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Louis Bon-Ami, NextGen Postdoctoral Fellow

Louis Bon-Ami
Louis Bon-Ami

Coming from a Caribbean household, education was central to every conversation in Louis Bon-Ami’s family.    

“To Haitian parents, getting an education is the difference between boundless opportunities and avoidable hardship,” said Bon-Ami, a first-generation student and UNCW NextGen Postdoctoral Fellow. “I remember always loving school. I was surrounded by selfless educators who invested so much of their time and resources in me. They modeled what a career in education could be through their influence, reach and ability to help propel me to my potential. Those experiences have stayed with me.”   

Bon-Ami hopes to repay the investment educators made in him by investing in other students. Bon-Ami serves as a NextGen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Watson College of Education’s Office of the Dean. UNCW and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University launched the postdoctoral fellowship to create a pipeline for the universities to recruit diverse faculty.  

Bon-Ami was uncertain about what industry or sector he would transition to after serving 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. However, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in academia because of the time that he had spent earning a Ph.D. After graduating from NC A&T, Bon-Ami searched for postdoctoral opportunities. UNCW’s program was a natural fit since his doctoral program was at NC A&T’s College of Education.   

“A tenured career path was out of reach for me because of my lack of experience in higher education. Working at the Watson College of Education has reshaped my perspective to see a potential path to a tenure-track position. The NextGen Postdoctoral Program is a great platform for early-career academicians to explore career opportunities in higher education.   

Bon-Ami is excited about the opportunity to prepare the next generation of educators, administrators and social science researchers.   

“Educators are the lifeblood of society, as their fingerprints and DNA — morally, intellectually, altruistically, psychologically — are part of every human being’s journey,” he added. “Everyone from the tradesman to the astrophysicist can trace their formation and professional summits to an educator. Educators are part of every story told.”