Alumni News

If you majored in Religious Studies at LSU, please take a moment to let us know what you are doing now. We love hearing about all of your successes!

Religious Studies Alumni

Roy Bergeron (2006) graduated summa cum laude from LSU with majors in religious studies and political science. In May 2011, he graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from the LSU Law Center. He was a Senior Editor of the Louisiana Law Review, where his article “Faith on the Farm: An Analysis of Angola Prison's Moral Rehabilitation Program Under the Establishment Clause” was recently published (access it here). He is now working at Phelps Dunbar, LLP in Baton Rouge in the area of environmental law. Roy wrote, “I really do credit the religious studies curriculum with helping me get as far as I have. Being challenged to do more intensive reading and prepare writing assignments geared toward an analysis of those readings (rather than just a summary) prepared me for law school in a way that I think few other programs could have. I couldn't be happier about my time at LSU.”

Timothy Chutz (2004) continues as a teacher in the Religion Department at Catholic High School, Baton Rouge. 

Gabriela McCall Delgado (2011), launched the We Connect Now (WCN) website in 2008 with a grant received from YP4. Gabriela conceived the project while in high school, and she was able to realize it as a freshman in college.  She founded We Connect Now, a not-for-profit organization, in April 2011. WCN website was created to address two issues of primary concern to Gabriela: the lack of a centralized site on the Internet with basic information regarding rights, services, and support for college students with disabilities; and the absence of a network that could provide additional information and support to such students. Since the initial launching of the WCN website nearly five years ago until today, the website has been viewed over 148,000 times, in six out of seven continents, with visitors from 134 different countries. We Connect Now has been featured in numerous newspaper articles, on the radio, by podcast, on social media and has been linked to by hundreds of websites. Maintaining an independent stance, We Connect Now has received no funding from the government or for-profit corporations. It has sparked discussion of disability issues at the grassroots level as well as among those who determine public policy regarding those concerns.

Stephen DiLorenzo (2008) was commissioned in the Army and worked in the ROTC program at LSU for 9 months. He then attended flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama for 2 years. After graduation in 2011, he enrolled in an online master's program from Troy University in International Relations. In 2014, he was accepted to teach philosophy at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was one of six accepted out of more than 300 applicants. He will start a graduate program in the fall of 2015 and teach at West Point from 2017-2020.

April A. Erwin (1998) earned a master's degree at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and an M.D. at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. She completed her medical internship and neurology residency at Georgetown University Hospital. She has been a neurologist at the NeuroMedical Center in Baton Rouge since 2012.

Heather Killough-Walden (1997) is a successful writer. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling e-book author of the Big Bad Wolf series and the October Trilogy. Her tenth novel was published recently with Kindle Books. Heather’s husband, Eric Walden, wrote, “she really used the stuff she learned about religion at LSU. So you have a graduate of your program who is doing very well for herself using what you taught her.”  For Heather’s page at Amazon, see here.

Matthew Landry, after receiving a degree in Religious Studies, picked up a second degree in Geography. He is now a sales representative for ESRI and sells mapping software to state and local government organizations. He currently resides in Redlands, California. Matthew wrote to Stu Irvine, “You once told me that in the field of Religious Studies the written form is the medium of communication and if I plan on being successful then I would need to learn to write well. I believe that I am a better writer now because of how thorough you were in grading our essays. In fact, I was told by my company that the reason I was selected out of the hundreds of applicants was because of my strongly written cover letter. Even though I'm not a Religious Studies scholar today, these skills have carried over into my daily work. . .  I would not be where I am today had you not taught me to think about writing.”

Michael Scott Manning (2005) continues as a teacher in the Religion Department at Catholic High School, Baton Rouge.

Kimberly Mansur (2010) is pursuing a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science at LSU.

Tammy Oropesa (2010) is pursuing the Master of Fine Arts degree in film production at the University of New Orleans.

Brant Pitre (1997) is Professor of Sacred Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. After gaining an M.T.S. at Vanderbilt Divinity School in 1999, he received his Ph.D. in Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, in 2004. He is the author of Jesus, the Tribulation, and the End of the Exile (Baker, 2006) and of Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist (Image, 2011). See his website here.

Alexander Plaisance (2007) earned a second Bachelor’s degree from LSU, in Psychology. He plans to begin as a Ph.D. student in Psychology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2012.

Cristina Ramirez (1998) earned an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas, Austin; a Master’s degree in Library and information Science in special collections at the Catholic University of America; and a Masters of Public Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently a doctoral student in Education and a collection librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jonathan M. Robker (2003) earned an M.A. in Religion at Duke Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Old Testament at the University of Erlangen. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Muenster. His book, The Jehu Revolution: A Royal Tradition of the Northern Kingdom and Its Ramifications, was published recently in the prestigious Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fuer die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (De Gruyter: Berlin, 2012). 

John (T. J.) Thames (2004) earned the M.A. in Philosophy at LSU and the M.A.R. at Yale Divinity School.  He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Religions at the Johns Hopkins University.

Louis Westereng (2004) is pursuing an M.A. in History at LSU.

Adrienne Zetty (2005) works for Co-Op Bookstore in Baton Rouge, running the Academic Printing and Publishing division. She serves on the Board of Directors for Dialogue on Race, Louisiana. She plans to apply for law school at Southern University in fall 2012.