ULM logo
44 best and brightest high schoolers attend ULM President’s Academy

Published June 30, 2017

Olivia Barfield 

Special to ULM 

The President’s Academy at the University of Louisiana Monroe concluded its sixth year as a renowned college preparatory program for academically excelling high school students, June 24-28. 

The five-day program partners with regional employers to provide select high school scholars a real-world experience in one of several career paths. This year, students were able to work with drone technology in the new unmanned aerial systems course. Students can also gain experience in the fields of law, computer science, health science and physical science.

“The President’s Academy gave participants unparalleled access to career opportunities with innovative companies located in northeast Louisiana. It was exciting to watch their interest in these careers blossom over the course of just one week,” said President’s Academy Director Dr. Joshua Stockley.

Companies participating in the academy were CenturyLink, Universal Health Conway, St. Francis Medical Center, P&S Surgical, Escamilla and Poneck LLP, ANGUS Chemical Company, Monroe Surgical Hospital and the Ouachita Council on Aging.

Students learned both on and off campus during the President’s Academy. While excursions to local real-world work sites immersed students in the career paths of their choice, in-course lessons, lectures and lab experiments allowed them to get a taste of what’s to come during their college years.

Teamwork is a significant part of the academy as well. Students are divided into “X-Teams” to develop an action plan and solution to combat a fictional pandemic, which is presented to them at the beginning of the week. 

“The pandemic project we were presented with, while challenging, was very interesting and taught our team to use each of our special abilities to teach one another,” said Alaina Edwards, a participant in the medical science program of the academy. 

On the final day of the academy, students present their solution to a panel of judges. The winning group receives a scholarship that is applied to their upcoming semester at the university.

“I was impressed, and the judges were impressed, by their ability to rise to the challenge in such a short time. These students are assuredly going to be among our next group of difference makers,” Stockley said. 

All students attending the academy receive a one-hour college credit. This year, 44 students attended from Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas and Georgia.

For more information about the President’s Academy, visit ulm.edu/presidentsacademy.

President’s Academy participants: 

Gage Reed, Stephanie Nguyen, Aaron Wilson, Mary Lo, Myles Fabre, Brandon Kamath, Devyn Alexander, Kathryn Golson, Alaina Edwards, Trinity Moore, Jake Odom, Claire Padilla, Symphanie Arvie, Hudson Hargrave, Brandon Bell, Aalayah Levy, Kara Carter, Emily Rushing, Skylar Killins, Makayla Price, Zachary Morris, Emory Marsh, Blake Heck, Dekilah Williams, Kaitlynn Williams, Camille Hollier, Margaret Britton, Trace Hilbun, Savannah Sharp, Alexa Gray, Creek Baham, Skyler Whetstone, Ashja Mitchell, Macie Railsback, Caitlyn Guidry, Carmin Velasquez, Nicholas Marx, Ashlyn Piker, Joseph Cordill, Robert Stewart, Cassidy Miller, Laken Hancock, Shelby Spruell and Madelyn Deplantis.