhart Dr. Derle R Long Mr. & Mrs. Jasper Joseph Lovoi Kate Lowery Mr. & Mrs. John O Lowery Clay Lowery Mr. & Mrs. John L. Luffey Joseph "Chip" Lyman Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Louis Maas Mr. & Mrs. Ray A. Mabile





ULM ASSOCIATES www.ulm.edu

Taco Bell St. Joseph Hospice - Monroe Boydland Consulting, LLC Doug Perry Wholesale Cars, Inc. B & L Marine Insurance Systems, Inc. Jay Russell Campaign David Toms Academy 265 Louisiana Construction & Industry SIF Jaydee Corp. Express Employment Professionals S & B Drugs Garrett & Garrett CPA's Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC Louisiana Board of Regents Aron's Pharmacy Fiesta Nutrition Center, Inc. Butter a Louisiana Bakery Vantage Health Plan, Inc. Specialty Drug testing, LLC IberiaBank Greater Washington Community Foundation J.W. Wong Knowledge Enrichment Foundation Community Certified Development Corporation Jim Taylor Chevrolet Catfish Cabin of Monroe Gray Television Grp Cross Keys Bank Audit Litigation Training & Efficiency Cons., Inc. D B Real Estate, Inc Progressive Bank Regions Bank North Louisiana Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Clinic Workforce Development Board 83 James Machine Works, Inc. National Public Media Argent Financial Group, Inc. LA Construction Group, LLC Flair Jewelers Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana The Paper Market, LLC Bill Hardy's Inc. Hertz Rent A Car Licensee HET Consulting, LLC Lousiana Bancshares, Inc Land 3 Architect St. Paul's United Methodist Church Paramount Healthcare Consultants Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation LaSalle Management Company Lazenby & Associates, Inc. Arthur J Gallagher & Co. Trinity Diamonds Noe Asset Management, LLC Mid South Extrusion, Inc. Oleolive LLC Segue Science Labs LLC

Boundary Waters Enterprises, Inc. Janise Mcmillon Insurance Schwab Charitable Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Pearson Education Dream Wash Express Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) Northeast Louisiana Arts Council Pfizer Inc Holyfield Construction Origin Bank Lamyville Investors, LLC Kitty DeGree Foundation Mary Goss Charities Region VIII Mental Health Community Response Task Force The Woman's Clinic Richland State Bank/Fred Morgan Memorial Scholarship Border Olympics, Inc. NE Delta Human Services Authority LA State Licensing Board for Contractors Mildred Summers Maurer Testamentary Trust Walgreens Northminster Church Gordon's Drug Store, Inc. Business Connections, Inc. C&C Drugs, Inc. Ruston Farmer's Market Curt Collins Farms Architecture + Greg Manley, Jr. Insurance Agency, LLC Bart Dornier Insurance Agency, Inc. Scott Powerline & Utility Equipment Battlefield Discount Drugs St. Francis Medical Center Auxiliary Newman, Oliveaux, & Magee, LLP Kimpa Hayes Boyd, CPA, LLC Walton Construction - A. Core Company, LLC Grant Chiropractic LLC Morehouse General Hospital The Reserve on Bayou Desiard, LLC Stallings & Associates CPA's, PLLC The Dial Family Foundation First National Bank Traxler Construction Co. Levee Gallery First United Methodist Church Skent-n-Dent National Christian Foundation Alabama The Community Foundation of North Louisiana Beene's Healthmart Drug Brown & Lee Realty LLC Louisiana Cancer Foundation for Research and Education Tag Rome Insurance Agency, Inc. Randall's Fine Meats

Garvin Enterprises, Inc. MidSouth Contractors Supply, LLC Eagle Ridge Ranch Partnership Woods Family Mineral Company AmWins Group, Inc CVS Health Tisdale Converting LLC AOSS Medical Supply, Inc. Louisiana Plastic Industries, Inc. Opierx, Inc Glenwood Regional Medical Center Learfield Communications, Inc Bayou Benefit Counseling, L.L.C. Waterfront Grill Mitchiner-Gittinger Family Foundation Harper Family Foundation JPS Aviation, LLC Louisiana Independent Pharmacies Association, Inc. LIPA Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation Cashway Pharmacy of Scott Enterprise Holdings Foundation Williamson Consulting Group, LLC Park Hill Fine Art Portaits Louisiana Pharmacists Association JPS Equipment, LLC Waste Connections, Inc. Clarus Corp. Big Shot Bob Enterprise, LLC Integrity Capital Research, LLC Dalton A. Leblanc Insurance Agency, Inc. Evans Oil Company, Inc. McKay Consulting R2 Rentals LLC Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Charitable Adult Rides & Services, Inc. Ron Bush Insurance Agency, Inc. Coastal Risk Services Marion State Bank HomesPlus Manufactured Housing, Inc. McCK Enterprises Donald Farms Inc. Southern Strategy Partners LLC Smith Capital Holdings, LLC Hand Construction, LLC RSUI Indemnity Company The Medicine Shoppe Cajun Industries, LLC Grand Council Chapter Masonic Foundation of LA The Martin Foundation Como Charitable Foundation, Inc. Yancey's Health Mart Pharmacy Unique Trophies & Awards OEDC Land Corporation TBA Studio Monroe/West Monroe Convention & Visitors Bureau Lagniappe Rehabilitation Services

Central Management Company Blue Heron Homes, Llc Anderson Community Development Foundation Mixon, Carroll & Frazier,PLLC Chauvin Plaza Caldwell Bank & Trust Co. Farmers Grain Terminal, Inc. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company Pfizer Foundation Nabholz Charitable Foundation Stewart A. Cathey Companies, LLC M. J. Kelly Company Arkansas Centric Federal Credit Union Dianne Wroten Insurance Agency, Inc. Homeland Federal Savings Bank W. Elton Kennedy Foundation One Source Medical Management, Inc. Montgomery Poultry Co. Hudson, Potts & Bernstein Joe Banks Drywall & Acoustics Entergy Services, Inc. Harris, Madden & Powell Lincoln Builders, Inc. Caridad Foundation Van-Trow Toyota Copeland Electric Company T & K Holdings, LLC Little & Associates, LLC CenturyLink Ouachita Parish Women's Republican Club ServiceMaster Action Cleaning J. E. Dupuy Flooring & Acoustical, Inc. JBJ Foundation, Inc. Medical Pharmacy, Inc. The Radio People Contractors Educational Trust Fund Thomas H. & Mayme P. Scott Foundation Scott Truck Scott Financial Services, L.L.C. Louisiana Wholesale Drug Company, Inc. CRC Insurance Services, Inc. Strauss Interests Jean and Saul A. Mintz Foundation Sparks Nissan Kia Mabile's Corner Pharmacy Woods Family Investment Company, LLC B & J Pitre Pharmacy, Inc. Friendly Finance Corporation West Monroe Civitans Club Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Geno's Italian Restaurant Franklin State Bank & Trust Co. KEDM In-Sync Accounting & Consulting




James Young, Ph.D. (B.A. ’67) retired from 33 years of service as professor of English at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Dr. Young, from Ferriday, taught English for three years at Ouachita Parish High School from l967 to 1970. He is the author of the literary biography, “Brainard Cheney and The Search for a Hero.”


James “Jim” Galpin Jr. (BS ’69) retired with Jim Galpin & Associates. Col.(Ret) Everette L. Roper, Jr. (BS ‘69) and Kathryn (Kay) Seale Roper (BA ‘71) celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with a twoweek trip to the Holy Land traveling through Israel and Jordan. The Ropers were married on January 25, 1969. Everette is a 30 year US Army veteran and was Project Manager for Flight School XXI Simulations in Daleville, AL. Kay, a charter member of Kappa Delta at ULM, is a retired educator who live in Enterprise, Alabama. The Roper’s children are all active duty Army families and include Rana (BS 1994 and MS 1996) and COL Rob (BS 1993 and RN 1996) Holcek, Ft. Benning, GA; Karyn (BS 1999) and MAJ Jeff Shelnutt, Ft. Sam Houston, TX; and MAJ Jake and Jamie Roper, Ft. Shafter, HI. Five members of the Roper family have served in the United States Army for a combined total of 80 years and still counting! God has blessed Everette and Kay, who met at Northeast, with a loving family and seven precious grandchildren. Billy J. Johnson (BS ’70) is an army veteran, past Vice President of Tudor Inc., and is currently Chairman of the Board. James Galbavy (BS ’70) is retired from the US Army and is a trained first responder in Vietnam


Ivian C. Smith (BA '71) is completing, with British co-author Nigel West, a second edition to their previously published Historical Dictionary of Chinese Intelligence to be published in mid 2020. He lives in Virginia's Tidewater area with his wife Carla Lenard Smith (BA '68) and two Arabian horses. Ivian and Carla are both active in volunteer work in the community.

Michael D. Lee (BS ’80) has worked in the field of bioremediation (microbiological treatment of organic contaminants) at Biosystems, DuPont Environmental Services, DuPont Central Research and Development, and now at Terra Systems for the last 22 years.



Camile Currier (BS ’73) retired from the University of Louisiana Monroe after 50 years at the university. Most recently, he was vice president of Student Affairs.


Jimmy Mayes (BS ’74) worked across the US for various mechanical firms. The last 23 years of his career was with Murray Company from the Los Angeles area (Rancho Dominquez, CA.) He is currently back home in Grayson, LA enjoying retirement. Janis Mickles Hernandez (BA '74) has been elected President of the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association. She was sworn in at LRTA's Spring Meeting In April in Natchitoches, LA. Mrs. Hernandez currently serves as First Vice-President and previously served as Second Vice-President of the organization. She is looking forward to traveling throughout the state, serving and representing members, while “Striving to Make Retirement Years Great!” Mrs. Hernandez retired as a Special Education Teacher from the Jefferson Parish Public School System.


David W. Embry (BS ’75) recently retired from BASF Corporation as a mechanical reliability



Stephen D. Wheelis (BA ’81) was appointed by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to serve as a Bankruptcy Judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Louisiana at Alexandria and Monroe.


Tammi Arender (AA ’82) has recently moved to Fort Worth and works for RFD-TV. Todd Roberts (BS ’82) President of ERS, Inc. will serve as National President of the Associated General Contractors in 2025.


Dr. I. Richmond Nettey (BS - ‘83, MBA ‘85), is currently serving as President of the Safety Division of ATMAE (the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering.) In 2016, Dr. Nettey became the first tenured full Professor of Aeronautics in the history of the Aeronautics Program in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.


John Landrum Jr. (BS ’85) is currently the superintendent for Sherrill Construction in Tyler, TX. They construct Cavender Western Stores across the United States. Daniel Stewart (BS ‘85) has been named manager of Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) for MVHS Laboratory Services. In this



with “Vets for a Mission.”




role, Stewart will provide leadership to the LIS team and manage the processes of all laboratory information software components for both the St. Elizabeth and St.Luke’s campuses.



Michael Monroe (BS ’89) recently celebrated his 26th anniversary with Kiewit Infrastructure Company. Currently, he is finishing a construction program consisting of 8 projects for the city and county of Denver.


Kelly M. Kemp (BS ’90) is currently the Assistant Bridge Design Administrator for the LA DOTD.


Randy Rhymes (BS ’94) is a residential building contractor in Monroe.


Jenny Hopkins Pankey (BGS ’97) has been promoted to interim alumni director.


Brandon Dardeau (BBA '99) was recently appointed as President and COO at Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, MS. Daudeau has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry.



Robert Keith Roegner (BS ‘01) was promoted to Director of Turn-Key Projects/Field Construction Services in 2019 with WPS Industries Group/ Industrial Service Solutions. He has been married to Kristi Tate Roegner for 30 years and they have 2 children & 1 granddaughter. They enjoy teaching martial arts, hunting, fishing, cruising the Bahamas & hiking in the Ozark Mountains. Andrew Blackburn (BS ’01) Argent Financial Group announced that he has joined the company as property manager for the Argent Mineral Management division in the Ruston, Louisiana corporate office. Andrew graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

2010 Sarah Chappell Hubbard (BS ’10) and her husband Lael are happy to announce the birth of their son, Luca Thomas. Sarah and Lael live in Austin, TX.


Angel Ferrand-Starr ( BA ‘14) is currently a 5th Grade ELA Teacher at Sallie Humble Elementary School for Monroe City Schools. Since winning ULM's “Got Talent” in 2014, Angel Starr has become a well-respected independent gospel recording artist. She has traveled and spread the news of Jesus Christ in many states. This summer Angel's Music charted on the Nielsen BDS Internet Radio Panel. Angel has been nominated for several awards for her singles, Lift Him Up and I Know Jesus. In June of 2019, Angel became a licensed minister at her church, Grace Pointe where she serves on the women's leadership team. Angel just self-published her first book, Class Is In Session in December of 2019. Angel enjoys life with her husband, Roderick Starr and children AmberGrace & Roderick Jr. Tara Etheridge (BS ’14) started a position at VCOM-Louisiana as the Application Services Specialist, and is beyond excited to be back on the bayou and affiliated with ULM. Dani Martin Walker (BS ’14) began working for VCOM- Louisiana as the Director for Medical Education. She earned her EdD in Higher Education from Texas A&M- Commerce and her and her husband Wade Walker (BS ’16) welcomed their 2nd child Celia Shray Walker into the world on August 6th. Caleb Smith (BA '14) (MPA, 17) transitioned to a new position with Hagerty Consulting in Washington, DC. Hagerty has quickly become the go-to consulting firm for emergency management

and homeland security issues in the U.S. Hagerty's work includes some of the nation’s largest recovery and preparedness projects in more than 30 states, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy.


Deano Casola (BGS ’16) works for his father-inlaw at Dupuy Flooring. He and his wife Rebecca are expecting their first child in May of 2020. James Rockett (BS ’16) is currently completing his real estate appraiser license. He and his wife Kaitlyn (BBA ’16) welcomed their second daughter in October. Jake Caldwell (BS’16) is a Measurements-whiledrilling (MWD) directional driller with Premier Directional Drilling.


Mattie Eloiese Kincannon (BBA ’17) was commissioned as a United States Marine Corps second lieutenant in November 2019. Christopher Pickett (BS ’17) recently relocated back to Houston, TX after careers in Dallas and Washington, DC. He currently works for Memorial Hermann Health System as a Provider Relations Rep for the hospitals’ health plan. Since being back in Houston, TX he recently finished his Masters of Science in Health Administration in Dec 2019.


Robert “Bob” McFarland (ABC ‘18) served as the Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since leaving Washington DC, he has served on various Boards of both public and private corporations. Currently he is serving on the Board of Xplore Technologies Corp, a public company based in Austin, TX (XPLR {OTC}). He is a passionate amateur fly fisherman.


Chris Harris (BGS '04) was recently announced as the Washington Redskins new defensive back coach. Harris was a 4 year starting safety at ULM, a former NFL safety with four different franchises, and has been coaching since 2013. He spent the past four seasons as the assistant defensive backs coach for the Los Angeles Chargers.


Jessica Helmer Brady (PharmD ‘07), was promoted to the rank of Clinical Professor, School of Clinical Sciences, in the ULM College of Pharmacy. Jessica was also recently recognized for 10 years of service at ULM. She resides in West Monroe with her husband Jacob, and daughters Nora, Helen and Ruby. Melissa Kiper (MBA '07) recently took a position as Instructor of Marketing in the College of Business and Social Sciences at ULM.



Andrew Olinde, Jr. (MBA ‘08) is currently the Benefits Consultant for Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Agency and has a new addition to his family – Andrew Olinde III. photos provided by Special Collections & Archives




Joseph Beard (BS '09) Dr. Toni Lowe (’00 BBA) DeAndre Alexander ('08 BGS) Lacy Durham ('01 BBA) Monica Butler ('05 BBA) Dejaneiro “DJ” Davis (BBA '99, MAT '13, M.Ed. '18) Justin Mailhes (BBA ‘13) Thad Schaeffer (Alumni by Choice) Lance Futch (BBA '95) Dr. Jeff Hood (BA '91, MA '94) Doug Nielsen (BA '08)

JANUARY 2020 Artist R. Holland Charles H. Beach Gail C. Parker Melinda Brown Rhonda L. Mann FEBRUARY 2020 Mike J. Bee Stephanie H. Doughty MARCH 2020 Frances Rucks MAY 2020 Carl A. Kogut Catherine T. Wilson Connie Lewis Charles E. Holloway Deborah McClung-Guillory Larry R. Anderson Mara C. Loeb Mary B. Wortham Rhonda A. Hensley Sherlyn Powell Steven A. Pederson JUNE 2020 Camile Currier Dr. Nick J. Bruno Virginia Eaton

Jennifer Ables (BA '97, MS '99) Mary Linda McCann (BBA ’91, MBA ’98)

JULY 2020 Sheila A. Mahon

Robert Wright (BA '12, MA '20) Kyle Russell (BBA '85) Dr. Grace Cascio-Houston (BS '64, MS '74)

Complete bios are available at alumni.ulm.edu/page/board

AUGUST 2020 Betty Fox Donald R. Newton Linda Tarver SEPTEMBER 2020 Dorothy A. Davis Nancy A. Dowd OCTOBER 2020 Karen A. Crowley

Jimmy Lewis Amy Lewis Michael Lindsey Violet Liner Doris Lockard Salleye Mahaffey Peter McAleney Karen McMorris Errol Miller Louise Mitchell Chad Montgomery Michael Moran Mark Moreno Glenda Morris Trapper Munn Tricia Nadler Louis Nelson Dennis Nichols Gertrude Nix James Nix Berle Palmer Louis Pipes Cheri Pittman Faye Poag Tracy Redding Robert Reddy Lucius Riley Kirby Russell Robert Scelfo Lavern Schmidt Chadwick Sit Ronald Speyrer Dorothy Stevens Maidye Strickland Frank Swayze Glenn Temple Donald Tippen James Touchet Philip Trahan Ardice Trapp Charles Traylor Dan Trimble David Tschabold Geoffrey Underwood Urcine Walker Sandy Walker Don Wattigny Raymond Westbrook Lee Wigzell Barbara Willbanks Reba Williamson Joe Wilson Jack Wilson Idella Wooley Van Work Dwayne Yeager Norma Young Don Zimmerman


Charles Archibald Ellis Auttonberry Nancy Baggette Terri Barnes Robert Baucum Freddy Bayles Donald Blackmon Teresa Bond Bonnie Boudreaux Sharon Bratton Allen Bratton Richard Brown Steward Brown Barbara Browning Larry Cannon Marvin Cantrell James Chambers James Chambers Curtis Chambless Thomas Chambliss Martha Colvin James Cook Thad Cooper Franklin Crawford David Creed Sally Crenshaw Jan Culpepper James Daniels Amy Day George Decuir Ronald Donaldson Kristi Dumas Robert Earle Audie Edwards Irma Elam Claude Eppinette Janet Flurry Jackie Ford Devona Fowler Janelle Frost Johnnie Fuller Fred Galler Charles Garretson Larry Gene Cecil Graham Carl Gray Bobby Green Mark Greer Deborah Grimmett Mary Guillory Harvey Guillot Dinisa Hardley-Folmar Elsie Harrell Joan Harwood Terry Hayden Dorothy Head Valerie Hill Linda Hobgood Kay Holloway Wanda Honey Kelly Hudnall James Johnson Cecil Johnson Nathan Johnson Charles Joiner Philip Keifenheim Blane Kelly Armande Kennedy Hazel Kirkland Roxie Kovac Brooke Land Paula Lawrence Alvin Leach




DECEMBER 2019 Brenda B. Price Robert C. Eisentadt



PRESIDENT Julie Harlan O'Brien (BA ‘80)


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ULM Magazine FALL 2020 • VOLUME 20