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ULM Reginald F. Lewis scholar and facilitator study abroad in Paris

Published May 30, 2023

RFL Paris

CAPTION:(L-R) ULM TRIO Programs Retention Coordinator Tommie Nelson, UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson, and ULM Reginald F. Lewis Scholar Carl Whitlock pose in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  

MONROE, LA –During the Spring 2023 semester, members of the ULM Reginald F. Lewis Scholars program had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, France for a week. Facilitator Tommie Nelson, Retention Coordinator of ULM TRIO Programs, and TRIO Participant Carl Whitlock, ULM Reginald F. Lewis Scholar, attended the trip along with other RFL Scholars representing each university in the UL System.  

The University of Louisiana System Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program specifically recruits black males and provides them with educational programs, mentoring opportunities, and co-curricular experiences to enhance outcomes. The initiative is funded by the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation and other private donors. As part of the UL System Reginald F. Lewis Program, scholars are required to participate in faculty-led research and the study abroad program. The international component took place over two semesters during the scholar’s junior year. 

“Study abroad allows individuals to develop cultural competency through immersive experiences. The Scholars witnessed French culture classically — walking through vibrant streets, savoring the cuisine and enjoying monuments. Their understanding deepened by presenting at a Parisian University, attending lectures at The Sorbonne and witnessing Paris’ current civil unrest and protest,” stated Dr. Claire Norris, Vice President of Advancement with the UL System. 

The RFL Scholars, representing each university in the UL System, attended lectures at the world-renowned Sorbonne University, and the scholars then gave an excellent presentation at the Leonardo Da Vinci University. Some of the events were attended by UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson, ULM SGA President and UL System Student Representative Ethan Estis, the Louisiana Black Caucus, and several UL System Reginald F. Lewis Program sponsors.  

“Dr. Claire Norris at the University of Louisiana System runs an immaculate program - the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program,” said Estis. “Because of this ever-changing trip, these scholars have truly experienced what it means to excel in academics, community, and career engagement. It was an honor to be part of this historic trip, and I look forward to seeing this program continue to change the lives of Louisiana's brightest!” he continued.  

RFL Scholar Carl Whitlock said, “Paris is more than just a place for tourists to visit or the Eiffel Tower. The art made me realize that there is much more culture in the world than what I've seen and done in Louisiana." 

The 2023 Paris, France Study Abroad Trip was an experience that the Reginald F. Lewis scholars will forever cherish,” said Nelson. 

For more information about the ULM Reginald F. Lewis Scholars program, click here.