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ULM Honors Program students present research at Southern Regional Honors Council conference

The University of Louisiana Monroe Honors Program joined the annual meeting of the Southern Regional Honors Council from March 31 to April 2 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Joshua Stockley, Ph.D., Director of the ULM Honors Program, was accompanied by eight students – Emmanuel Perez, senior biology major; Michael Hollman, senior mathematics major; Caitlyn Cullen, junior political science major; Uchechi Owunna, senior toxicology major; Nautica Jones, senior biology major; Alisha Lirette, senior biology major; Blaine Warren, senior political science major; and Ariana Yelverton, senior biology major.

Seven of these students presented research.

Attending the conference were honors students and administrators from colleges and universities across the southern region of the United States.

"Our honors students received tremendous accolades and positive feedback for their research," Stockley said. "They created connections with students and administrators from other universities and represented the university and the ULM Honors Program well. I am so proud of them."

Owunna presented "Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of 1,3-Diarylpyrazoles: in vitro Cytotoxicity Studies on Melanoma Cancer Cells."

"I thoroughly enjoyed attending the different presentations of not only STEM-related research work but also the work of other students in the social sciences field. My understanding of the social issues and the political system in the United States of America has been expanded," Owunna said.

Perez shared the "Effectiveness of Stress Reduction Interventions in College Students During Finals Week." Perez felt that this experience expanded his knowledge that he could take past his undergraduate time.

"Through the ULM Honors Program Thesis, I was able to express my creativity and challenge my intellect beyond the classroom. SRHC provided me with a platform to humbly share my research endeavor with various Honors students from around the southern region," Perez said.

Lirette presented "One Night Without a Home."

Yelverton presented "Effectiveness of Aromatherapy Scents in Reducing Canine Stress in a Veterinary Setting." Yelverton enjoyed meeting other students within the Southern region.

"I enjoyed SRHC because it allowed me to share my thesis research and hear scholarly feedback from my colleagues. I was also able to create connections with seniors from other honors programs across the South and be inspired by their research," Yelverton said.

Jones presented "Saving Louisiana's Last Chenier."

"I am grateful for the experience to attend and present at SRHC. It was an unparalleled opportunity for networking and professional development," Jones said.

Warren presented "The Effects of Political Corruption in Contemporary Louisiana." He felt supported in his endeavors by many in the ULM community.

"I had the help of many wonderful people, one of whom was my thesis adviser, Dr. Dumas, who prepared me for a professional conference setting," Warren said. "I learned so much, and I met so many people to collaborate and share data to further my research."

Hollman presented "An Investigation into the Relationship between Louisiana Community Banks‚ Lending Practices and Profitability." Hollman appreciated the opportunity to contribute and was inspired by his peers' research.

"I had never been to an honors program conference before, so I wasn't sure what to expect going in. I thought my presentation would be the highlight of the trip; however, the congregation of so many ambitious and curious minds led to an amazing experience throughout my entire time at the conference," Hollman said.

Cullen did not present but still learned much from her experience, including how to develop a thesis.

"SRHC allowed me to gain insight into peer research and the development of a thesis," Cullen said. "I was given an opportunity to see how a question evolves into a student-led research project with the help of mentors, fellow students, and campus resources."

The Southern Regional Honors Council is an educational organization that promotes and advances Honors Programs and Honors Colleges in the southern United States. SRHC currently comprises more than 100 member institutions, hosts an annual conference, publishes a literary arts journal, Sanctuary, and provides a variety of grants to support student efforts to engage in NCHC-sponsored experiential learning and leadership in honors organizations.

The ULM Honors Program is a unique program within ULM that seeks intellectually curious students who desire to challenge themselves with new ideas and work with similarly motivated students. The program is open to all majors and works within all degree programs. Honors students are exposed to more in-depth topics and work closely with faculty in smaller courses.

For more information about the Honors Program, contact Dr. Joshua Stockley at stockley@ulm.edu or 318-342-3216 or visit ulm.edu/honors.