NSU will host 9th annual ULS Academic Summit | Around The Town


Northwestern State University will host the ninth annual University of Louisiana Academic Summit April 2-3.  The celebration of academic excellence will encompass the system-wide faculty service-learning conference and student presentations in visual art, performances, an undergraduate research poster presentation and undergraduate research oral presentations.

Events beginning Thursday, April 2 will include Poster Session 1, the performing arts showcase, art exhibit, reception and free performance by Chanticleer for conference registrants.

Events on Friday, April 4 will include morning and afternoon oral presentations, Poster Session 2 and a luncheon with keynote speakers and SGA/service-learning project presentation.

Delivering the keynote will be Dr. Michelle Fazio Brunson, her husband Brett Brunson and student Martha Hopewell, who will speak about their joint efforts in remapping the Cradle to Prison pipeline in Louisiana into a Cradle to College Pipeline through early childhood education.  Dr. Brunson directs NSU’s graduate program in early childhood education and her husband is the district defender for the 10th Judicial District in Natchitoches Parish.  Since 2007 he has operated the 10th Judicial District Public Defender Office to provide representation to those who qualify for services.

Over the last eight years, the Brunsons have worked with numerous families and donated approximately 5,000 family literacy bags across five parishes.

Hopewell is a senior in early childhood education at NSU.  Over the past three years, she has worked with Dr. Brunson to expand the Cradle to College service-learning project into the university’s Greek community and is devoted to helping at risk children reach their full potential.

In conjunction, the ULS Student Advisory Council and ULS Student Government Associations named the Cradle to College initiative their system-wide service project associated with the Summit.  Each school is collecting donations to support the Children’s Defense Fund’s Cradle to College Pipeline, a national and community crusade to engage families, youth, communities and policymakers in the development of healthy, safe and educated children. The items collected on each campus will be on display at the conference luncheon on Friday, April 3.

A special performance by the vocal group Chanticleer will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2 in Magale Recital Hall.  Attendance is free to Summit participants, but advanced tickets are required.  Those interested in attending will be able to make their reservation when the conference registration is complete.

Each of the nine University of Louisiana System institutions has selected up to five works of visual art produced by undergraduate student artists for the Academic Summit Visual Art Exhibition.

The exhibition will be on display in Orville Hanchey Gallery through Friday, April 3 at the conclusion of the Academic Summit. The exhibition is free and open to the public during regular gallery hours, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.  Artwork must be picked up by 4 p.m. Friday

The ULS Academic Summit is coordinated through cooperation with the ULS Undergraduate Research Council and the ULS Service-Learning Council with representatives from each of the nine universities in the UL System represented.

Registration is $55 through Wednesday, March 18; registration fees increase to $65 on Thursday, March 19.

To register for the ULS Academic Summit or for more information, visit  Information is also available by contacting Dr. Betsy Cochran at

About the Author: 

Leah Jackson is Northwestern State University’s Director of Public Information and Media Relations. She is a 1994 and 2011 graduate of NSU and has been on staff since 2004.


Categories: Education

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