Loading

Black Student Achievement Awards PRESENTED by the black faculty and staff association at the University of Louisiana at lafayette

The 31st 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 2020, 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 Matthew Miles, 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 his 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

Clyde R. Simien is a founding partner in the law firm of Simien and Miniex since its inception in 1987. He is a graduate of Southern University Law Center where he was an Editor of the Southern University Law Review and member of the Moot Court Board where he received the Best Oral Arguer Award, and he was a member of the Best Moot Court Team. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette).

Clyde is a former Assistant Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). He taught at the University from 1986 to 1989. He has been a member of the Louisiana Independent Public Accountants since 1986. He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has been recognized as one of the Top Trial Lawyers in America.

Words of Wisdom from Clyde Simien

"Striving to be successful is never easy. It is not luck, but hard work and determination that will help you reach your goals. Hard work is what has gotten each of you to this important moment in your young lives, and it will enable you to follow your dreams. Dream about making a difference in life and dreaming big dreams.

While you’ve made a hugely significant step today, don’t let this be the last step that you take.

We urge you to continue your success. Everyone wants you to succeed. And, as happy as we are about what you have accomplished up to now, none of us want your accomplishments to end here. We want you to be more than a college graduate, period. We want you to become professionals, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, etc. While you’ve made a hugely significant step today, don’t let this be the last step that you take."

Award Recipients

This year, a total of 581 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.

A sample of Black Student Achievement Award Recipients (left to right, top to bottom): Jenney Ainsworth, Alex Anderson, Kailon Babineaux, Trenesha Bartley, Tyler Batiste, Julian Brooks, Alana Glaspie, Guy Harry, Vickie Jacquet, Kierra Kemper, Chasity Manning, Patrick Mensah, Esther Nelson, Sydney Pierre, April Pruitt, Kelsey Sanders, Jazzlyn Snowten, Cameron Solomon, Gavin Stephens, Rylan Theyard, A'Ishah Trahan, Delilah Warren, Aleya Washington, Tayla Weary, Turquoise Webber, and Mikayla Worthy.

Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the Black Faculty and Staff Association presents four scholarships to the highest achieving award recipients. Our 2020 scholarship recipients are featured below.

Undergraduate Students

Bianca L. Broussard, from the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, is a senior majoring in health information management. She is involved in the Honors Program, the UL Lafayette Health Information Management Society (HIMS) and the Louisiana Health Information Management Association (LHIMA).

Bianca L. Broussard, College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Quincy M. Damon, from the College of Business Administration, is a junior majoring in finance. He is a member of the Honors Program, a mentee for 100 Black Men, and a tutor in the TRIO Program.

Quincy M. Damon, College of Business Administration

Graduate Students

Olawale Ariyibi is pursuing a Master's degree in Geology. He is a mentor and tutor to undergraduate students, a community volunteer, and an active participant in the Geosciences research community.

Olawale Ariyibi, pursuing a Master's degree in Geology

Brooklyn York is pursuing a Master's degree in Counselor Education. She is currently an intern in the Counseling and Testing Center, and she plans to work in a community mental health center. One day, she hopes to open or join a private practice.

Brooklyn York, pursuing a Master's degree in Counselor Education

Words of Encouragement from BFSA Members

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.

2019-2020 BFSA Executive Board