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Meet Our Advance Ambassadors

Advance Ambassadors collaborate with University Faculty and Staff to address the needs of research and creative activities for their peers. They work to enhance and promote research, creative, and scholarly opportunities for undergraduate students. Lead Advance Ambassadors are appointed by the Dean of their college, based on merit.  We also have Advance Ambassadors that represent their department/school. These Ambassadors are recruited by our Lead Advance Ambassadors.

Lead Advance Ambassadors

College of the Arts

Emily LeBlanc

School of Architecture and Design

I am a junior majoring in architectural studies, from Houma, Louisiana. After receiving my bachelor’s in architecture, I plan to attend graduate school and become licensed as an architect. My career goal is to open my own architecture firm. I enjoy fishing, building models, and spending time with family and friends in my free time. I am currently working under the Martin Family Fellowship to pursue research driven by the culture and history of the Acadiana region, with a focus on the Atchafalaya basin. I am appreciative of the opportunity to research and learn more about Louisiana history as it is imperative to the design process. I hope to continue my efforts in understanding how design can help preserve our coast and celebrate the unique culture. As an ambassador, I am looking forward to sharing my passion for research and helping others understand the importance of research for our education and future.

B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration

Ayush Deshpande


I am a senior majoring in Psychology (Pre-Medicine Concentration) and Economics (Business Analytics Concentration) with minors in Chemistry and Investment and Portfolio Management. My hobbies include working out, doing origami and playing the violin. I am excited to be an ambassador for Advance experiences at UL Lafayette — I think that research is the most noble and rewarding activities that an undergraduate has the opportunity to participate in, and I am thrilled to be able to be a representative for our R1 institution. I am a student in the Honors Program at UL and am working on my thesis. Some research I am involved with includes:
  • Chemistry Research under Dr Salah Massoud: Searching for the an effective therapeutic anti-tumor compound by testing a new series Cu (II) and Co (II) based on different tripod amines derived from heterocyclic bases.
  • Psychology Research (Cognition and Psycholinguistics Lab) under Dr. Brooke Breaux: Exploring language and its effects on behavior from a cognitive perspective.
  • Psychology Research (Zebrafish Lab) under Dr. Erika Caramillo-Hatch: Exploring the neural basis of cognition, learning, memory, and Alzheimer's disease using Zebrafish as a model.


College of Education & Human Development

Bailey Nguyen

I am a freshman majoring in Kinesiology (pre-professional studies concentration) with a minor in Biology and Psychology. Some fun facts about me are that I love reading, I am biethnic, and I watch all Youtube videos at 2x speed. A personal statement of mine is to always try to listen and learn more. Along with majoring in Kinesiology, I am also in school to get my medical assistant license. After graduating UL Lafayette, I plan on getting a Masters in Physician Assisting to especially help communities who feel underserved and uneducated about their health. Education has always been super important to me as a first generation college student and I want to try my best to make sure everyone has access to it. A goal of mine when I become an alumni is to financially aid fellow women of color who want to pursue a higher education.
I am so honored to be an Advanced Student Ambassador and to represent the College of Education and Human Development because this program provides so many resources and opportunities for students who want to pursue a higher education or just have a genuine interest in research. I firmly believe in the wise words of Nelson Mandela, "Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world." I believe in the importance of higher education with the opportunities, skills, and careers it can provide.
I am currently working under Dr. Shuichi Sato in the Kinesiology department focusing on the effects of cancer on muscle physiology. Research to me does not feel like work but more of a sense of personal fulfillment and I hope to help others discover their love for research as well!

College of Engineering

John Landry 

I am a third-year junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Autonomous Systems & Robotics and a minor in Mathematics. I enjoy painting, drawing, bodybuilding, and all things space or science fiction. I plan on interning in industry and passing the FE before graduation and pursuing at minimum a master’s degree in aerospace engineering and entering the workforce fully while meeting all prerequisites for the Astronaut Selection Program. I envision myself working on either in-situ manufacturing off-planet or in spacecraft propulsion, which my experience in internships should help me determine. My opportunities to pursue research and design have included several labs and student organizations including:
  • The Nick Pugh Aerospace Electronics Research Laboratory designing and analyzing a custom built 3U CubeSat structure and streamlining recruit training for the Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experiment.
  • Dr. Jamal Khattak’s asphalt laboratory researching and producing microcapsules encasing a rejuvenator for self-healing asphalt.
  • Dr. Ahmed Khattab’s laboratory assisting in mechanical and colorimetric research of artificially weathered shape memory polymer.
I am honored to be an Advance Ambassador and will use this position to do anything I can to streamline the education and research experience of my fellow undergraduates. It is my chance to open the door to research and excellence for those who aren’t informed about the plethora of opportunities they have on campus to pursue their dreams. I am eager to pay forward the opportunities I received and remain grateful for!


College of Liberal Arts

Emily DeGruise

I am a junior from Thibodaux, LA majoring in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry. Outside of school, I enjoy baking, reading, and watching movies. I am very excited to be serving as a Lead Advance Ambassador to help connect the program with the students and faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and the University as a whole. I have been involved in The Achievement and Social Cognition (TASC) research lab for the past two years. I contributed to research on academic cheating with the group and am currently working on my own research involving the use of corporal punishment. After graduating, I plan to attend graduate school to study Medicine, Occupational Therapy, or Psychology. I hope that my time here helps contribute to our growing research as a university and supports other students in their journey to discovering their own passion for research.

College of Nursing & Health Sciences

Hello! My name is Linh Nguyen and I am a junior majoring in Nursing from Lafayette, Louisiana. My hobbies consist of working out, reading, and baking. Although I'm still unsure of what field I would like to go into once I graduate, I'm excited to start working and learn the many roles a nurse can play in their community. During my time here, I plan on investigating more into transcultural nursing and the best ways to formulate care for patients who find themselves in the liminal space between the culture they are born in and the culture they are surrounded by out in society. I’m proud to be a part of the Advance Ambassadors and witness various research topics and interests come to life. Research plays a vital role in advancing our knowledge and practices and I hope to help students find their love for it!

Ray P. Authement College of Sciences

Moiz Fazal-ur-Rehman

Ray P. Authement College of Science
Department of Biology and Microbology

I am a sophomore majoring in Biology (Pre-Medicine concentration) and a minor in chemistry. My hobbies consist of singing, reading, and watching premier league soccer and formula one. I am very excited to be an Advance Student Ambassador because I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to take part in research that allows them to pursue and focus on their dream. After graduation, I plan on going to medical school where I can pursue my dream of helping those in need. I am currently writing an honors thesis about my research that I am performing in Dr. Ritwij Kulkarni's lab. My research focuses on a bacterium, known as Klebsiella Pneumoniae, and how it affects diabetic patients by causing urinary tract infections. I encourage everyone to participate in research because it allows students to get a head start on what they want to do in the future. In my next few years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, I will be continuing my research on urinary tract infections, and I also hope to promote undergraduate research in the college of sciences, as well as other departments at the University.

University College

Kirstin Wilson

I am a Sophomore majoring in Elementary Education. After I graduate, I plan to further my education by pursuing my master’s in Educational Leadership. My career goal is to become an Elementary School Principal.  I enjoy reading, sports, the outdoors, and spending time with my friends and family. I am passionate about helping the next generation reach their full potential. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in a Research Symposium where I presented research on Adverse Childhood Experiences and their effects on students in the classroom. I look forward to furthering that research this year as well as helping others develop their own research.