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Familiar Face Named Associate Dean for the Ogden Honors College

Dr. Drew Lamonica Arms, a Rhodes Scholar who has long directed fellowship advising for the LSU Ogden Honors College, was named the College’s Associate Dean this month, upon the retirement of Dr. Ann Sumner Holmes. 

Arms  graduated from LSU with College Honors (the highest academic distinction at the university and the Honors College) and as a University Medalist in 1994. She returned to teach in the Honors College in 1999 after receiving her doctorate in Victorian literature from Oxford University.

“For the past 25 years, Dr. Arms has been a pivotal member of the Honors College community as a student, advisor, instructor, and more recently, the director of the Office of Fellowship Advising,” said Dean Jonathan Earle. “Her diverse perspectives will serve her well in this new role, where she will be responsible for developing the Honors curriculum, recruiting the best faculty to teach in the College, and implement recommendations from the Provost’s Task Force on Retention.” 

As Director of Fellowship Advising, Arms has successfully coordinated hundreds of national fellowship applications and guided Ogden Honors students to national recognition, including  24 Goldwater Scholars, 16 Goldwater Honorable Mentions, 11 Truman Scholars, 7 Udall Scholars, 17 Critical Language Scholars, 5 Hollings Scholars, 2 Soros Fellows, 6 Rhodes Scholarship finalists, numerous Fulbright and NSF Graduate Fellowship recipients, and the university’s first Humanity in Action Fellow, Emerson Hunger Scholar, Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, Scoville Fellow, and Gates Cambridge Scholar. “Dr. Arms gave me the support, clarity, and encouragement I needed to take on complex fellowship applications. She challenged me to go deeper in my responses on the application and think critically about my path as an aspiring public servant,” said Honors senior and 2020 Truman Scholar Sarah Procopio.

Arms designed a course specifically to assist fellowship and graduate/professional school applicants to compose effective personal statements and to think about their own experiences in the context of foundational thinkers on leadership. She’s presented the HNRS 3010 Leadership and Scholarship syllabus and course rationale to both the National Association of Fellowship Advisors and the National Collegiate Honors Council. She has also taught courses on classical civilization in the Mediterranean world, European civilization, and the medieval world for the Honors College.

In addition, Arms founded and directed an Ogden Honors-focused study abroad program at the University of Oxford that features on-site learning to explore the evolution of the humanities, where one defining period and place in Western Civilization (Victorian Britain) absorbed yet redirected an earlier defining period and place (Classical Greece and Rome). 

She also oversaw the creation and development of LSU’s thriving cohort of Roe and Penny Stamps Scholars — a merit-based  award that offers a full cost of attendance to students plus a significant fund for experiential learning. The cohort has grown from two students to 40 scholars over the past eight years. Arms has also worked to integrate the College’s Stamps, President’s Alumni, and Sternberg Scholars to provide a full program of co-curricular support for these groups of high-achieving students.

In this new era of the Ogden Honors College, Arms wants to define clear pathways for students in each major to fulfill honors requirements, and for those requirements to be assessed and revised with a clear vision of how they enhance a student’s chosen discipline. She wants to create additional structures to guide more students through their culminating honors project, including required participation in a cohort-building “CAP” course and research methods courses.

Excited to take on this new role, Arms said, “Fostering the success of our Ogden Honors students has always been the reason behind what I do. For honors students, that success is not limited to career pursuits. Honors education enables fully functioning human beings who can think critically and creatively, communicate clearly and with conviction, navigate complexities with civic mindedness and a sense of purpose, and use their knowledge and skills to contribute positively in their chosen fields and the various worlds around them.”