Outstanding Graduates chosen to represent the eight academic colleges at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will be honored during commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 15. The UL Lafayette Alumni Association will name the Fall 2007 Outstanding Graduate during Graduate School ceremonies at 5:30 p.m. in the Cajundome.
Selected by the Alumni Association Awards Committee, the award is based on leadership, scholarship and service. The eight finalists are nominated by the deans of their respective colleges. These students include Lacey LeBlanc of Lafayette, Arts; Robert Terrell of Lafayette, Business Administration; Jessica Oalmann of Lafayette, Education; Ramon Boudreaux of Youngsville, Engineering; Annette Lewis of Lafayette, General Studies; Veronica Siffert of Lafayette, Liberal Arts; Leslie Guilbeau of Lafayette, Nursing and Allied Health Professions; and Katherine Zaunbrecher of Lafayette, Sciences.
With a 3.85 grade point average, Lacey LeBlanc of Lafayette has been selected as the Outstanding Graduate for the College of the Arts for the Fall 2007 semester.
LeBlanc, the daughter of Terry and Katherine LeBlanc also of Lafayette, will receive her bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts/Dance.
During her time at UL Lafayette, LeBlanc has performed in both State of La Danse and Evening of Dance every year. She performed in the Gala Concert at American College Dance Festival in Austin, Texas where she ranked in the top 10.
Also, LeBlanc has participated in the Cangelosi Dance Project in Baton Rouge with Delarue Dance Centre in 2006 as a performer and in 2007 as a choreographer. With Delarue Dance Centre, LeBlanc has danced for 15 years, graduated in 2003 and now teaches.
She’s attended Dance Masters of America’s four-year teacher’s certification program in New York from 2003-2006 and became a certified teacher for Dance Masters of America in 2006.
After graduation, LeBlanc plans to continue teaching dance at Delarue Dance Centre and pursue other dancing opportunities.
With a 3.905 grade point average, Robert Benjamin Terrell of Lafayette has been selected as the Outstanding Graduate for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration for the Fall 2007 semester. Terrell, the son of Rick and Karen Terrell of Natchitoches, will receive his bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems.
Terrell is a proud member of the UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajun’s football team, playing both defense and special teams including the 2005 Sun Belt Conference Championship team. He was awarded the Hooters/Credeur’s Cajuns Special Forces player of the week in 2005. Terrell was also honored as a member of the Sun Belt’s Commissioner's list in recognition of his academic achievements as a student athlete.
During his college career, he has received the TOPS Honors Scholarship and the UL Lafayette Centennial Scholarship for four years and the Centennial Valedictorian Scholarship his freshman year.
He’s been included on the Dean’s List every semester and was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma Honors societies in 2004 for maintaining a 3.5 or better GPA. In 2007, he became a member of Phi Kappa Phi, an honor society for seniors with superior academic credentials and the Honors Business Society.
Off campus, Terrell has been very active finding time to serve as a D.A.R.E. camp counselor, teaching swimming lessons to young children in the Natchitoches area, volunteering for Thanksgiving canned food drive, and participating in vacation bible school for the First Baptist church of Natchitoches.
After graduation, Terrell is planing to marry fiancé Jamie Massia and move to Little Rock, Arkansas. He hopes to open his own consulting firm for business technology.
Jessica Oalmann, a Special Education (Mild/Moderate) major of Lafayette, will graduate with a 4.0 GPA. She is the daughter of Raymond and Peggy Oalmann of Katy, Texas.
Oalmann has been the recipient of numerous scholarships including TOPS, UL Lafayette academic scholarship, the Clarence and Ezell Butaud Coleman Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the Louisiana Council for Exceptional Children Scholarship.
She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi – all honor societies. In addition, Oalmann received the Dr. Howard Turner Outstanding Sophomore Award, the Joan and Alexander Haig Outstanding Junior Award, and the Doris Bouvier Hawthorne Special Education Endowment Fund Award. She also received the EST Recognition of Excellence for outstanding content knowledge in elementary education on the state required PRAXIS exam.
In the community, Oalmann has been involved in Best Buddies, serving as a College Buddy Director. She is an active member of the Student Council for Exceptional Children and Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana. She has volunteered with Special Olympics and Acadiana Top Soccer.
Following graduation, she plans to teach special education in either Lafayette or Houston. Eventually she plans to pursue a master’s degree in special education.
With a 3.942 grade point average, Ramon Boudreaux of Youngsville has been selected as the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Engineering for the Fall 2007 semester. Boudreaux, the son of Byron and Angela Boudreaux of Carencro, will receive his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Boudreaux, a member of the Dean’s List and a Scholastically Distinguished Student, is a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society, Blue Key Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Lambda National Honor Society.
He’s received the TOPS Performance Award and a UL Lafayette Academic Excellence scholarship. Additionally, Boudreaux received the Cooper Cameron Engineering scholarship, the SGA Scholarship and the Alumni Association Engineering Scholarship.
On campus, he was a member of the Student Government Association, the Dean’s Advisory Council, the Association of Future Alumni, the Committee of Appeals for Academic Suspensions and the UL Lafayette Food Advisory Board. He’s also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Louisiana Engineering Society and the UL Lafayette Triathlon Club. Boudreaux also studied abroad at four German universities.
His community service activities include being a volunteer for the Children’s Shelter Christmas Celebration in Carencro, HOSTS – an elementary student mentoring program, a volunteer tutor to high school and college students, as well as a host of 5K runs for cancer research.
After graduation, Boudreaux is planing to attend graduate school to pursue his M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. After receiving his doctorate, he wishes to continue doing research and work as a college professor.
With a 3.42 grade point average, Annette B. Lewis of Lafayette has been selected as the Outstanding Graduate for the College of General Studies for the Fall 2007 semester. Lewis, the mother of six and grandmother of four, will receive her bachelor’s degree in General Studies.
Lewis, a member of the Dean’s List, received a Certificate of Excellence from the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi.
She was also honored as a Who’s Who Among HR Professionals and was nominated twice for HR Professional of the Year by ASHRM. She is a member of both SHRM and ASHRM and volunteers with the Senior Olympics. She is an active participant in various cancer walks.
After graduation, Lewis is planing to pursue her PHR certification and later obtain an MBA.
With a 4.0 grade point average, Veronica Leigh Siffert of Lafayette has been selected as the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts for the Fall 2007 semester. Siffert, the daughter of Robert and Tammy Siffert of Katy, Texas, will receive her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
She’s been included on the Dean’s List every semester and is a member of both Sigma Delta Pi and Phi Eta Sigma. Siffert received both the UL Lafayette Academic Scholarship and a TOPS Performance Honors Award. In addition, she is a three-year recipient of the American Petroleum Institute Scholarship, two-year recipient of the International Association of Printing Contractors Scholarship and one-year recipient of Society of Petroleum Engineers Scholarship.
Siffert is currently interning in the Youth Services Division of the Lafayette Police Department. She is a member of the UL Lafayette College Republicans, Honors Program, the Sigma Delta Pi and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies, both the Italian and Spanish Clubs, and an intramural basketball player.
Her community service is also commendable. She served as a volunteer at Broussard Community Fair and has participated in numerous charitable fundraisers for cultural events and various disease research groups.
After graduation, Ms. Siffert is planing to attend graduate school next Fall with hopes of earning a master’s degree in social work.
Nursing and Allied Health Professions
With a 3.5 grade point average, Leslie Guilbeau of Lafayette has been selected as the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions for the Fall 2007 semester. Guilbeau, the daughter of Charles and Veda Guilbeau of Lafayette, will receive her bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
Guilbeau, a member of the Dean’s List, is the recipient of the Academic Excellence Scholarship and a UL Lafayette Study Abroad Scholarships. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau.
She is active on campus as a member and officer of both Delta Delta Delta Sorority and the Association of Future Alumni. Her community service activities include being a volunteer for Operation Iraqi Freedom and serving as a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church Retreat Team.
After graduation, Guilbeau is planning to work for an area hospital, eventually returning to school to become a nurse practitioner.
With a 3.497 grade point average, Katherine Nicole Zaunbrecher of Lafayette has been selected as the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Sciences for the Fall 2007 semester. Zaunbrecher, the daughter of Philip and Elizabeth Zaunbrecher of Rayne, will receive her bachelor’s degree in Physics.
Zaunbrecher has interned at the USGS Wetlands Center in Lafayette, at the National Center for Physical Acoustics in Mississippi, and at the American Institute of Physics in College Park, Maryland. She co-authored a publication that profiled the storm surge of Hurricane Rita with Dr. John Meriwether.
She has also been active in various campus activities including the Honors Program, the Society of Physics Students, stage manager of the UL Lafayette School of Music Opera Production, The Medium, and cofounder of the UL Lafayette’s Juggling Association. Her community service is also commendable. She served as a volunteer at Faith House, a fund-raiser for KRVS, and a catechism teacher with the Missionaries of Charity.
Zaunbrecher was an invited panel speaker at the Council on Undergraduate Research National Conference in 2006. She was also an invited speaker at the American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Meeting in 2007.
After graduation, Zaunbrecher is planing to attend graduate school for a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics. Upon completion of her postdoctoral work she hopes to do research and teach at the university level in Louisiana.