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Brian Goh, John Casey and Michael Rhea (left to right, each with LSU Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students K.C. White) are pictured receiving awards for being named to LSU’s Tiger Twelve for "contributing positively to the life of the campus and surrounding community." The students were recently featured in USA Today as members of the 20th Annual All-USA College Academic Teams. Goh was selected to the First Team and Casey and Rhea for the Second Team.

LSU Well Represented on the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team

Brian Goh Named to First Team, John Casey and Michael Rhea to Second Team

BATON ROUGE – USA Today has released its 20th Annual All-USA College Academic Team, and LSU is well represented. For the third year in a row, LSU has placed a student on USA Today’s First Team.

Brian Goh of Denham Springs was selected to one of the 20 spots on the First Team. John Casey of Mandeville and Michael Rhea of DeRidder also appear on the list as members of the Second Team. This is the first year that LSU has had three students selected. All three students are members of the LSU Honors College.

"We are exceptionally proud of Brian, John and Michael for their achievements while attending LSU and being named to USA Today’s All-USA College Teams is a tribute to the hard work and dedication they’ve put in over the past few years. All three have proven themselves to be leaders both in and out of the classroom," said LSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Astrid Merget. "Accolades like this one continue LSU’s tradition of graduating some of the country’s best and brightest students."

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In 2008, Tomasz "Tommy" Stryjewski made the First Team. In 2007, Cynthia "CC" Dubois made the First Team, and Jacquelyn Zimmerman made the Third Team.

Goh, a biochemisty major and LSU Honors College student, joins students from such universities as Harvard, Yale, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Washington University in St. Louis, Johns Hopkins, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, among others, on the First Team.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized among 20 outstanding college students from around the country," Goh said. "More importantly, being named to the First Team along with two others from LSU on the Second Team demonstrates what we do here at LSU. We have outstanding students who do outstanding things. These things are not only exceptional here at LSU, but they have impact nationally. That makes me proud to be at LSU and proud to be a Tiger."

Goh was nominated by Drew Lamonica Arms, LSU Honors College director of fellowship advising, for the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team. In her nomination letter, she wrote, "Brian Goh is a brilliant, humble, exceptional person of character. I am honored to recommend him for the All-Academic team."

Goh, also a 2008 recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, plans to enter an M.D./Ph.D. program in the fall at either Columbia University or Johns Hopkins University, but said he’ll always remember his time at LSU.

"When I think back about LSU, I think about the people in the buildings of LSU. There are some of the kindest people – students, faculty and staff – here, and they have been more than willing to help me with anything," said Goh, who has maintained a perfect grade-point average thus far at LSU.

All three LSU students on the All-USA College Academic Teams will graduate in May.

Casey, a biological engineering major with a minor in Chinese, was a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 2007. He has also been recognized as the LSU Most Outstanding Senior 2007-08 and the LSU Honors College Most Outstanding Senior 2007-08. He has received the Tau Beta Phi Scholarship, Carl Thomas Award from the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, LSU Study Abroad Scholarship, Top 10 Freshman Award and the Dean’s Award of Academic Distinction. After graduation, he plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a doctorate in biological engineering.

Rhea, an international studies and political science major with a minor in anthropology, has maintained a perfect GPA thus far at LSU and has previously been honored with a National Merit Scholarship, LSU Distinguished Freshman Award, LSU Top 100 Scholarship, LSU Study Abroad Scholarship and LSU Chancellor’s Future Leaders in Research Distinction. Rhea also served as president of Volunteer LSU. He plans to enroll in LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center after he graduates.

"I’m grateful to LSU for the quality and well-roundedness of its academic and community involvement opportunities. I’m honored and humbled to be selected for this award, and I thank all of the fantastic people who have guided and supported me throughout my time at LSU," Rhea said. "From my experience as an undergraduate, I take with me two life goals:  to always learn, and to always serve because I will always be a Tiger."

LSU Honors College’s Office of Fellowship Advising assisted the students throughout their time at LSU in applying for prestigious scholarships and fellowships.

Goh said the Office of Fellowship Advising was an integral part of his experience at LSU. Students interested in applying national and international scholarship opportunities can contact

As he makes plans to graduate and leave the university, Goh has some advice for current and incoming students at LSU.

"I would tell students to be amazing. There are exceptional opportunities to do amazing things here at LSU. Whether it is anything from research to community outreach, I know that those opportunities are here," Goh said.

"Lastly, if what you want is not here at LSU, then create it. LSU is our university, and it is constantly being improved by its students. Leaving a lasting impact on LSU makes LSU your university, and those efforts will be recognized both at LSU and on a national level," he added.

All-USA College Academic Team

The team of 20 First Team members was selected by a panel of judges from hundreds of students nominated by colleges and universities across the United States. Judges considered grades, leadership, activities and, most important, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

For more information on these winners as well as the Second-, Third- and Honorable Mention-Team members, see the Wednesday, April 29, edition of USA Today or log on to

Criteria for the All-USA College Academic Team were developed in consultation with USA Today’s education co-sponsors: the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the American Council on Education and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

About USA Today

USA Today was founded in 1982 with a mission to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Through its flagship newspaper and popular Web site, USA Today engages the national conversation and connects readers online through social media applications. USA Today, the nation’s top-selling newspaper with a total average daily circulation of 2.3 million, and, an award-winning newspaper Web site, which launched in 1995, reach a combined 5.5 million readers daily. The USA Today news and information brand also includes: USA Today Education, USA Today Live, USA Today Mobile, Open Air magazine and USA Today Sports Weekly. USA Today is owned by Gannett Co. Inc.

Ernie Ballard | Editor | Office of Communications & University Relations
April 2009