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Black Student Achievement Awards Presented by the black faculty and staff association at the university of louisiana at lafayette

The 32nd annual Black Student Achievement Awards Program is an opportunity to recognize the persistence, resilience, and academic success of black students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Sponsored by the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), the Black Student Achievement Awards Program is typically held late in the Spring semester, welcoming hundreds of students and their families on the campus of UL Lafayette. In Spring 2021, given the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, this virtual recognition is a celebration of the achievements of our students as they persist and succeed even through unprecedented challenges.

Welcome Message from Dr. Taniecea Mallery, BFSA President

Each year, an accomplished community leader is invited to share insights, perspective, and motivation to award recipients and their families as the featured keynote speaker. As a UL Lafayette alumnus with fond memories of her time as a student, this year's keynote speaker was excited to share a few words of wisdom with students and their families through this virtual recognition.

Keynote Speaker

Jamie Green is a New Orleans native and Fall 2015 graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. While at the university, Jamie received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with a minor in business. She was active in various student organizations while on campus including SOUL Camp, The Big Event, and the University Program Council. Upon graduation, she was selected to be a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation communication intern and had the pleasure of serving in the office of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

After her internship, Jamie worked for Louisiana’s own Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) as a press assistant. Most recently, Jamie was on the Presidential campaign trail with President Joe Biden as the Coalitions Project Director and then moved on to help to plan his virtual inauguration. She recently served as an alumni panelist on the State of #BlackUL series hosted by the Alumni Assocation and the Office for Campus Diversity in which she shared her experience and perspective as a Black student at the university.

Jamie is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (Epsilon Beta Chapter, fall 2014 initiate) and currently resides in Washington, DC.

Words of Wisdom from Jamie Green

Award Recipients

This year, a total of 750 undergraduate and graduate students are recognized as recipients of the Black Student Achievement Award, which recognizes success, persistence, and high academic achievement. Recipient names are listed in the videos below, by college.

Photos of Award Recipients

As a way to engage award recipients virtually, students were encouraged to post personal photos with their award certificates on social media using hashtag #ULBlackAchievementAwards. Below are several students sharing their excitement about receiving the Black Student Achievement Award this year.

Pictured (in order from top left to bottom right): Brianna Anthony, Christian Edwards, Kailon Babineaux, Brandon Domingue, Tayla Weary, Katrina Beo, Madelyn Myer, Shawn Jackson, Danielle Despanie

Support Our Students

The scholarships awarded by the Black Faculty and Staff Association each year help to support students in achieving academic success. This awards program, along with other BFSA Social Impact Initiatives, helps to support the overall goals of the university's Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence. But, the student scholarships and other initiatives wouldn't be possible without the support and generosity of friends, community members, and corporations. Please consider giving today to help future students achieve their academic goals!

BFSA Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the Black Faculty and Staff Association presents four scholarships to the highest achieving award recipients. Our 2021 scholarship recipients are featured below.

Undergraduate Students

Jeanie Walker is a junior majoring in general studies. She mentors individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. After graduation, her primary goal is to help African-American women and children strive for excellence using their God-given talents. She encourages her peers to always hold out for miracles to happen.

Jeanie Walker, pursuing a bachelor's degree in general studies

Tyler Brown is a sophomore majoring in speech pathology and psychology. He is a member of UL Lafayette’s football team. After graduation, he hopes to open his own practice as a speech pathologist and work with student athletes who struggle with their mental health. He encourages his peers to always “embrace the grind,” approaching life’s highs and lows with a positive mindset.

Tyler Brown, pursuing a bachelor's degree in speech pathology and psychology

Graduate Students

Alain Lionel Fogang Takoutsing is in his second year of UL Lafayette’s Mathematics PhD program. After graduation, he wants to pursue a career in teaching and research. To achieve excellence, he encourages repetition and consistency. In his free time, he enjoys running.

Alain Lionel Fogang Takoutsing, pursuing a PhD in Mathematics

Lindsay Smith is a first-year master's student studying speech language pathology. As a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, she conducted undergraduate research on voice and communication services for transgender and gender-diverse populations. Lindsay hopes to one day obtain her PhD and open a private practice. She encourages her peers to always keep an open mind and never be afraid to try something new. Lindsay is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Lindsay Smith, pursuing a master's degree in Speech Language Pathology

Christiana Smith Alumni Chapter

The Christiana Smith African-American Alumni Chapter of UL Lafayette is named for the first African-American graduate from then Southwestern Louisiana Institute in May 1956. SLI was the first previously all white, state supported college or university in the south to allow Black students to enroll. The Christiana Smith African-American Alumni Chapter was formally chartered in 1992. Since it began, the chapter has raised funds each year for scholarships based on grade point average, school and community activities and financial status.

Christiana Smith Alumni Chapter Scholarship Recipients

This year, the UL Lafayette Christina Smith-African American Alumni Chapter awarded four scholarships. These recipients have achieved overall academic success as well as community involvement while being students here at the university.

Bre'Shon Cooper is a senior at UL Lafayette studying psychology with a minor in sociology. During her time at UL Lafayette, she has received the Black Student Achievement Award and has been involved with the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is proud to be the first person in her family to graduate college and gives all of her glory to God.
Ashley Colomb is a graduating senior from Carencro, Louisiana. She currently works at Lourdes Urgent Care as a Nurse Technician. During her time at UL Lafayette, she has been a McNair Scholar, a member of the National Student Nurses’ Association, a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and has been awarded the Black Student Achievement Award twice. She ultimately wants to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Avrie Celestine is a graduating senior from Lake Charles, Louisiana. She is a four-time recipient of the Black Student Achievement Award. During her time at UL Lafayette, she has been involved with Student Orientation Staff, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. She has also served as Peer Mentor and a Resident Assistant. She hopes to attend graduate school in speech language pathology and open her own private practice focused on advancing access to communication rehabilitation in communities of color.
RaiKwon Green, from Carencro, Louisiana, is studying music media at UL Lafayette. He has always desired to be successful and attributes his wisdom to his family upbringing. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career as a musician in Nashville, Tennessee. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, hunting, signing, and playing guitar.

Words of Congratulations from Deans and BFSA Members

Support Our Students

The scholarships awarded by the Black Faculty and Staff Association each year help to support students in achieving academic success. This awards program, along with other BFSA Social Impact Initiatives, helps to support the overall goals of the university's Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence. But, the student scholarships and other initiatives wouldn't be possible without the support and generosity of friends, community members, and corporations. Please consider giving today to help future students achieve their academic goals!

Closing Remarks

Thanks for sharing in the Black Faculty and Staff Association's virtual recognition of Black Student Achievement Award recipients. We look forward to celebrating with students and their families in person next year! Thank you to ExxonMobil Foundation for their continued support of scholarship funding secured through retired ExxonMobil employee and UL Lafayette alumnus, Phillip Bonhomme, Sr.

2020-2021 BFSA Executive Board