A new class of anxious and excited freshmen filed into the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Fant Ewing Coliseum on Wednesday, Aug. 22, to officially kick-off the academic year. Poised and ready to embark on the next chapter of their lives, students received sound and inspirational advice from alum, Jarod Floyd of North Little Rock.
As a 2006 graduate, Floyd, the current Chief Meteorologist for West Monroe’s KTVE/KARD, was part of the first graduating class of Warhawks. The Warhawk became the official mascot of ULM after the retirement of the Indian mascot in 2006.
In his second Convocation as ULM President, Dr. Nick J. Bruno reminded students of their connection with the meteorologist. Bruno said, "[Floyd] represents the first of what you all will be."
Floyd, who was admittedly nervous, yet honored to be asked to be the 2012 Convocation speaker, gave students insight into his own college experience while also ensuring students understood the incredible journey that they were embarking on.
"I am a firm believer that the college experience is what you make of it," said Floyd. "Develop your own beliefs, values and standards… while finding a balance between schoolwork and personal time."
Floyd, a graduate of ULM’s Atmospheric Sciences program, told students that he knew what he wanted to be at five years old.
"I wanted to be in atmospheric sciences, I wanted to be a meteorologist, and I wanted to go to ULM," said Floyd.
After assuring students that he endured the same trials and hardships that many of them may go through, Floyd urged students to push forward, and to see their journey through to the end.
"Whatever you do, don’t give up," said Floyd. "Education is the reason you’re here and I promise you that the classwork is not designed for you to fail, but designed to challenge you."
Floyd went on to say, "Keep your mouth closed and listen to your professors and advisors." "They will have you prepared and ready for the world when you leave."
Although the foundation of Floyd’s speech was to inspire, the alum made sure to leave the students with what he called "college languages," which brought laughter throughout the coliseum from all in attendance.
Floyd culminated his speech with a strong word of advice for the new freshmen and upperclassmen in attendance.
"Remember, while you are here, keep your families, morals, and beliefs in mind, but also keep in mind that within the interactions with people you meet, make sure you leave people with a good impression of ULM."
Also recognized during Convocation, were 15 incoming freshmen who were invited onstage and given new iPads in recognition of their winning "Top Hawk" essays. To compete, the students met stringent academic guidelines, including a 3.0 GPA and at least a 26 on their ACT.
While a student at ULM, Floyd was part of the ULM HELPS (Hurricane Evaluation at Land Project for Science) group in 2005, which contributed to field studies for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He also served as the vice-president for the ULM chapter of the American Meteorological Society during the 2005-2006 academic year.
Floyd began working for ULM’s KEDM Public Radio in Aug. 2005, winning three Associated Press awards for best weathercast. While at KEDM, Floyd provided daily forecasts and detailed insight during severe weather, winter weather, and Hurricanes Rita (2005) and Gustav (2008). In June 2006, Floyd was hired as the weekend meteorologist at West Monroe’s KTVE/KARD. Two weeks later, Floyd became the station’s morning meteorologist.
In April 2008, Floyd was promoted to the position of Chief Meteorologist at KTVE/KARD. For his coverage of Hurricane Gustav in 2006, Floyd was awarded a 2008 Louisiana Associated Press 3rd Place award for Breaking Weather.