Meet the Spring 2022 LSU Distinguished Communicators

During May 2022 Commencement, 70 graduates across eight colleges will receive the LSU Distinguished Communicator Medal. Recipients of this honor are outstanding writers and speakers, with a strong command of visual literacy and technological communication. They have earned high GPAs in their communication-intensive courses throughout their baccalaureate years, sought 1-1 mentorships with faculty and have built websites that display their communication competencies and professional talents, both in and beyond the classroom. LSU Distinguished Communicators also graduate with the LSU Communicator Certificate, launched in Fall 2018. 

To celebrate the accomplishments of these exceptional students, CxC will be hosting a medal ceremony honoring Distinguished Communicators as well as celebrating them through a series of digital posts on social media and The ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 19, from 10–11 a.m. at the LSU Business Education Complex Auditorium.

This distinction is the first of its kind in the nation and is sponsored by LSU Communication across the Curriculum, or CxC, a nationally-recognized program for its excellence in enhancing learning experiences and improving students’ communication skills across all disciplines. As of May 2022 Commencement, LSU has awarded 817 graduates with the Distinguished Communicator Medal.

The following students are this spring’s recipients:

College of Agriculture

Alexa BatesAlexa Bates, Environmental Management Systems
Minors: Environmental Science
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Maud Walsh

Alexa’s concentration for her degree was policy analysis, and her long-term goal is to “create a sustainable future for all by working to bridge the gap between the natural world and human development.” As part of her work toward this, she prides herself on stepping out of her comfort zone enjoying nature in her free time and leaping into new challenges that enable her to connect the science of environmental issues with policies and people. This has led her to serve as part of Les Voyageurs for the College of Agriculture and as the Vice Chair of the Air Waste and Management Association LSU student chapter. Alexa also volunteers with the LSU Food Bank, Rise Against Hunger and serves on the board of Red Stick Together to reduce hunger in Baton Rouge. Committed to connection via communication, Alexa has also completed 14 communication-intensive courses (yes, this number is well above average) and has presented not once but twice for LSU Discover. She currently interns at Trinity Consultants, and will be getting married in October.

Currie DudleyCurrie Dudley, Nutrition & Food Sciences (Dietetics)
Minor: Leadership Development
Hometown: Prairieville, La.
Advisor: Erin McKinley

Coaching and counseling are close to Currie’s heart, and she will be putting these skills in play as she heads into a dietetic internship and congruent masters program after graduation. To prepare for this, Currie interned at Oschner to connect her classroom learning in leadership and nutrition to support for clinical work counseling patients in nutrition and food. Currie is an advocate for hands-on experience, earning the ServeSafe certification for food service rotations, contributing to development and implementation for nutrition advocacy at V-Well solutions, and volunteering with LSU’s Performance Nutrition Team. When she’s not thinking about food, you can find Currie diving into public advocacy for health issues and coaching youth cheerleaders (more than 70 in just this past year!) via Louisiana Cheer Force. 


William GaspardWilliam Gaspard, Agricultural & Extension Education
Minor: Agricultural Communication
Hometown: Moreauville, La.
Advisor: Annabelle Stokes

William has become a familiar face for a lot of people in and beyond Louisiana, as he was featured in the LSU halftime commercial, LSU Day at the Capitol, and in President Tate's Pentagon of Protection for his accomplishments. But his skills transcend the publicity; he knows what goes into communication and advocacy. During his time at LSU, William was awarded a National Championship for his work in Agricultural Communications, and after graduation he will be continuing his professional development at Southern University Law Center. He’s especially proud of his work with Cargill, where he served as the Corporate Responsibility Intern. In this role, he worked with colleagues from more than 7 countries, engaged more than 200 employees in service opportunities, and independently worked with Feed America Headquarters to resolve food accessibility during COVID-19 pandemic. When he’s off the clock, you can find William singing lead and leading youth at his church, and snuggling with his two Cocker Spaniels, Willow and Aspen.


Brooklyn HamptonBrooklyn Hampton, Plant & Soil Systems
Minor: Agricultural Communications
Hometown: Natcitoches, La.
Advisor: Lauren Lazaro

Working in agricultural education is a natural fit for Brooklyn, who grew up feeding chickens, caring for cattle and running crawfish traps with her family. This fueled her passion for communicating the science of agriculture to the everyday consumer, which led to her roles in the College of Agriculture’s Les Voyageurs program and College of Agriculture Mentoring Program. Brooklyn served as the  Louisiana Future Farmers of America President, advocating for agriculture education and serving on the Louisiana Agricultural Education Commission. While at LSU, Brooklyn also worked as a research assistant in the Weed Science Lab, volunteered for hunger and disaster relief projects and interned in community relations with BASF Agricultural Solutions. Next weekend, Brooklyn will marry her best friend, and after that is heading to North Carolina to work full-time for BASF. 


Alexia LaGroneAlexia LaGrone, Natural Resource Ecology & Management*
Minors: Oceanography and Coastal Sciences
Hometown: Belle Chasse, La.
Advisor: Amy Fannin

Lexie wants the world to know that she loves manatees. It’s this love that led to her broader interest in the environment and started her on the path toward environmental advocacy and policy. While at LSU, Lexie worked to conserve the species with the Save the Manatee Club and founded the Collegiate 4-H on campus. She also interned with the Water Institute of the Gulf as well as for the Governors’ Climate Task Force, where she dove more deeply into understanding Louisiana climate policy in Louisiana alongside the state’s leading environmental scientists. In 2021, Lexie was one of 55 students to earn the national Udall Scholarship in the Environment, and she graduates this week as a member of LSU’s Tiger Twelve Class. Upon graduation Lexie intends to take some down time, which she admits was not a big part of her undergraduate experience. In between video games, reading, times with human and manatee friends, she will be preparing for her next steps pursuing climate law. 


Cassie MillerCassie Miller, Nutrition & Food Sciences
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Erin McKinley

Cassie is passionate about pediatric health, and for her it starts with good food and movement. During the early months of COVID-19, Cassie worked for City Group Hospitality to prepare, package and deliver lunches to children. She also volunteers as an Assistant Coach for the Capital Area Special Olympics swim team and coaches kids via Kidstrong child development center. This passion for children extends to supporting the families that raise them. While at LSU, Cassie worked with Dr. Gollub, a nutrition specialist, and with the LSU AgCenter on the Build a Healthy Meal project, to create and disseminate nutrition educational materials that are accessible and understandable to the general public, particularly participants in SNAP-ed and EFNEP programs. Cassie will be graduating Summa Cum Laude, and then will head to the University of Florida to complete her master of science and dietetic internship. 


Taylor PerrodinTaylor Perrodin, Agricultural Business*
Hometown: Crowley, La.
Advisor: Maud Walsh

With a passion for agriculture and law, Taylor is an aspiring environmental attorney with long-term sights on the U.S Senate to support change in environmental policy. Over the past three and half years, Taylor has interned for the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, fostering skills in marketing, trade, and supply chain production. While at LSU Taylor also served as the Speaker Pro Tempore for Student Government, as Vice President for the College of Agriculture Les Voyageurs, and as Vice President in the co-ed professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. She has also spoken at the Future Farmers of America Convention. Taylor is graduating as a member of the LSU Tiger Twelve Class, and has accepted a full scholarship to pursue her juris doctor at the New England School of Law in Boston. 


College of Art & Design

Nick BertucciNick Bertucci, Architecture*
Minor: Architectural History
Hometown: Bentonville, Ark.
Advisor: Kristen Kelsch

Since arriving at LSU, Nick was committed to earning College Honors—an achievement in which he has succeeded. While pursuing architecture (and college honors), he has been able to expand his creative pursuits beyond his field through graphic design and film. Nick studied in Paris in the Fall of 2021 with a focus on European architecture and French culture, leading to a collaborative video project inspired by Andre Sauvage’s Etudes Sur Paris (1928). In terms of his design ethos, Nick is particularly interested in developing clear and consistent concepts with a focus on user experience and context. Nick cites his time leading his peers as an Architecture Ambassador and Architecture Camp counselor as especially fulfilling, as they spurred his interest in the pedagogical side of the field and how architectural education will evolve. But for now, Nick plans to work in Dallas as an architect pursuing licensure.


Lucy BuiLucy Bui, Architecture
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Kristen Kelsch

Lucy began her undergraduate career as a nursing student before she turned to architecture. That initial experience brought a unique perspective to her design work, allowing her to hone in on applying “the values of advocacy, transparency, collaboration, and care” from nursing school to her architecture career. Lucy works to create holistic, intentional designs that will improve people’s health and the environment, and show people how impactful design should serve everyone. To gain experience in these pursuits, she served as an LSU Architecture Camp Counselor, Architecture Ambassador, a volunteer teacher, a studio representative to the Architecture Design Council and as a “studio mom.” As she continues her career, Lucy aims to use her knowledge of design “through the lens of diversity, culture, and public interaction.” She believes this lens will help her become a more effective leader and learn more about her field. After graduation, Lucy will embrace her next challenge as an entry level designer for a 5G Studio Collaborative architecture firm in Dallas.


Reilly BurkeReilly Burke, Interior Design
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Marsha Cuddeback

For his senior project, Reilly tapped into his interest in food and his experience in design to create an innovative project he dubbed The Gallinary, a site “focused around interacting with art through the lens of consuming food as a way of more deeply understanding an artist's message.” His passion for people extends beyond his design work; as a young designer, he embraced the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for the Interior Design program, engaging prospective students through a shared interest in the field. In his spare time, Reilly practices his Photoshop skills and spends time with family and friends, many of whom he met at LSU. Of his fellow designers, Reilly says, “I am proud and blessed to have met all of my friends in interior design. My time with them means more to me than they know.” After graduation, Reilly will be moving to Chicago to continue exploring his love of design.


JaNiece CampbellJaNiece Campbell, Studio Art (Digital Art) and Computer Science
Minors: Digital Media Arts & Engineering
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Hye Yeon Nam

JaNiece uses “writing as expression and analysis to augment and push [her] visual decision making process.” This design procedure lets her refine her artistic vision and bring her artwork to life. She enjoys drawing, astronomy, writing and game development. During her undergraduate career, JaNiece tapped into her capabilities and gained the opportunity to showcase her work as secretary of the Digital Art and Design Association. She also conducted research for LSU Discover and the Summer 2021 National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) programs with her FarmWear project. FarmWear is “a wearable plant interface that encourages symbiotic, emotional relationships with food and nature” and was created at LSU’s Center for Computation and Technology. Throughout this project and her experiences with DADA, NSF REU and her work as a studio member and writing mentor position for Communication Across the Curriculum, JaNiece learned to advocate herself and grow her design skills. After graduation, she will be an intern at Epic Games on the Fortnite Technical Team as an Art Pipeline Developer. 


Morgan CurtisMorgan Curtis, Interior Design
Minor: Architectural History
Hometown: Lafayette, La.
Advisor: Matthew Dunn

With an eye toward history, Morgan’s goal is to tell a story through design, while ensuring accessible and environmentally friendly spaces—and maybe improve the world in the process. During her junior year, she was able to gain hands-on experience through her internship with Lisambiance Design and Curtis Herring Interior Design in New Orleans. Exploring her field amidst COVID protocols provided necessary awareness for the way interior design can critically impact a society. She is most proud of the work done for her senior thesis converting the Huey P. Long Fieldhouse into a luxury educational philanthropy hub with a focus on inclusivity, well-being, stability and productivity. In her free time, Morgan loves to walk on the levee, paint, and dance.


Mary Michaela Dunkerley-OfforMary Michaela Dunkerley-Offor, Interior Design
Minor: Architectural History
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Advisor: Matthew Dunn

Mary Michaela is driven by the idea that everyone deserves good design and plans to use design as a method to improve the lives of all people. Throughout her time at LSU, she’s designed multiple projects that live up to that tenet, including a school that focuses on removing the school-to-prison pipeline experience, an interactive museum exhibition that illustrates environments that juxtapose imprisonment and freedom, and a pediatric asthma center that not only prioritizes the comfort of the child but also the staff. When she’s not prioritizing others, Mary Michaela is spending quality time with her dog, hiking, listening to music, and, maybe most importantly, sleeping. She credits her experience with the Distinguished Communicator program as giving her the comfort to voice her opinion, and says that being a DC means “having the true ability to speak your mind.” As for what’s next after graduation, Mary Michaela says “the future is a mystery as of right now.”


Catherine FullerCatherine Fuller, Interior Design
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Matthew Dunn

With a passion for hospitality design that prioritizes the client’s needs, Catherine believes that communication is a key component in an interior designer’s toolbox. “Without communication,” she says, “your ideas can never be realized.” Of her accomplishments, she is most proud of the hard work she has done to develop those skills and earn the Distinguished Communicator medal. Her passion for visual storytelling translates well into her interest in a holistic design process, identifying custom options to help bring concepts to life. She recently became a WELL Accredited Professional, a health and well-being credential that denotes expertise in the WELL Building Standard—an accomplishment in which she is very proud. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, creating floral arrangements, and playing tennis, and plans to move to Houston, Texas to work as an interior designer after graduation. 


Kelly GarrettKelly Garrett, Architecture
Minor: Architectural History
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Kristen Kelsch

As an architect, Kelly plans to explore through practice how architecture can transform the world, with a particular focus toward structural systems, social affects & sustainable design. The Atlas Airport project, designed alongside two fellow medalists, encompasses these interests, creating a speculative design for a transportation hub in a city impacted by dramatic climate change in the year 2100. When Kelly wasn’t in the studio, she developed her leadership and communication skills for her field, serving as Secretary and Vice President of American Institute of Architecture Students as well as Vice President of Students for Historical Preservation. While at LSU, she also made travel a priority to explore urban architecture, ultimately studying abroad in France in the Fall of 2021. Following graduation, Kelly will start her dream job in Denver, Colorado.


Michael HowellMichael Howell, Interior Design
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Julie Elliott

Of all of Michael’s accomplishments, he is most proud of how far he’s come in the past four years at LSU, beginning as a shy, timid student and evolving into a confident communicator. “It has opened so many doors for me and has led me to meet people all across the world, and for that I am forever grateful,” he says. Part of that evolution was choosing to immerse himself in a semester in France, studying architecture and communicating in a different language. Though challenging, it is an opportunity he is thankful to have had, and ultimately led to presenting to local senators and design professionals at the Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy. After graduation, Michael plans to continue challenging himself with a move to New York City to pursue a career in residential interior design.


Bryce HumbrechtBryce Humbrecht, Architecture
Hometown: Lacombe, La. 
Advisor: Tara Street

Bryce has a passion for architectural preservation, restoration and renovation and uses emerging technologies like VR and generative design to explore creative design solutions. While at LSU, he was elected president of Students for Historic Preservation four times, was awarded the William R. Brockway, FAIA Scholarship in Architecture, and earned a Historic Home Specialist certification from the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. He most values the skills he gained while in pursuit of the Distinguished Communicator medal, stating “As a designer, I’ve become aware of the fact that my ideas, as fantastic as they may be, are worthless if I can’t effectively communicate them to others.” In his spare time, Bryce pursues his creative endeavors, streams regularly online, and is skilled at shucking and charbroiling oysters. 


Benito Juarez Jr.Benito Juarez Jr., Architecture
Hometown: Houma, La.
Advisor: Traci Birch

A proud first-generation, Mexican-American, college graduate, Benito has been working toward this moment since he decided he wanted to pursue architecture in elementary school. One of his favorite moments at LSU also helped to solidify that passion for his field: receiving a challenge coin from a retired brigadier general. “I was able to see and feel the client’s gratitude in our contributions towards their vision fulfillment.” In his spare time, Benito has a thirst for knowledge and learning about philosophy, and can be found exploring new music or playing soccer. When asked what he would like for us to celebrate, Benito wanted us to acknowledge his biggest motivators, his parents, “for their lifelong support of my dreams.” While at LSU, he interned with Ritter Maher and will move into a full time position upon graduation. “I have always felt committed to serving Louisiana through architecture,” he says, “so being fortunate enough to be at a firm that has projects across the state is a dream come true.” 


Kenah KepperKenah Kepper, Interior Design
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Phillip Tebbutt

Kenah believes that developing her communication skills at LSU has set her on the path to success. “If I can clearly and effectively communicate my designs to clients and co-workers,” she says, “then I have all the tools I need to be successful.” Of course, she has also committed her time to her field, holding multiple internships with leading Baton Rouge design firms and getting involved early on in industry organizations like the American Society of Interior Designers, the Interior Design Student Organization and the International Interior Design Association. Kenah credits her time interning with Kenneth Brown Designs for sparking her passion for residential design, which she plans to pursue moving forward. When asked about the recognition she most values, Kenah cited being awarded with the Dixon Smith Interiors Scholarship, chosen by the interior design faculty. “This recognition validated all the hard work that goes into and long hours spent on and in this program,” she says. She is also proud of the hard work that led to being on Dean’s List and President’s Honor Roll multiple times, and being promoted from intern to design assistant during an internship. Following graduation, Kenah will be working as a Sales and Design Associate for Homestead Flooring Company and Bardwell Construction Company.


Hayden LakeHayden Lake, Architecture
Minors: Digital Media Arts and Engineering
Hometown: Mandeville, La. 
Advisor: Kristen Kelsch

Arts, architecture and engineering are an ideal trifecta for Hayden. “That I was able to tie my original engineering major with my architecture and art interests still amazes me,” she says. Her ultimate goal is to “create cities and buildings we want to spend time in, where we are happier and more engaged.” Hayden’s passion for engaging others has been best reflected in her leadership endeavors while at LSU, from serving as an ambassador and mentor for her fellow architecture students to leading her fellow campus residents as a Resident Assistant. “I hope to continue to communicate to those coming after me, to encourage them and help them succeed,” she says. In her free time, Hayden likes to read, play video games, crochet, and cook. She will be working as an architect at Cockfield Jackson Architects in Baton Rouge after graduation.


Justin MalcoreJustin Malcore, Landscape Architecture
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Haley Blakeman

Justin believes that with both the right knowledge and the right tools for understanding different audiences, it’s possible to help everyone see the value of responsible design for a sustainable future. As a landscape designer with a background in horticulture, Justin is focused on creating resilient designs for his community. In his six years as a college student, he walked the talk. While at LSU, Justin designed green infrastructure projects for flood-prone areas and food deserts, co-directed the LABash Conference Student Design Competition, dove into computer and workflow design, and served as a Resident Assistant. When he’s not in design mode, Justin plays music and video games, and spends time outdoors. Justin completed an internship with Reich Landscape Architecture, honing his team and client-focused communication skills, and he will be joining Reich full time upon graduation. 


Nathan McConnellNathan McConnell, Architecture
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Paul Holmquist

On May 20, 2022, Nathan will officially receive his most valued accomplishment to date: a degree in architecture. An avid plantsman and an automotive enthusiast, Nathan believes the roots that people establish and grow in a home are important, and he strives to design spaces in which individuals can foster that growth. Early into his studies at LSU, he was able to intern with an architecture firm, giving him insight into the path he would ultimately choose to pursue within his field. Nathan believes he still has work to do before becoming an expert communicator, but credits the Distinguished Communicator program with helping him to hone his skills and adapt his communication style for his audience—something he will continue to strive for after leaving LSU. “​​Though I believe it takes a lifetime to master something,” Nathan says, “becoming a Distinguished Communicator medalist has proven to me that I have what it takes to go into the adult world and succeed.” After graduation, Nathan will stay in Baton Rouge to work full-time at an architecture firm.


Nghi PhamNghi Pham, Interior Design
Minor: Printmaking
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Advisor: Tracy Burns

Originally from Saigon, Nghi credits her multicultural upbringing as the inspiration for the creativity she brings to her designs. Above all, she values sustainability and comfort, while ensuring her clients’ safety and wellbeing are top priority. Her internship with LaHouse Resource Center gave her experience that reinforced that commitment to healthy, sustainable environments. In her spare time, Nghi can be found crafting, drawing, or painting, and she loves to travel. When asked what she is particularly proud of, she cites her drive and passion and “won’t stop until the job gets done.” After graduation, she will be moving out of state and searching for her next adventure.


Taylor SaxenaTaylor Saxena, Architecture
Minor: Architecture History
Hometown: Round Rock, Texas
Advisor: Kristen Kelsch

A dedicated leader, Taylor has a passion for investigating urban and social issues in an effort to make a positive impact. Some of her projects to date best address these concerns, whether designing for cities facing impacts of climate change or creating transitional living solutions for unhoused individuals. She also spent a semester studying in Paris exploring the relationship between the old and new design aspects in architecture, giving her a greater attention to detail and how people interact with their urban environment. While at LSU, Taylor was a proud member of the Tiger Band and completed an internship with BY DAY, diving into architecture projects surrounding hospitality and residential jobs. In her free time, you can find Taylor drawing, photographing new places and things, and reading a good book. After graduation, Taylor will remain in Baton Rouge to work at Tipton Associates.


Samantha SiliezarSamantha Siliezar, Architecture
Minors: Architecture History and Communication Studies
Hometown: Metairie, La. 
Advisor: William Hunter

Clear visual representation of her ideas has been important to Samantha throughout her time at LSU, and quickly adapting to new programs to create new solutions to sustainability has allowed her to share her ideas with the world. During her fellowship with The 1881 Institute, she won a NASA Design and Pitch sprint and was awarded second position in the NASA Design Competition. Samantha studied abroad in Paris, working to combine traditional design studios, fieldwork in the French landscape, and on-site seminars, culminating her knowledge to create structures, drawings, and other artistic work. In her free time, Samantha enjoys playing the oboe. She will be working in an architecture firm after graduation.


Chad WilkinsChad Wilkins, Landscape Architecture
Hometown: Madisonville, La.
Advisor: Haley Blakeman

Chad came to LSU’s Landscape Architecture program with a decade of landscape construction experience, where he discovered his passion for landscape design. As a non-traditional student, he has had to work hard to balance school, work, and caring for his family; that he will graduate magna cum laude speaks to his success in doing so. Chad is the founder of the organization LSU Landscape Architects for Black Lives, which works to create a more equitable space for students of color in the architecture program. His interest in green infrastructure led to his current internship with Dana Brown & Associates in New Orleans, and he will continue on as an associate there after graduation.


E. J. Ourso College of Business

Francesca ManfucciFrancesca Manfucci, Management*
Minor: Information Technology Management
Hometown: Cagli, Italy
Advisor: ReRe Pride Shaw

Six years ago if you had asked Francesca where she would be right now, her answer would not have been Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Originally from Italy, Francesca has spent the past five years traveling the world and learning three languages. She chose LSU to serve as her homebase for her studies in business and information management, and her long-term goal is to manage an international organization. While at LSU, Francesca was part of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization, the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, and she interned with LSU’s Portfolio Management Office. She was also selected for the SEI Entrepreneurship Fellows Program, and was recognized as a 2021-2022 Rucks Fellow. After graduation Francesca heads back out on the road for new travels, a brief stop at home in Italy, and then returns stateside to start graduate school at George Washington University.

Elizabeth StewartElizabeth Grace Stewart, Finance*
Minor: Internal Audit
Hometown: Mandeville, La.
Advisor: Drew Lamonica Arms

Grace’s mantra throughout her college career has been to “own my career,” diving into opportunities both in and beyond the classroom. Two that she is particularly proud of include completing her Honors Thesis project on Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental, Social, and Governance Criteria as well as studying abroad with the Honors College in Oxford studying classic literature and Greek and Roman mythology. Grace also participated in the Deloitte R.I.S.E Case Competition and the Urban Land Institute’s UrbanPlan curriculum during her time at LSU. After graduation, Grace will be taking part in a 1-year MBA program in Analytics at LSU before completing her CPA exam and moving to Houston, Texas to work for Deloitte in Risk and Financial Advisory. 


George StokesGeorge Stokes, Marketing (Professional Sales)
Hometown: Mandeville, La.
Advisor: Aaron Gleiberman

Digital media and marketing are taking the world by storm, and so is George as he works to expand his hands-on experience in the digital marketing field. As a part of his role in Sandler Training, George makes contributions as a facilitator in team communication, harnessing his skills in written, technological, spoken, and visual communication. He is currently interning with BBR Creative, learning about how to apply the concepts from his classes to real-world situations, and diving into digital marketing. Outside of classes, he enjoys watching and playing sports, attending sporting events, and supporting LSU athletic teams. After graduation, George will be pursuing his MBA. 


College of Engineering 

Olivia ArmondOlivia Armond, Construction Management
Minors: Business Administration and Technical Sales
Hometown: Covington, La.
Advisor: Stephanie Heumann

Volunteering and communicating with people is very important to Olivia. She was a Resident Assistant for two years, earning a nomination for the Rising Star award and was recognized as the staff MVP. She was also a member of the Staff of the Year and was inducted into the National Residence Hall Honorary which comprises the top 1% of student leaders in Residential Life. Olivia assisted with the daily operations and oversight of 35 residential halls on campus. She will be graduating with a degree in Construction Management and minors in Business Administration and Technical Sales. She is a three-time recipient of the S&B Engineers and Constructors Scholarship and volunteered for Volunteers in Public Schools to design and 3-D print math learning tools for Highland Elementary students. Olivia will work as a Pre-Construction Engineer in Phoenix, Arizona and continue her creative pursuit in interior design. 


Sydney BradleySydney Bradley, Chemical Engineering
Minors: Chemistry and Aerospace Studies
Hometown: Magnolia, Miss. 
Advisor: Mike Benton

Sydney believes that “leadership is the foundational tool for success,” so working to improve one’s leadership skills is paramount for expanding knowledge and learning from other people. Sydney asserts that being able to communicate with others is an “undervalued skill in today’s workforce,” so she pushes herself to be an exemplary leader and succinct communicator. She was a member of LSU’s U.S. Air Force ROTC program and will be graduating from LSU with a degree in Chemical Engineering and minors in Chemistry and Aerospace Studies. In her free time, she loves to travel, read and sew. Sydney enjoys serving people and “working toward a goal larger than” herself, so she will be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. She will be an Aircraft Maintenance Officer, stationed in Mildenhall, England.

JaNiece Campbell, Computer Science and Studio Art (Digital Art)
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Hye Yeon Nam
See JaNiece's profile under the College of Art & Design


Jack ClementJack Clement, Mechanical Engineering*
Minors: Aerospace Engineering and Robotics Engineering
Hometown: Lake Charles, La.
Advisor: Corina Barbalata

Of all the honors Jack has earned, he most values the ones that are a testament to his hard work at LSU and celebrate a commitment to improvement. The CxC Team has seen Jack’s dedication first hand as a long-time studio team member in the Chevron Center for Engineering Education, where he adeptly “wields the sword of communication skills that he’s spent many hours sharpening.” For his senior capstone project, he and his teammates produced an assistive painting device for an individual with cerebral palsy, enabling the use of eye-tracking software to create physical representations of digitally-produced art. In his spare time, Jack can be found running or watching math and science videos on YouTube. As for what’s next, Jack will head to Purdue University to pursue a Master's in Mechanical Engineering, studying jet engines. Also, Jack would like everyone to know that he is Boz's favorite Chevron CxC Team member.


Thomas CoreilThomas Coreil, Biological Engineering
Hometown: Lafayette, La.
Advisor: Dorin Boldor

Thomas Coreil is ready for his career in Mixed Martial Arts. Before that career takes off, however, he is proud to be graduating in biological engineering. While at LSU, Thomas worked as a Lab Assistant for Dr. Hoffseth, studying mycelium and presenting his work for LSU Discover Day. He practices jiu jitsu. Thomas also served in the Volunteer in Public Schools program and worked on a variety of projects for K-12 students, including supporting playground design and construction. He also developed creative tools for math learning that combined tactile features like dice with digital tools. Thomas isis a founding father of Sigma Chi Fraternity Gamma Iota chapter and acted as their Service Chair coordinating disaster relief efforts in Lake Charles. Following graduation, Thomas plans to pursue a career as a clinical account specialist.


Sarah GlassSarah Glass, Chemical Engineering
Minors: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Hometown: Algonquin, Ill.
Advisor: Adam Melvin

Sarah won the best presentation award at the Rice University Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium, and also graduates this week as an Engaged Citizen and Distinguished Researcher. Sarah founded the Global Water Brigades of LSU, and in her role as President led the brigade to Panama in March 2022 for service. While at LSU Sarah was a Stamps Scholar for the Ogden Honors College, from which she also graduates this week. She was also a LSU Halliburton Diversity Scholar. Following graduation, Sarah will commence her doctoral work Environmental Engineering at Rice University.


Mariah GrahamMariah Graham, Computer Science
Minors: Digital Media Arts & Engineering - Technology
Hometown: Tinley Park, Il.
Advisor: Nash Mahmoud

Hailing from the south suburbs of Chicago, Mariah devoted her time at LSU to finding ways to embrace her passion for all things digital, media, and technology. She was able to combine her interests into an internship with Hearst Ventures, where she worked with a team of fellow interns to create a newspapers app. This experience was one of the most impactful for her, allowing her to meet with start-up founders and showing her that “[she] could one day be in their shoes and start [her] own tech company.” Outside the classroom, Mariah pursued leadership opportunities with Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, where she completed more than 100 hours of service, and was chosen from thousands of applicants to represent the Victoria’s Secret brand for LSU. After graduation, Mariah will accept a job with a major media company where she will continue to create unique visual experiences.

Alejandra HamAlejandra Ham, Biological Engineering*
Minor: Robotics
Hometown: Slidell, La. 
Advisor: Elizabeth Martin

Being a part of the LSU MARC and McNair Program was one of the most fulfilling experiences for Alejandra while at LSU and cites their constant support as a source of her success in research and in life. Through these programs, Alejandra completed research and shadowing at Johns Hopkins University, and presented at Discover Day, where she placed among the top ten individual presenters. While at LSU Alejandra committed to serving as support systems for others, too, via the Society for Peer Mentors and the Society for Women Engineers. Alejandra is part of the 2022 LSU Tiger Twelve Class, and she will be staying in Baton Rouge after graduation to start LSU's masters program in biological engineering.


Ava LandryAva Landry, Mechanical Engineering
Minor: Studio Art
Hometown: Geismar, La. 
Advisor: Corina Barbalata

Finding a tie between Mechanical Engineering and Fine Arts could be challenging for some, but for Ava Landry, it is the ideal combination to help achieve her goal of working in the themed entertainment industry. While at LSU, she completed an internship with Universal Studios, where she was able to combine those two fields working in attraction development on ride systems. “I learned so much about my skills and how they relate to the industry that I am passionate about,” Ava says. The experience led to her landing her dream job right out of college as an associate engineer for ride systems at Universal Creative in Orlando, Florida. While at LSU, Ava served as Vice President of the Tiger Theme Park Engineering and Design student organization as a peer mentor to support her fellow college students, and won the Student Worker of the Year award for her work in the Olinde Career Center on campus. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies, attending concerts, and of course, planning trips to theme parks. 


Megan MarsaloneMegan Marsalone, Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: New Orleans, La. 
Advisor: Warren Waggenspack

Megan has always been heavily involved in the community around her, whether it be student council or the Society of Women in Engineering. Her time spent sailing with her family sparked her interest in engineering as she marveled at the way the machines around them. While at LSU, Megan participated in the Rankine Cycle experiment, competed in the SAE Aero Design West Competition, worked to design new studying equipment for the LSU Library, completed an internship with Gallo Mechanical, and spoke about the evolution and science of heat shields. Along with all of these projects, Megan volunteered as the LASC State President and Junior Counselor of the Louisiana Association of Student Councils teaching important leadership skills to high school and middle school students across the state of Louisiana and served as an LSU Chevron Engineering Ambassador. Megan also enjoy spending time with their friends, baking, and reading. She will soon begin working as a Preconstruction Engineer at Gallo Mechanical in New Orleans.


Natalie MorvantNatalie Morvant, Industrial Engineering
Minors: Business Administration, Technical Sales
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Advisor: Elizabeth Melvin

For Natalie, creating magical experiences for people involves foundational knowledge of industrial engineering and the ability to understand what makes people tick. She speaks from experience as someone who participated in the Disney College program. Natalie is on a mission to dispel the narrative that engineers are terrible conversationalists, and plans to make STEM fields more approachable to anyone with a passion for learning. In her spare time, you can find Natalie using her ham radio operating license to support disaster relief efforts in the greater New Orleans area, crocheting and stitching morse code into blankets and gifts, and completing additional professional development programs like Lean Six Sigma Green belt. She enjoys collaborating with others to develop solutions that improve operational excellence and the work-life experience, and aims to lead with kindness. To that effect, she asked us to make sure to thank her parents publicly and tell them “you made this possible.” After graduation, Natalie will be entering a rotational training program to prepare for a full-time applications engineer position with Intralox.


Angelica NguyenAngelica Nguyen, Biological Engineering
Hometown: Harvey, La. 
Advisor: Nick Totaro

Angelica has felt called to a life of service as early as the beginning of her high school career, and uses this calling to give back and connect to her community. For her work with the community Angelica earned the Engaged Citizen Award. For Angelica, community outreach means not only those in the community she lives in, but her fellow classmates; Angelica has worked as the Campus Outreach Associate Chair for the LSU Ambassadors, working with multiple departments within LSU to best serve the student population. In the wake of the pandemic, Angelica worked with the LSU Ambassadors and Campus Life to put on Tiger Streak, an opportunity for first-year tigers to find their community on campus through shared interests to enhance their college experience, ensuring everyone felt welcome and at home. Aside from all of her commitments on campus and three jobs, you can find Angelica penny boarding, a useful skill to zoom around campus, collecting sneakers, and traveling the world.


Leah PotylchanskyLeah Potylchansky, Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Advisor: James Dorman

For Leah, a significant take away from her undergraduate career is the formula for work and life balance. Leah  served as the president of the LSU chapter of American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a member of Tau Beta Pi, Delta Gamma Sorority, and Hillel, as well as completing internships and co-ops with Halliburton, Olin Corporation, and BASF, all while finding time to relax with friends, train her dog, and work out to relieve some stress. Skilled in multimodal communications, Leah has worked with written, spoken, visual, and technological projects on research done in Dr. Wornat’s lab and the design of Cumene Production Plants. Upon graduating, Leah will be beginning a full-time position with ExxonMobil as a process contact engineer in Baton Rouge. 


Lindsey SettoonLindsey Settoon, Biological Engineering
Hometown: Prairieville, La.
Advisor: Marybeth Lima

Lindsey is a firm believer that technological advancements are at the root of new discoveries in the medical field and improve medicine as we know it. She spent time with patients in St. Joseph Hospice and The Carpenter House, getting to know the individuals there and fostering relationships with them as well as spending time volunteering in local elementary schools as a reading and math friend for students PreK - 3rd grade, boosting their confidence in their work and helping them to grow as students. Lindsey worked with individuals with social, physical, and mental disabilities in the Hearts and Hooves therapeutic horse riding program ensuring rider safety and providing a safe space for healing and fun. All of this incredible community outreach also landed her the Engaged Citizen Award. Lindsey loves cross-stitching, arts and crafts, tennis, and binging her favorite shows and movies in her free time. Upon graduating, she will be attending medical school and pursuing a career in the medical field. 


Tejasri SunchuTejasri Sunchu, Biological Engineering
Hometown: Manteca, Calif.
Advisor: Nick Totaro

Contributing to the community around her and building lasting relationships with fellow team members and faculty has been incredibly important to Tejarsi, which was reflected in her work with the LSU Community Playground Project as she worked to provide more accessibility and safety to play areas in the Baton Rouge public school and institutions across Louisiana.  While at LSU, Tejarsi found a new favorite hobby when she participated in an Aerial Silks course at the university! She volunteered time as the Treasurer for the American Medical Women’s Association, a Winter and Summer Intern with Dr. Wang at Silicon Valley Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in California, as well as a hospice volunteer with St. Joseph’s Hospice. Outside of school, Tejarsi enjoys weekly phone calls in her native tongue (Telugu) with her grandmother in India, true crime and medical dramas, and cooking traditional Indian dishes to connect to her culture. After graduation, she will be attending medical school at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Jonesboro, AK, working with underserved populations and advocating for health policy. 


Emily TaylorEmily Taylor, Civil Engineering*
Hometown: Vivian, La.
Advisor: Clint Willson

Emily is very proud to report that she has passed the fundamentals of engineering exam meaning that, upon graduation, she will be a licensed EIT (Engineer in training)! While at LSU, Emily served in the Society of Peer Mentors performing educational outreach in the K-12 schools. This work has a special places in Emily’s heart, because she “did not have much access or awareness of engineering/STEM jobs growing up and kind of stumbled into my major my second year of college. I love that I got to be the person to show some of those kids what options they really do have.” After graduation, Emily heads to Austin, Texas to work with the water resources engineering team at Jacobs Engineering.


Benjamin ThomasBenjamin Thomas, Biological Engineering and Computational Mathematics*
Hometown: Crowley, La.
Advisor: Nick Totaro

With an interest in optimization and machine learning, Benjamin spent his time at LSU combining computational mathematics and biological engineering to gain a better understanding of the algorithms used in today's digital world. His current research utilizes data clustering methods to explore viral DNA. While at LSU, Benjamin authored a paper that was accepted to the NeurIPS workshop on Machine Learning and the Physical Sciences, a program that has an acceptance rate of 27%. When not diving into analytical analysis, he is playing tennis, weightlifting, and playing the piano—a skill he has been practicing since age 5. After graduation, Benjamin is headed to UT Austin to begin working on his Ph.D. in the Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (CSEM) program.


Trevor ThrasherTrevor Thrasher, Chemical Engineering*
Minor: Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Fairhope, Ala.
Advisor: Adam Melvin

When reflecting on his time at LSU, Trevor shared this: “One of my most valuable experiences at LSU has been working as a supplemental instruction leader for the Center for Academic Success. Being able to leave my life at the door a few times a week and go into a session to help those who came always gave me something to fall back on.” For his role with CAS, Trevor was honored as the recipient of the 2021-2022 Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire Outstanding Supplemental Instruction Leader Award. And while doing this work for others, Trevor also completed his Honors Thesis work and graduates with the Ogden Honors College in addition to the College of Engineering. After graduation, Trevor heads to a full-time position with Evonik Industries for their Rotational Engineer program.


Carlie TurkCarlie Turk, Environmental Engineering
Hometown: Prairieville, La.
Advisor: Vijaikrishnah Elango

Carlie believes that variety of the spice of life, so she really enjoyed her internship at Ramboll. About her time there, she shared “being a consultant allows me to work on multiple different projects rather than doing the same thing day after day, which is what I wanted from my degree.” Carlie’s long term goal is to build a career based on sustainability and finding solutions to environmental issues such as water and air quality. Callie just accepted an offer as a full-time environmental consultant at CK Associates in Baton Rouge, and she is very excited to be working for such a great company right out of graduation.

Ashton WeberAshton Weber, Biological Engineering
Minor: Robotics
Hometown: Lafayette, La. 
Advisor: Nick Totaro

When we asked Ashton to reflect on her time at LSU she shared the following: “I am most proud of being a recipient of the Center for Community Engagement, Learning & Leadership (CCELL) 2022 Happy Award. I am grateful for being recognized for my involvement in service-oriented organization on campus, impacting the Biological Engineering, LSU student, and LSU Catholic communities.” Within the Catholic community, she led Bible Studies, was involved in FOCUS discipleship, and served on staff for the Tiger Awakening Retreat. Wearing her Biological Engineering hat, Ashton volunteered with Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) as well as for the Sweet Potato and Rice Sale Fundraiser with the Biological Engineering Student Organization (BESO). She served as a Parent Orientation Leader during the summer of 2019 with LSU Enrollment Management. After graduation, she heads to a PhD program in Engineering.


Camille WetekammCamille Wetekamm, Mechanical Engineering*
Minor: Robotics
Hometown: Mandeville, La.
Advisor: Corina Barbalata

Camille’s long term goals involve working as a design engineer to explore both of her passions: creation and technology. Camille is especially proud of her work as a Stamps Scholar with the LSU Honors College. As a Stamps Scholar Camille studied abroad in Oxford, and during her time as undergraduate she interned for Luminary Design Company. After graduation, Camille will be starting full time work as an engineer. 


Allison ZieschangAllison Zieschang, Biological Engineering*
Hometown: Katy, Texas
Advisor: Dorin Boldor

Allison’s research and volunteer work at LSU have taken her from designing a playground to helping hospice patients to operating bioprinters in the Laboratory for 3D Printing and Regenerative Medicine at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. For her senior design project, Allison designed a drug delivery device for neo-tissue to improve tendon recovery and regeneration. She is a proud recipient of the S&B Engineering scholarship, allowing her to graduate from LSU debt free. When she isn’t doting on her collection of houseplants, you can find her hitting the gym. As a future physician, Allison looks forward to using her skills in adapting language to communicate with all types of people that she learned as a Distinguished Communicator. Allison plans to pursue her master’s at LSU in Biological Engineering before moving onto medical school.


College of Human Sciences & Education

Alyssa JamesAlyssa James, Early Childhood Education
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La. 
Advisor: Jennifer Baumgartner

For Alyssa representation, respect, hands-on experience and a student-centered classroom are foundational to teaching. While at LSU, Alyssa made the point to thread these values in and beyond her own learning. As a volunteer for Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired and the Service for Sight initiative via Delta Gamma Fraternity, Alyssa focused on providing inclusive activities for children who are blind or visually impaired. She has also partnered with programs such as the Week of the Young Child and Art Academy to support and implement health and wellness, music, food and art activities. Alyssa is delighted to be joining the team as a teacher for St. Dominic School in New Orleans after graduation, but also plans to take some down time after graduation and walk her dog, Moose. 


Emily KleefischEmily Kleefisch, Early Childhood Education
Hometown: Belle Chasse, La. 
Advisor: Jennifer Baumgartner

For Emily, education is not just about teaching curriculum to students; it is also about compassion and meeting students where they are. Emily will be starting as a kindergarten teacher at Prairieville Primary School in the fall. Emily served as the Vice President of the Early Childhood Education Association Club, as an LSU Ambassador, and for LSU’s S.T.R.I.P.E.S. program for incoming students. Emily believes in the hands-on approach, asserting that time spent with different people in different scenarios equips her to communicate with administrators, parents and students. The list and breadth of organizations she volunteers for reflects this. While at LSU, Emily served the Louisiana School for Visually Impaired, Volunteers in Public Schools, Hogs for a Cause, Hams for Fams, Habitat for Humanity, and the Children Hospital of New Orleans, just to name a few. In her elusive free time, Emily relaxes by writing calligraphy, cooking and baking. 


Natalie RichardNatalie Richard, Kinesiology
Minors: Biology, Leadership Development, Psychology
Hometown: New Orleans, La. 
Advisor: Meghan Jackson

Natalie subscribes to the saying that “a healthy mind is a healthy body,” which influenced her decision to pick up not one but three minors, in Biology, Leadership Development and Psychology. This motto also informed Natalie’s outreach and service work. Natalie’s favorite service experiences were with Habitat for Humanity, Live2Serve, and LeadAbroad. Through her affiliation with Greek Life, Natalie also oversaw outreach, education and advocacy efforts in Chi Omega and Gamma Chi. Natalie’s passion is pediatric healthcare, and she also served Dance Marathon, the Make a Wish Foundation, Southdowns School, the Gardere School Community Soccer Team. After graduation, Natalie is setting her sights on school to become a Physician Assistant. 


KK WeltyKathryn (KK) Welty, Child & Family Studies
Hometown: Metairie, La. 
Advisor: Hannah Plauche

KK received the Pi Beta Phi Dottie Newman award which acknowledges the person who puts all of their energy into doing good work for others, and yet never seeks recognition. KK volunteered as the Director of Service and Philanthropy for Pi Beta Phi and as Vice President of Finance for the program Live2Serve. Her efforts across platforms has led to more than $46,000 in monetary support for a variety of literacy, health, education and practical skills development programs. She also served on the Greek Board of Directors, creating incentive programs for Greek organizations to increase their philanthropic output. As the Assistant director of Greek week, she co-planned one of the largest philanthropy events in LSU’s Greek life, during which time she was able to work with Habitat for Humanity building houses. About this, KK says, “It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I have cultivated amazing communications skills while also doing something that I love.” After graduation, KK heads to Fort Worth for some overdue down time. 


College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Brianna BeckBrianna Beck, English (Literature) and Spanish
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La. 
Advisor: Christina Rothenbeck

Bri is using her time to the fullest. Over the past four years, she has interned for Power Pump Girls, Inc. women’s advocacy nonprofit, currently serving as a Content Writer, event planner and contributor to community engagement. Bri also served as a Fellow for Brother’s Empowered to Teach, an educational advocacy program in south Louisiana. In August 2021, Bri self-published her first poetry collection, Wayward Nomad. She earned the LSU Lisi Oliver Scholarship recognizing her acumen in service, writing and academics. Bri has been accepted to the competitive Prague Summer 2022 Writing Program, led by writing experts from across the globe. After the Prague Writing Program, she heads to Cleveland and will prepare for her graduate work in Cannabis Studies. 


Calli NguyenCalli Nguyen, Interdisciplinary Studies and Biological Sciences
Minors: Kinesiology (Health Sciences), Psychology, and Business Administration
Hometown: Harvey, La. 
Advisor: Hollie Hale Donze

Today is bittersweet for Calli. She’s lost two family members in just the last few months, but is ready to proudly walk across the graduation stage knowing they are by her side. “My degrees and accomplishments are dedicated to my family,” Calli says, “especially my late loved ones who would have given anything to be present in person.” As a first-generation student diving into research, Calli was selected to be a Scholar in the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program. Calli was the co-founder and President of MEDLIFE, a member of the SCI Lead Council, an Undergraduate Research Ambassador, and an LSU Discover Scholar. Calli intends to work to make healthcare both accessible and affordable to low-income and underserved communities. After graduation, Calli will begin studies for graduate work in healthcare.  


Caroline RaymondCaroline Raymond, English (Literature)
Minors: Business Administration and Political Science
Hometown: Monroe, La. 
Advisor: Brannon Costello

Fairness, level-headedness, accountability, and trust are just a few ways that fellow classmates and colleagues have described Caroline. These qualities landed her a spot on the Standards Council of the Delta Omega chapter of Tri Delta at LSU. While at LSU, Caroline spent time in the Louisiana State Capitol and the U.S. House of Representatives as an intern, learning about and fostering her passion for healthcare advocacy and climate change mitigation. She was also selected as an Eye of the Tiger panelist for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She volunteered for three summers with teenage mothers in North Carolina and participated in humanitarian relief after Hurricane Laura and Ida, adopting two wonderful kittens named Penny and Polly. After graduation, Caroline heads to law school—but not before spending a few weeks this summer in the south of France. 


Emily WoodEmily Wood, Political Science and Mass Communication (Political Communication)
Hometown: Bossier City, La. 
Advisor: Bob Mann

In keeping with Emily’s dual majors in Mass Communication and Political Science, she believes “communication is the ideal vehicle for positive change.” She has been putting her communication and collaboration skills to work on and off campus. For LSU, Emily serves in leadership and accountability initiatives within the LSU Greek community, for which she won the Gamma Zeta Most Outstanding Member Award, and as an LSU Ambassador. Emily also interns at Emergent Method management-consulting firm. Emily interned with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 2021, developing an agency memo with guidance on proactive disclosures for the Freedom of Information Act. Prior to that, Emily reported on the Louisiana Legislature for news outlets in the state. After Emily graduates summa cum laude, she will be moving to Washington, DC, to work as an account executive at the Black Rock Group.  


Monica ZmudzinskiMonica Zmudzinski, Communication Disorders
Minors: English and Psychology
Hometown: Orange, Calif. 
Advisor: Janna Oetting

Monica began her advocacy for Deaf and hard of hearing students from an early age while advocating for her own accommodation needs. Hailing from California, she has earned both the Gold Award and the Woman of the Year Award in her congressional district for her work with the Girls Scouts. She is an Angels Scholar, sponsored by the Angels Baseball Foundation. Her passion for advocacy led her to a major in Communication Disorders at LSU, where she has served as a board member with the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association and the Hands that Hear Club. In summer 2021, Monica traveled to Belize with the Therapy Abroad program to conduct hearing and language screenings. As a future audiologist, Monica would like to open free hearing clinics and bring audiology resources to underserved populations. Monica will be starting a Doctorate of Audiology at University of Arizona in the fall.


Manship School of Mass Communication

Marie GeorgeMarie George, Mass Communication (Public Relations)
Minor: Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Lafayette, La.
Advisor: Doug Draper

Marie’s dream is to work in nonprofit communications. She was selected as part of the LSU team for the 2022 Bateman Case Study Competition, earning LSU an honorable mention and a spot in the top ten teams across the United States. The client for her team was the Lymphoma Research Foundation, for which she ran the social media campaign. Another one of Marie’s favorite projects during her time at LSU was supporting Hands Producing Hope, a local nonprofit that provides employment to women all around the world through fair trade goods. Marie’s commitment to community extends beyond her career goals, and she has served as a camp counselor, retreat leader for her church, and as support for Hurricane Laura relief in Lake Charles, LA. Marie has accepted a full time position as a digital project manager with MESH, an advertising agency in Baton Rouge, but will be changing things up a bit and moving to Shreveport to work remotely from there. 


Gabrielle GremillionGabrielle Gremillion, Mass Communication (Political Communication)
Minor: Philosophy
Hometown: Sunshine, La.
Advisor: Jennifer Macha Hebert

In Gabrielle’s senior year of high school she was a national champion in her Speech and Debate league, competing against more than 100 speakers from across the country. This cemented her goals in cultivating communication skills, and in the time since Gabrielle has also served as a coach for speech and debate competitors. When Gabrielle is not coaching speakers or taking lead roles in her church, she is heading to the outdoors. She’s an avid horseback rider, hiker, runner, and swimmer, has coached gymnastics, and this summer will be running the rock climbing department for a camp in Colorado. In the fall, she heads to a graduate school for her M.A. in Theology in Denver, Colorado.  


Kayla HamiltonKayla Hamilton, Mass Communication (Public Relations)
Minor: Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Coconut Creek, Fla.
Advisor: Sadie Wilks

Kayla is a scholar, a storyteller, a designer and a leader. She’s passionate about leading for the community and harnessing public relations as a tool toward that goal. Kayla served on the social media team and as Chapter President for the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter at LSU. She is the Assistant Secretary for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She’s worked in various communications roles for the LSU Museum Store, Power Pump Girls, Inc., and for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, the latter of which she cites as a pivotal educational experience for understanding the importance of non-profit work and community outreach. Kayla intends to own her own business one day, and to continue to give back. In the meantime, she is taking a well-deserved gap year before embarking on her masters. 


Maria PhamMaria Pham, Mass Communication (Broadcast Journalism)*
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: New Iberia, La.
Advisor: Cindy Carter

Maria is ready to tell people’s stories, and has spent the past few years honing her focus on food, culture and politics. Maria is a proud first-generation college student and since arriving at LSU she hasn’t slowed down, earning the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters Scholarship for her work. Maria worked as a broadcast reporter for Tiger TV and her Honors thesis work covered topics in drag queen experience in the US South and featuring Asian American women challenging traditional mental health treatment. With the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) of Louisiana, Maria updated the 2022 Guide to the Louisiana Legislature, collected and analyzed COVID-19 data, and helped to run PAR’s very first TikTok on Louisiana’s first Constitutional Amendment. Working to forge intercultural storytelling off-camera, Maria served as President and Secretary of the Society for International Affairs at LSU. After graduation, Maria will remain in Baton Rouge to work with local broadcast stations. 


Emily Wood, Mass Communication (Political Communication) and Political Science
Hometown: Bossier City, La.
Advisor: Bob Mann
See Emily's profile under the College of Humanities & Social Sciences


College of Science

Joseph Aguda IIIJoseph Aguda III, Biological Sciences
Minors: Sociology and Spanish
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Advisor: Khoa Nguyen

To Joseph, “everything sounds better in Spanish.” Joseph spent much of his childhood hanging out with his Abuela and Abuelo, who both emigrated from Cuba at the end of the 1950s to escape the Castro regime. This inspired his love for language, and his passion for public engagement and advocacy. Joseph is currently teaching himself to speak Mandarin. As part of his work advocating for students, he served as a Tutor and Supplemental instruction leader for the Center for Academic Success, creating visual learning tools for the students he works with. He was also recently recognized for reinstating his fraternity, and the work he did to establish a sustainable organizational structure for it. In the fall, Joseph heads to the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans for medical school. 

Sanaa AlamSanaa Alam, Biological Sciences*
Minors: Political Science and Spanish
Hometown: Lafayette, La.
Advisor: Alyssa Johnson

Sanaa was twice selected for the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship and this summer will travel to India to study Urdu. After that, she heads to La Rioja, Spain teaching English in the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Fellowship Program. With grant dollars from the Honors College, Sanaa implemented the Highlights Project to promote literacy in disadvantaged Baton Rouge public schools, providing nearly 300 students at Park Elementary with a 9-mth subscription to Highlights Children magazine. She also served as the Director of Academic Affairs in Student Government and advised and organized programs for nearly 80 students as the Scholar Liason for the Stamps and President’s Alumni Scholars cohort. Recently, Sanaa was selected by LSU's Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) chapter as the one nominee to compete at the national level for graduate fellowships. If awarded, Sanaa will be able to apply this fellowship to her studies at either Cambridge or Stanford, both of which accepted her for graduate work in Public Health programs. 


Hannah BlackmonHannah Blackmon, Biochemistry*
Minors: Chemistry and Psychology
Hometown: Bentonville, Ark.
Advisor: Johnna Roose

Hannah is a Louisiana Service and Leadership (LASAL) Scholar, a Project 225 -  St. Bernard Project Director, a Louisiana Center for Health Equity Fellow, and has successfully defended her thesis as part of the Ogden Honors College. Her research focuses around toxic stress caused by adverse childhood experiences. When she is not sharing her research or determining ways to communicate scientific knowledge to the general public, Hannah enjoys reading, cooking, listening to music, playing with her cat, Nico, and watching what she refers to as “bad TV” with her friends. After graduation, Hannah will work as a technician in a neuroscience laboratory in Southern California and later pursue a PhD in neuroscience. 


Jordyn CourvilleJordyn Courville, Biochemistry
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La. 
Advisor: Grover Waldrop

Jordyn will be joining LSU Shreveport’s School of Medicine as a member of the class of 2026. She shares that she is ecstatic, as she has dedicated her undergraduate career toward exactly this goal. Jordyn works at Pennington Biomedical Center as a Research Assistant in a metabolic and a Research Assistant in neuroscience and behavioral psychology. In Spring 2022 she presented her work at both LSU’s Discover Day and the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. She is also graduating from LSU as a Distinguished Researcher. When Jordyn is not in the lab or the conference hall, she dedicates her time as the Director of volunteer recruitment for GEAUX Big Baton Rouge, and as an assistant at Clarity Hospice. 


Grayce MoresGrayce Mores, Microbiology*
Minor: Mass Communication
Hometown: Harvey, La.
Advisor: David Donze

Grayce is on a mission to prove that scientists can be effective communicators. She believes that not only is communication crucial, but it creates an avenue to accessibility in scientific research. Her research spans everything from studying specific biological components of the Capuchin monkey species (presented at conferences and published in Genes) to research and advocacy educating the public on how to detect fake news. Grayce served as the President of Research Ambassadors, as a Science Peer Mentor, and an Honors College Advocate, using these platforms to inspire fellow students to dive into the research process. She has been recognized for her work on campus and focus on interdisciplinary studies by receiving the Tiger 12 award. In her rare dare down time, she likes to cross-stitch, read, journal, and spend time with her bird, Darwin. In the fall, Grayce heads graduate school in Chicago at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, and thanks Dr. Donze for his help!


Calli Nguyen, Biological Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies
Hometown: Harvey, La.
Advisor: Hollie Hale Donze
See Calli's profile under the College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Karina Ramirez RodriguezKarina Ramirez Rodriguez, Chemistry (Environmental Chemistry)
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Gonzales, La.
Advisor: Chris Barrett

Karina has centered her time at LSU around serving both her community and underserved communities around her. While at LSU, Karina created written material in both Spanish and English for families with loved ones in nursing home care. This experience led her to pursue a minor in Psychology with an emphasis on adult development and aging. Aside from her community work, Karina researched work with Dr. Garno in the Atomic Force Microscopy lab looking at the synthesis and aggregation of gold. She was not only working alongside grad students, but conducting research on her own to write scientific papers and present them to other professors and colleagues. In her free time, Karina enjoys gardening, bird-watching, hiking, and playing chess. After graduation, she will be working in a management position with Amazon and working towards a career in the medical field. 


Benjamin Thomas, Computational Mathematics and Biological Engineering*
Hometown: Crowley, La.
Advisor: Nick Totaro
See Ben's profile under the College of Engineering


Kim TranKim Tran, Biological Sciences*
Minors: Sociology, Music (Vocal Performance)
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Khoa Nguyen

While at LSU, Kim spent much of her time caring for others—a critical skill that will carry over well into her future in medicine. She spent time volunteering in Honduras to provide free health care, hygiene supplies and glasses, and making masks with her mom as COVID cases rose to not only provide necessary PPE but also raise money for Feed America (ultimately providing more than 2,000 meals!). She chose to minor in sociology to further develop her skills, allowing her “to become a more compassionate physician that preaches and practices health equity.” When she has spare time, she cares for herself by practicing guitar and piano, citing music as a practice that helps her “to building discipline, public speaking and performance, and creativity.” After graduating, Kim plans to take a gap year before applying to medical school, though she’ll be staying busy as she continues working at an optometry clinic with Dr. Kiet Huynh O.D. and for the Pediatric Cardiology Associates clinic at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital as a medical assistant.

*Honors students are designated with an asterisk.