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Fall 2006 Outstanding Graduates

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette will honor eight Outstanding Graduates during Fall 2006 commencement exercises December 16.

These eight students will be recognized during Graduate School commencement at 5:30 p.m. in the Cajundome. The UL Lafayette Alumni Association will name one of the students as its Fall 2006 Outstanding Graduate during the ceremony. Deans of the university's eight academic colleges nominate the honorees.

Allison Bohl
Allison Bohl
The College of the Arts has selected Allison Bohl as its outstanding graduate for the Fall 2006 semester.

The daughter of Al and Doris Bohl, she will graduate with a 3.87 grade point average with a bachelor's degree in visual arts. A recipient of The Marvin and Ann Dubose Scholarship, Bohl is a member of the Honors Convocation and has been on the Dean's List since 2002.

Bohl is a founding member of the Mise en Scéne Society and a member of Students Promoting Environmental Action and Knowledge. She is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the UL Cinematic Arts Program.

Her community service included creating a documentary on “The Building Character Workshops” for the Robinson Film Center, Shreveport Regional Arts Counsel and Volunteers of America.

Bohl is the Director, Co-director, Cinematographer and Editor of six films that have been shown around Louisiana, including “I Always Do My Collars First” which will premier in Bayou Bijou and the University Art Museum.

After graduation, Bohl plans on working in Lafayette at the Digital Media Stock Market until receiving notice of acceptance from graduate schools across the country.

Melissa Manuel
Melissa Manuel
Melissa Manuel, a senior in accounting, has been selected as the outstanding graduate for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.

Manuel, the daughter of Richard and Kateri Manuel of Lafayette, is also earning a degree in Spanish. She has earned a grade point average of 3.9 during her career in the College of Business. She is the recipient of the A.L. Barcelona Scholarship; Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society Scholarship; a scholarship from the Modern Language Department of UL Lafayette to study in Guadalajara, Mexico; the Accounting Departmental scholarship; and the Zonta International District 10 Jane M. Klausman scholarship.

She is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary organization for accounting students. She is also the current president for Phi Eta Sigma and the secretary for the Spanish honor society Sigma Delta Pi. As part of her service with Beta Alpha Psi, Manuel participates in tutoring students in accounting and in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sessions for the community.

Through her scholarships, Manuel was afforded the opportunity to travel to Spain and Mexico in order to study Spanish abroad. After graduation, she plans to teach English in Mexico and then return to the United States to earn her certification in public accounting. Eventually, she would like to work toward a master's in business administration with a focus on international business.

Marisa Weems
Marissa Weems
With a 3.87 grade point average, Marisa Weems, a senior in elementary education, has been named the outstanding graduate for the College of Education.

The daughter of Steven and Jackie Weems of Lafayette, she has been included on the Dean's list from Fall 2001 through Spring 2006. Earning the W.H. Hollingsworth Endowed Scholarship and the Joan and Alexander Haig Endowed Scholarship, Weems was nominated for outstanding junior and outstanding senior in her college.

Weems earned ETS Recognition of Excellence for outstanding scores on the Elementary Education Content Knowledge of PRAXIS and for outstanding scores on the Principles of Learning and Teaching K-6. She is a member lf Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society and was a member of the UL Lafayette AmeriCorps.

She served as a Team Captain for the Rutherford Beach Cleanup Service Project and served as a member on various committees, earning AmeriCorps Mid-service Responsibility Award. Weems is a Red Cross Volunteer Coordinator as well as a Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults tutor.

To enhance scholarship, Weems co-presented sessions on the Louisiana Black Bear Game and the Leopold Education Project at the Eleventh Annual Environmental Education Symposium.

After graduation, she plans to pursue a career as an elementary educator in a low-socio-economic setting in Lafayette or the surrounding area, and then work toward a graduate degree.

Mary Elizabeth Arton
Mary Elizabeth Arton
The College of Engineering has chosen Mary Elizabeth Arton as the Outstanding Graduate for the Fall 2006 semester. She will graduate with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering, maintaining a grade point average of 3.74 during her career.

The daughter of Juanita Bodin and Kenny Arton, she is a resident of Lafayette. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards and is a participant in the University Honors Program. Arton was named to Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities in 2005 and 2006. During her course of study, she earned the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Dallas Section Scholarship for Academic Achievement; Society of Petroleum Engineers, Lou Ark Section Scholarship for Academic Achievement, Gregory S. McClelland Endowed Scholarship; Society of Petroleum Engineers, Evangeline Section Auxiliary Scholarship; Louisiana Engineering Society, New Orleans Chapter Scholarship and a scholarship for the USA-Brazil study abroad program through the United States Department of Education.

She has held office and been a member of the Louisiana Engineering Society for four years and has been a member of Phi Epsilon Tau, Petroleum Engineering Honor Society, for two years. She is also a member of the Student Society of Petroleum Engineers, and American Association of Drilling Engineers and the Young Exploration and Production Professionals.

When not participating in extracurricular activities, Arton volunteers with Volunteers in Parks, the United Way and United Blood Services. Through her work with Chevron, she has volunteered with Food Net.

Each summer since 2003, Arton has been an intern for Chevron Exploration and Production Corporation. Upon graduation, she has accepted a job offer from Chevron Corporation to work in Lafayette as a Field Operations Engineer.

Jacob Moak
Jacob Moak
Jacob Moak, general studies senior from St. Martinville, has been named the outstanding graduate for the College of General Studies. Moak will graduate with a 3.9 grade point average and is the son of Weldon and Anita Moak.

Nominated for Who's Who Among University Students, Moak has been on the Dean's list during his tenure at the University. He is a member of the Anthropology Society as well as the Baptist Collegiate ministry where he served on the worship leadership team.

Involved with church life, Moak served as a Southern Baptist representative and peacemaker among the Messanic and Reform Jews of Beth Chesed. He has also been the shofar blower for the opening ceremonies at the Regional Baptist Associational Meeting. Giving back to the community he has worked for the Acadiana Circle of Friends Respite Center as a family support attendant.

After graduation Moak plans to move to New Orleans to attend the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he will work toward a Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies. He also has an interest in church ministry and mission work.

Jennifer Riley
Jennifer Riley
The College of Liberal Arts has chosen Jennifer Riley, senior in Child and Family Studies, as its outstanding graduate for the Fall 2006 semester.

Riley, whose grade point average is a 3.95, is the daughter of Carl and Linda Riley of Lafayette. A member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Riley consistently made the Dean's List during her time at UL Lafayette. She was the recipient TOPS Scholarship, UL Lafayette Academic Scholarship, Lance corporal Daniel Lewis Memorial Endowed Scholarship, and the Junior League of Lafayette Endowed Scholarship for Chile and Family Studies. Riley was also named to Who's Who Among American College Students in 2004.

Participating in campus activities, Riley is a student leader with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and a volunteer with the Cajun Buddies Program. She is also a Best Buddies Volunteer where she spends time with people who have mental disabilities.

She currently holds an internship with the Hospice of Acadia assisting the Community Resource Team in designing fliers, pamphlets and logos. Riley also assists the volunteer coordinator with preparations for the volunteer in-services, and produces the monthly newsletter for the volunteers. She has also accompanied social workers and chaplains to patient's homes.

Riley works for the local YMCA, running an after school program at Broadmoor Elementary School. With this program, Riley works with more than 60 children on homework and other activities, focusing on mentoring and maintaining personal relationships with the children.

After graduation Riley plans to return back to UL Lafayette to earn her masters degree in counseling. She would like to open a family counseling organization with her fiancé. Further in the future, she would like to participate in mission work at a Cambodian orphanage.

Jordan Sonnier
Jordan Sonnier
With a 3.14 grade point average, Jordan Sonnier has been selected as the outstanding graduate for the College of Nursing. Sonnier, the son of Stephanie Sonnier, will receive his bachelor's degree in nursing.

During the summers of 2003 and 2004, he marched with the Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps based out of Jacksonville, Alabama. He was also a member of the Pride of Acadiana Marching Band and a trumpeter for the University Wind Ensemble.

As a member of the Rotoract Club, Sonnier will travel to Honduras to be part of the “Glasses for Honduras” project to acquire old reading glasses for the citizens of the country. During the 2005 hurricane season, Sonnier volunteered with the Red Cross at the Cajundome taking blood pressures and doing initial assessments to help with diagnosis of medical conditions.

After graduation, Sonnier plans to gain experience in critical care nursing. He also plans to enroll in graduate school to earn a master's as an adult nurse practitioner and a masters of business degree in hospital administration.

Mary Coleen McCabe
Mary Coleen McCabe
Mary Coleen McCabe has been named outstanding graduate for the College of Sciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

McCabe, the daughter of Peggy McCabe, is a native of Lafayette. Graduating with a 3.84 grade point average in computer science, she has the highest GPA in the department, an honor she has held since her sophomore year.

A member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, McCabe has been on the Dean's list for eight semesters. She was appointed by the president as a member of the STEP Committee.

Outside of the classroom, McCabe is a volunteer for the Louisiana Computer Programming Classic and she also volunteers her services to members to the community when they have problems troubleshooting computer glitches.

After graduation McCabe plans to attend graduate school at UL Lafayette's Center for Advanced Computer Studies.