Six students recognized as Outstanding Master's Graduates


Six graduate students have been selected as finalists for the Outstanding Master’s Graduate designation.

Each graduate program can nominate one student for the award, based on leadership, scholarship, service, and research. A committee, led by the dean of the University’s Graduate School, selects the top candidates.

A UL Lafayette Alumni Association committee interviews each candidate and chooses one as the overall Outstanding Master’s Graduate. That person will be recognized during the Commencement General Assembly on Friday, Dec. 16 at the Cajundome.

Here’s a look at the honorees.

Thomas J. Mouton is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate for the School of Architecture and Design.

He has a 3.63 GPA.

His master’s project involves design and construction of a pavilion that will be built entirely with discarded materials and attempt to challenge the way architecture is evaluated.

Mouton assumed a leadership role in the construction of another project, the Lafayette Strong Pavilion. UL Lafayette students designed and built a dome-shaped, open-air structure, called a gridshell, with input from engineers and contractors.

The pavilion was completed in 2015 at Camellia Art Park along Camellia Boulevard in Lafayette. It consists of a framework of crisscrossed oak slats topped with white aluminum panels. The “grid” of wood was attached to low concrete walls that rim a concrete floor.

As a graduate research assistant, Mouton has contributed design research for the School of Architecture and Design’s Community Design Workshop. He has also contributed to the School’s Sustainable Development Lab since Fall 2015.

He is the son of Renee Mouton and Michelle Mouton of Carencro, La. He is married to Toscana Navas.

Ian Madray is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate for the Department of Electrical Engineering.

He has a 3.9 GPA.

Madray has worked on the Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experiment. He is a member of a team that will attempt to launch a small, student-built satellite into space within the next year.

A research and teaching assistant, Madray has contributed to a project to develop new radio frequency labs for students. He also established new equipment and laboratory experiments that are being used by students.

In the summer of 2015, Madray held an internship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He spent 10 weeks working on computer and radio frequency programs and applications.

Madray has participated in efforts to recruit high school students to the College of Electrical Engineering.

He is the son of Leslie and Sheila Madray of Lafayette, La.

Jade Bujard is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate for the School of Geosciences.

He has a 3.88 GPA.

Bujard's thesis explored potential petroleum prospects off the coast of New Zealand. He located an area of interest using seismic and geophysical techniques. He has presented those research findings to industry professionals in Houston and to the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition.

Bujard was a member of a UL Lafayette team that placed second in the Gulf Coast Region of the International Imperial Barrel Award competition. As part of the global contest, university students spend two months analyzing data to determine the best place to drill for oil.

He interned with three resource exploration companies in Lafayette.

Bujard is a member of several professional organizations, including the University’s Geological Society, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the Lafayette Geological Society, and the Southwest Louisiana Geophysical Society.

He is the son of Stanton and Melissa Bujard of Youngsville, La.

Jude Monte is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate for the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.

He has a 3.75 GPA.

Monte earned a nurse practitioner master’s degree while working as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, where he assists critically ill patients. He is a member of several committees at the hospital, including the Nurse Research Council.

Monte worked as a senior semester clinical instructor for three semesters. He taught students about nursing topics such as ethics and best practices.

As the College of Nursing and Allied Health Profession’s representative for the University’s Graduate Student Organization, he developed an online application process for distance learning colleges within the University of Louisiana System to help increase funding of nursing graduate student research and education.

He has performed community service with the American Red Cross. Monte worked as a nurse, overseeing all aspects of health care, during a Boy Scouts summer camp in Alaska since 2011.

He has discussed intensive care unit practices and protocols at a UL Lafayette Continuing Education Conference.

Monte is the son of Greg and Terrie Monte of Duson, La.

Nolan Williams is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate for the Department of Psychology.

He has a 4.0 GPA.

A research assistant in three university psychology labs, he taught and mentored undergraduate students. His research centered on topics such as healthy coping and basic learning processes that undermine healthy coping.

Williams has presented research findings to local, national and international audiences. He has coauthored several research articles that are being prepared for publication or have been submitted for review.

Williams has also served as a reviewer for many scholarly publications.

He coordinated scheduling for the Department of Psychology’s three computer labs and volunteered with the program committee for a local scholarly conference. 

As a member of the Louisiana Contextual Science Research group, Williams prepared institutional review board applications, and conducted experiments and data analysis.

He is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and the Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group.

Williams is the son of Kevin Williams of Lexington, Ky., and is married to Jessica Auzenne.

Daniel Forest is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate for the Department of Industrial Technology.

He has a 3.85 GPA.

Forest was certified as a fluid power hydraulic specialist by the International Fluid Power Society.

In conjunction with Noble Plastics in Grand Coteau, La., his research has focused on material handling and the optimization of the assembly process through lean manufacturing tools. As a graduate assistant, he has collaborated with University professors, and taught undergraduates, about to research subjects such as analog electronics, digital electronics, integrated systems, programmable logic controllers, and robotics.

Forest is the department’s representative for the University’s the Graduate Student Organization.

He is a member of the Louisiana Engineering Society, and of the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering.

Forest has participated in the College of Engineering Ambassadors Program, its Engineering and Technology Week, and its Design Leaders Program.

He has participated in several Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition events, including outreach efforts for children's education, and its Future Energy Professionals program.

Forest is the son of Jerry and Sherry Forest of Lake Charles, La.

Photo info: Six students who will receive master’s degrees during Fall 2016 Commencement ceremonies are finalists for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s overall Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award. Shown, from left, are: Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president; Daniel Forest, Department of Industrial Technology; Jude Monte, College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions; Thomas Mouton, School of Architecture and Design; Jade Bujard, School of Geosciences; and Ian Madray, Department of Electrical Engineering. Not pictured is Nolan Williams, Department of Psychology.