Natural resource ecology and management student receives distinguished communicator medal

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At the CxC Medal Ceremony are, from left, Becky Carmichael, CxC College of Science coordinator; Emily Hartdegen, distinguished communicator recipient; Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture.Photo provided by Becky Carmichael

Emily Hartdegen, who graduated in December with a degree in natural resource ecology and management, is one of 485 students to receive a distinguished communicator medal since 2005.

The medal recognizes students who complete the Communication across the Curriculum program, a resource for all majors to enhance their writing, speaking, visual and technological skills.


Growing up near the coast of Louisiana in Metairie, Hartdegen was aware of issues concerning the environment, which ultimately influenced her decision to concentrate in wetland science.  


“It is surprising how little people know about the issues concerning Louisiana’s coast,” Hartdegen said. “I joined CxC because I think it is really important to to be able to communicate knowledge in an effective and easy to understand way.”


Hartdegen worked with renewable natural resources professor Mike Kaller as her faculty advisor and CxC College of Science coordinator Becky Carmichael. Both advisors helped fine-tune her portfolio and efficiently communicate her discipline.


“It is integral within science to be able to effectively disseminate knowledge because if you cannot communicate information, you are not sharing discovery and ideas,” Carmichael said.


Students who want to participate in the program are required to take four communication intensive courses within their major, attend workshops and create a portfolio along with a few other requirements.


Looking through Hartdegen’s portfolio one can see she effectively married her career and personal life by telling stories of the natural areas she has explored, Carmichael said, she has set herself up to go into multiple different careers.


The CxC studios offer a multitude of resources for all students including those who are not enrolled in the program.


A presentation room allows students to practice and record presentations, a media storage closet contains GoPros and digital cameras available to check out and a 3-D printer allows students to bring their projects to a new dimension.  


According to CxC’s web page, “LSU CxC was named the 2010 Program of Excellence by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. The award committee noted the innovative work of LSU in developing the comprehensive CxC program and declared that the university has, “set the bar of innovation for learning and teaching.”