Meet the May 2024 LSU Distinguished Communicators

During May 2024 Commencement, 61 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 

This distinction is the first of its kind in the nation. It is sponsored by LSU Communication across the Curriculum (CxC), a nationally recognized program for its excellence in enhancing learning experiences and improving students’ communication skills across all disciplines. As of May 2024 Commencement, LSU has awarded 979 graduates with the Distinguished Communicator Medal.

College of Agriculture

Court BakerCourtney Baker, Nutrition & Food Sciences
Hometown: Zachary, La.
Advisor: Erin McKinley

Courtney loves words. She is an avid reader and can recite entire dialogues of television episodes she has only seen once or twice. Her favorite part of her coursework in communication-intensive classes was seeing the intersection of visual and technological communication in creating infographics and educational videos. Courtney is also passionate about advocating for food security, which led to her volunteering with the LSU Food Pantry. She will be continuing to work on food security after graduation as the Child Nutrition Programs Coordinator at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, and her long-term plan is to pursue a master’s degree in public policy so she can create policy with a focus on nutritional health.

Sophia Discua RomeroSophia Discua Romero, Nutrition & Food Sciences
Hometown: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Advisor: Judy Myhand

Sophia chose to study food science thanks to her family’s businesses with livestock animals and aquaculture in Honduras. She is especially proud to have navigated all the obstacles and challenges of being an international student to complete her degree. Her advisor says, “she impressed me from the first time I met her because of her motivation to seek opportunities that will lead to success in her field.” Sophia’s favorite internship was working with Quality and Regulatory Compliance at The Hershey Company, and she hopes to find a position in Research & Development or Quality Assurance departments of the food industry after graduation.

Beverly PainterMargaret Painter, Nutrition & Food Sciences (Dietetics)
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Advisor: Erin McKinley

Margaret, like her great-grandmother, "the original Margaret Beverly," goes by Beverly. Beverly says that she can be pretty shy when meeting new people, but also that her hidden talent is her ability to connect with others through humor. She was surprised how much the communication skills she has developed at LSU have benefited her in various settings, especially in her off-campus jobs, where she effectively interacted with colleagues, supervisors, and customers. Beverly earned the LEAH Fellowship, which gave her the opportunity to experience leadership training in adolescent and young adult health. After graduation, she will be starting her combined dietetic internship and master’s in nutrition program at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Reetu Shrestha, Nutrition & Food Sciences and Biological Sciences*
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Jiaqi Tan

Read Reetu Shrestha's profile under the College of Science.

College of Art & Design

Francis DinhFrancis Dinh, Architecture*
Minors: Journalism, Architectural History
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: William Hunter

Francis wants to build on the moon. His Honors College thesis imagined what beautiful architecture might look like for a lunar context. In addition to his work with architecture, Francis is also a passionate photographer and worked for The Reveille as a photojournalist, and his favorite moment was getting Aleah Finnegan's autograph on his sketch of the PMAC. His advisor says, “Francis has been a highly engaged and dedicated student within the School of Architecture. His leadership, broad disciplinary interests, and evolving stylistic affinity will serve him well as he transitions to the professional world.” While at LSU, Francis earned the Certificate in Classical Architecture and the LSU School of Architecture Faculty Design Academic Achievement Award.

Maddie FitzmorrisMadeleine Fitzmorris, Art (Graphic Design)
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Advisor: Richard Doubleday

Maddie’s advisor describes her as “exceptionally astute, industrious, and persistent,” and notes that “she is particularly adept at conceptual thinking, a hand-drawn approach and singular artisanship, as well as inventing and exposing new ideas within her work.” Maddie’s love of art extends to her decorating sensibilities, too. She says that when she finds a new piece of art, book, or DVD to collect, she feels like an adventurer decorating her cave. She loved working for The Reveille, especially because of working with people who are very passionate about the work they put out in the world. Maddie is currently looking for a position in graphic design or advertising and marketing, and hopes to be part of the art and museum culture in New Orleans.

Jonah FosterJonah Foster, Landscape Architecture*
MInor: Digital Media Arts & Engineering
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Haley Blakeman

Jonah is the founder of the LSU Disc Golf team and can bend his thumbs back 90 degrees (no word on whether this helps his throwing success). His advisor says, “it has been a delight to watch Jonah grow into a capable, talented designer and communicator,” and appreciates that he often shares those skills with his classmates. He enjoys flying drones around all the places he travels, and he is proud to have maintained a 4.0 GPA along with his many extracurricular activities. Jonah’s favorite internship was with OJB Landscaping in Solana Beach, California, where he will be taking a position as a designer after graduation. 

Victoria LopezVictoria Lopez, Architecture**
Hometown: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Advisor: Annicia Streete

Victoria Lopez describes themself as “a very curious person with undeterred focus” who will dedicate their time to learning as much as possible about anything that piques their interest. As a recent recipient of the ARCC King Medal in architectural research, their curiosity and love of research has paid off. Their Distinguished Communicator faculty advisor, Annicia Streete, praised Victoria’s “dedication and outstanding rigor,” and Victoria was also named to the Metropolis Future 100 class of 2024, which designates the top 100 graduating architecture and interior design students in the United States and Canada. They are currently searching for the perfect job to begin their career after graduation.

Daniel MetzgerDaniel Metzger, Landscape Architecture*
Minor: Fine Art
Hometown: Slidell, La.
Advisor: Brendan Harmon

Daniel is a big believer in using his hands: in addition to his work in landscape architecture design, he crafts in leather, textiles, paper, wood and ceramics! Despite his carpentry hobby, however, he does not have a bed in his room. He made a significant impact by establishing better communication between faculty and students, and he is particularly proud of his Capstone project, "Rockford Station Park." In addition to his many crafting projects, Daniel also farmed organic vegetables for the Food Pantry. Daniel's commitment to service is also evident in his plans for his post-graduation work in Lesotho, Africa, where he will teach fourth-graders in rural communities as a part of the Peace Corps.

Giovanni MontrelGiovanni Montrel, Architecture
Minors: Architectural History, Sculpture
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Advisor: Sergio Padilla

Giovanni is a multi-instrumentalist who once played in a New Orleans-themed music festival in Moscow, Russia when she was a young child. These days, her hobbies include roller skating, reading, and making crafts. She is passionate about representation in the field of architecture, having served as the Vice President & Communication Director of LSU’s National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS). Through the NOMAS Light a Fire program, Giovanni also visited predominantly Black & minority high schools to talk with students about their potential as future architecture students. Her advisor says, “it’s been a joy to see Giovanni’s growth…her talents and service to the school will be missed." Giovanni plans to pursue an MBA while she accumulates the experience hours needed to become a licensed architect. 

Meriam Saad BesharaMeriam Saad Beshara, Architecture
Minors: Architectural History, Construction Management
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Advisor: Annicia Streete

Meriam says that she doesn’t believe she has a superpower, but knowing that she’s learned to both design and build a structure seems pretty super to us! As an architecture major with a minor in construction management, Meriam can handle both planning and execution. She has also worked in more than five different departments at LSU–including CxC–and credits her communication skills for her success in each placement. Her advisor praises her “unwavering dedication and rigor,” which is also demonstrated by the fact that she earned Intern of the Year during her time with PCL Construction last summer. She will be returning to PCL Construction to work full-time after graduation. 

Paris VercherParis Vercher, Interior Design
Minor: Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Philip Tebbutt

Paris's advisor says she has “sought out and taken every opportunity to travel while in the Design Program, as a way of enriching her education.” This desire has taken Paris from a New York City field trip to study abroad experiences in both Italy and Thailand. Paris is proud to be a first-generation college graduate and her dedication in making her way through an intense workload. She also values the opportunities to get outside the classroom to understand more about herself and the world she found via the Distinguished Communicator program. Paris plans to move to a new state (as yet undecided) to pursue a career in interior design, creative directing, or entrepreneurship. 

College of Engineering 

Benjamin AvantsBenjamin Avants, Mechanical Engineering
Minor: Business Administration
Hometown: Port Allen, La.
Advisor: Genevieve Palardy

Benjamin says he didn’t start school thinking he could ever be a Distinguished Communicator, but his best friend, Distinguished Communicator alum Logan Brou, is the reason he pursued the program. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, especially researching new and interesting flavor and seasoning combinations. Benjamin was the team leader for his capstone design team, which built a combat robot for the LSU Bengal Battle Bot competition, and has worked internships with the LSU Industrial Assessment Center, Premier Geotech and Testing, and International Paper. After graduation, Benjamin will be taking a position with International Paper in Bogalusa and planning a wedding, because he just got engaged to his fiancee after eight years together. 

Caleb BielkiewiczCaleb Bielkiewicz, Mechanical Engineering*
Hometown: Port Allen, La.
Advisor: Kenny Smith

Caleb is the rare LSU student to complete their mechanical engineering degree in four years, and he’s topping that off with College Honors, having written and defended a thesis, so it’s probably not surprising that he lists his secret superpower as “doing hard things on purpose.” Caleb has served as treasurer and also Vice President of Company Outreach for the LSU American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and mentored an incoming first-year student with the Society of Peer Mentors for the College of Engineering. He also worked as an intern at the Louisiana State Police Fleet and Police Supply Services. He is currently looking for a full-time engineering job. 

Emily FriedmanEmily Friedman, Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Advisor: Christopher Marvel

Emily lists their secret superpower as “I can distract Chloe,” and says that they have eaten the same thing for breakfast nearly every day for the past year, but not because they like it. Throughout their time at LSU, Emily has served as treasurer and then president for the Society of Peer Mentors and has earned the College of Engineering James D. Sturgis award and the Clayton Engineering Excellence Award. They have worked as an intern with Rolls-Royce and also worked as a design leader for the Geaux Engineering Bridge Camp, creating an original design project for incoming engineering students. After graduation, Emily will be returning to LSU in the fall for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Haley FullerHaley Fuller, Chemical Engineering
Minors: Nuclear Engineering, Leadership Development
Hometown: Lenoir City, Tenn.
Advisor: Manas Gartia

Haley is a puzzle lover with the ability to quickly solve everything from word searches to Sudoku. She also shares her house with five dogs. In addition to earning the Distinguished Communicator medal, Haley has also earned the Tom W. Dutton Award for service and the Center for Community Engagement, Learning & Leadership Engaged Citizen distinction. She worked as the Lead Nuclear Engineer Intern at WIPP, a position which ultimately led to her career choice. Haley’s advisor says “Haley's steadfast commitment to entering the nuclear industry from her time at LSU is truly commendable.” After graduation, Haley will be moving into a full-time role as a reactor engineer with Constellation’s Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and plans to complete a master's degree in nuclear engineering. 

Cailynn GeraldCailynn Gerald, Biological Engineering+
Hometown: Diamondhead, Miss.
Advisor: Nick Totaro

Cailynn can type like the wind! Her words per minute rate is 84. She’s good with other kinds of keys as well, being an avid piano player as well as playing the guitar and ukulele. Cailynn’s first bioengineering project at LSU was designing ergonomic fingertips for a prosthetic hand, and she has continued to explore the intersection of engineering and human anatomy. She has earned the Center for Community Engagement, Learning & Leadership Engaged Citizen distinction, which she values as a representation of her commitment to making a positive impact on her community. After graduation, she will continue to explore her interest in biotechnology, beginning work at Biosense Webster working with medical cardiac devices. 

Chloe HawkinsChloe Hawkins, Electrical Engineering
Minors: Robotics, Computer Engineering
Hometown: Bossier City, La.
Advisor: Corina Barbalata

Chloe says her secret superpower is staying up for hours on end, which is probably helpful after Emily Friedman has been distracting her. She is the founder of the club Tiger Brawlers, LSU’s first MMA club, which practices self-defense and mixed martial arts fighting techniques. But while Chloe may be a tough MMA brawler, she also loves watching kids’ cartoons, drawing, and playing guitar. Chloe is a member of the Class of 2024 Tiger Twelve, served various leadership positions in the Air Force ROTC, and led LSU’s Shell Eco Marathon interdisciplinary team in designing and manufacturing a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle for the Shell Eco Marathon. After graduation, Chloe will be moving to Sunnyvale, California to work as a test engineer for Northrop Grumman.  

Brenda HebertBrenda Hebert, Mechanical Engineering
Minors: Robotics, Business Administration, Technical Sales
Hometown: Kenner, La.
Advisor: Corina Barbalata

Brenda’s secret superpower is that she is incredibly organized, and she credits the Distinguished Communicator program with helping her to stay organized and communicate effectively during group projects. As a robotics engineering minor, Brenda is interested in themed entertainment, and she has served as both secretary and vice president of the LSU Tiger Theme Park Engineering and Design Club. She has also worked in several internships, including the LSU iCore Laboratory and Luminary Design Company. After graduation, Brenda will join Luminary Design Company (and 2022 Distinguished Communicator Camille Wetekamm) full-time as a project engineer.

Jacob LincolnJacob Lincoln, Biological Engineering
Minors: Biological Sciences, Chemistry
Hometown: Belle Chasse, La.
Advisor: Nick Totaro

Jacob is someone who values artistic expression, as a person who plays multiple instruments and collects art. His love of design also came through during his time volunteering with The Hive, a daycare and afterschool program for young children. As someone who was there from the beginning, Jacob helped with designing and decorating the space and helped to construct a custom playground. He continues to volunteer there as a coach, and has discovered that explaining concepts to children has been the most surprising test of his communication abilities. An avid fisherman who grew up on the water, Jacob has also worked on designing and fabricating devices to be used on a commercial oyster harvesting vessel. In the fall, Jacob will be attending Tulane University to study chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Chloe MarinoChloe Marino, Biological Engineering*
Minor: Robotics
Metairie, La.
Advisor: Nick Totaro

Chloe has an entire list of new restaurants she wants to try, and she also loves board games and escape rooms, as well as sewing. She served as the membership chair for the Society of of Peer Mentors, which works to teach K-12 students about STEM through outreach, and also was a Big Sibling to an incoming first-year biological engineering student. She especially values her experience with the Disney College Program, working in Parking Operations and the Auto Plaza, because it afforded her opportunities to network with a goal of finding future opportunities. That networking has paid off, because after graduation Chloe will be returning to Disney as an intern with the engineering services team!

Corinne MartinCorinne Martin, Biological Engineering* **
Minor: Biological Sciences
Hometown: Metairie, La.
Advisor: Marybeth Lima

Corinne is a root beer connoisseur, and can identify different brands based on taste! She is also a former competitive Irish dancer and sailboat racer, and is currently learning to embroider. As the president of the LSU Biological Engineering Student Organization, Corinne led the executive board in coordinating events and outreach, as well as planning general meetings. Her oversight of the fundraising committee saw a record profit for the year. She is especially proud to have earned her College Honors distinction after defending her thesis, and enjoyed working in Dr. Park’s lab in Mechanical Engineering on nanofluidic devices. After graduation, Corinne will be studying for the MCAT before applying to medical school. Her ultimate goal is to specialize in Aerospace Medicine through the U.S. Air Force.

Sybil PunSybil Pun, Mechanical Engineering
Minor: Aerospace Engineering
Hometown: Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
Advisor: Corina Barbalata

Not everyone knows that Sybil is a slam poet, but many, many students know her as a tutor and supplemental instructor for intro mechanical engineering classes. In fact, Sybil wanted to make sure we mention her commitment to assisting her peers above all her many other accomplishments, because she understands the power of helping and being the person in someone’s life who believes in them. The people around her have recognized her dedication, too–her advisor says Sybil is “one of the most determined, hard working, and smart students I know.” Sybil earned the Gilman Scholarship in Fall 2022 and studied for the semester at the University of Sheffield. More than the money, though, she values the scholarship as someone deciding to recognize her as worthy. After graduation, she will be working as a production support engineer at Shell.  

Erinn RobleeErinn Roblee, Biological Engineering*
Minor: Biological Sciences
Hometown: El Dorado, Ark.
Advisor: Nick Totaro

Erinn is a former cheerleader who can still do stunts! She’s also an avid roller skater, and loves volunteering with The Chapel Kids, her church’s children’s ministry. Erinn’s advisor says “Erinn is always pushing herself and her perseverance is unmatched.” She was named the 2023 Zeta Lady, the highest honor of her sorority Zeta Tau Alpha, where she served as the Vice President of New Member Education & Director of Sisterhood. Erin is especially proud to have defended her Honors College thesis, earning College Honors, and completing her senior design project, which she hopes will one day assist with breast cancer research. After graduation, Erinn will begin medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with a goal of specializing in pediatrics. 

Steven SeidenSteven Seiden, Computer Science* **
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Chen Wang

Steven Seiden says that he could never have imagined ending up where he is today while growing up in a single-parent household in Baton Rouge. His experiences at LSU have led him to be a guest on President Tate’s podcast, form his own student organization, and working as a teaching assistant—all endeavors that rely on strong communication skills! Steven likes to spend his spare time scouring garage sales for vintage electronics and tending to his many houseplants. He will be heading to Duke University in the fall to pursue a PhD in Computer and Electrical Engineering.

Caroline ShriverCaroline Shriver, Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Eamonn Walker

Caroline says, "I bought a few plants during COVID, and the rest is history." She is a prolific gardener, currently caring for approximately 25 plants and always looking to add to her collection. Caroline discovered that the communication skills she has developed has made her a stronger tutor because she learned to tailor information to her audience, which for her job consists of high school students. She says that her internship in the utilities department of International Paper was valuable as it allowed her to apply classroom concepts in a real-life situation. She would also like to thank her mom, dad, and entire family for their unwavering support, saying, “I wouldn't be in this position today without them.” After graduation, Caroline will be heading to San Antonio, Texas to work for Baker Hughes.

Maggie StewartMargaret Stewart, Computer Science (Mathematics)*
Minor: Mathematics
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Aisha Ali-Gombe

Maggie loves languages. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and French in addition to English. She also loves puzzles and building botanical Lego sets. Maggie served as the treasurer for the Society of Peer Mentors and a team leader for Geaux Engineering, as well as working several internships and participating in study abroad, so it’s not surprising that she says her secret superpower is time management! Her advisor says, “Maggie stands out as an extraordinary student, not only for her deep technical prowess but also for her rich, multifaceted engagement with life.” Maggie is especially proud to have defended her thesis to receive College Honors at graduation. She will be pursuing her MBA this fall with LSU’s Flores MBA program.

College of Human Sciences & Education

Brooke Bordelon, Sports Administration (Sports Commerce) and Mass Communication (Public Relations)
Minor: Business Administration
Hometown: Raceland, La.
Advisor: Will Mari

Read Brooke Bordelon's profile under the Manship School of Mass Communication.

Nya JacksonNya Jackson, Kinesiology (Human Movement Science)
Minor: Biological Sciences
Hometown: Zachary, La.
Advisor: Rebecca Nguyen

You might say that Nya has been interested in human movement for most of her life–she spent her elementary school years as a competitive jump roper. Since her early start, Nya has gone on to coursework in motor skill development and anatomical prosection of the human body, which she counts among her most formative classes. Nya also has traveled to Honduras and Guatemala with Global Brigades, an international non-profit that allows undergraduates to travel to other countries to offer healthcare to underserved communities. After graduation, Nya will continue to work at Ochsner Health while applying to Physician Assistant school. She also plans to continue volunteering at Baton Rouge General and with Global Brigades.     

Nikki LeBlancNikki LeBlanc, Early Childhood Education+
Minor: Special Education: Mild/Moderate Disabilities Grades 1–5
Hometown: Erath, La.
Advisor: Hillary Eisworth

Nikki is proud to be a first-generation college student and to have maintained a 4.0 GPA for her entire academic career, beginning in kindergarten. She is equally comfortable operating power tools while working on DIY repair projects and speaking in front of large crowds, with or without advance preparation, and she loves attending LSU sporting events. After seven school placements during her eight semesters, Nikki surprised herself by discovering that first grade was her absolute favorite one to teach. Nikki has also earned the LSU Engaged Citizen distinction and volunteered with the Louisiana Special Olympics program. After graduation, she will pursue a master’s degree in educational leadership and a specialist degree in educational diagnostics. 

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Addie DurhamAddaline Durham, Political Science (Race, Ethnicity, & Gender and Law & Legal Systems)
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Advisor: Eli Abad

Addie’s advisor says, “Addie continues to impress!” She has studied nine languages and is also a passionate ballroom dancer who loves the arts and creating from crochet to painting to playing guitar. If that isn’t impressive enough, Addie is also celebrating being accepted to law school at 20 years old and a full slate of extracurricular activities including mock trial competitions, serving as an LSU Health Center peer health educator, and working as a Language Learning Summer Camp teaching assistant. She will be heading to Georgia State College of Law to pursue her JD in the fall.     

Elanor Fuller, Biological Sciences and Religious Studies*
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Kaukauna, Wis.
Advisor: Laura Lagomarsino

Read Elanor Fuller's profile under the College of Science.

Kennedi GeorgeKennedi George, Psychology (Forensic Psychology)*
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Advisor: Vanessa Burke

Kennedi is a big believer in the ability of challenges to help her see what amazing things she is capable of. As a transfer student, she has worked “extra hard” to become a College Honors Graduate and is thrilled to receive this honor. Kennedi is fluent in Spanish and loves playing volleyball, painting, and content creating. Her advisor says “Kennedi’s passion for positive change is inspiring,” and she has worked in a variety of positions and student organizations with the goal of creating a safe and inclusive campus environment. After graduation, she plans to travel and work abroad in Spain for a year before pursuing law school.  

Hannah JacksonHannah Jackson, International Studies (Global Diplomacy)
Minors: Political Science, Arabic 
Hometown: Shreveport, La.
Advisor: Touria Khannous

Hannah takes international relations seriously. From serving as the vice president of the Society for International Affairs to working as an orientation leader for international students coming to LSU to her capstone research on how tourism in urban cities affects their indigenous populations, she has thrown herself into what it means to be a global citizen. Her most important international experience, however, was studying abroad in Morocco for four weeks, including intensive Arabic schooling and living with a host family in Fes. When she isn’t focused internationally, Hannah enjoys geocaching, cooking, and hiking. She also enjoys solitaire, and her fastest solution time is one minute and 20 seconds.

Nicole MannNicole Mann, International Studies and Political Science (International Law and Politics)*
Minors: Spanish, Leadership & Human Resource Development
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Oliver Crocco

Nicole is a comedian–her hidden talent is that she can always get someone to laugh, and her advisor says that her podcast on globalization “integrates the comedic styles of Jim Carrey and Robin Williams.” She is serious about the importance of international relations, however, and participated in the Society for International Affairs and the Latin American Student Organization, as well as working with LSU International Services and the International Cultural Center. Nicole visits her mother’s home country of Costa Rica every year, and has participated in study abroad programs in Madrid and Thailand. She is currently waiting to hear back on applications to teach English abroad in Spain and to join the Peace Corps, and she is excited to see where the future takes her next!

Antavion MooreAntavion Moore, Political Science and Music*+
Hometown: Ringgold, La.
Advisor: Nick Totaro

Antavion is the first Louisiana recipient of the John Robert Lewis Scholar fellowship from the Faith & Politics Institute, and says that participating in a fellowship to honor one of the nation’s greatest civil rights activists was a life-changing experience. Antavion’s commitment to justice and service are reflected in his extracurricular activities, including his volunteer work at St. Vincent de Paul homeless shelter and 4-H, and he has been named one of the Class of 2024 Tiger Twelve. After graduation, Antavion will be spending the summer in Washington, D.C. at the Harry S. Truman Foundation’s Summer Institute, serving as an intern with Levine Music, a nonprofit music school. In the fall, he will begin work as a Truman-Albright Fellow for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Ultimately, he plans to enroll in either graduate or law school. 

Gabriele TroxclairGabriele Troxclair, Sociology*
Minor: Leadership Development
Hometown: Watson, La.
Advisor: Ashley Clayton

Gabriele takes fitness seriously. She has tried every fitness trend from CrossFit to Krav Maga to competitive boxing and enjoys finding new ways to keep active. Gabriele is also passionate about campus life–as a program assistant for LSU Campus Life, she twice helped to facilitate and execute the Geaux Big day of student service. Gabriele is most proud of being an Honors College graduate, because she poured so much work into researching and completing her honors thesis. After graduation, she will attend Colorado State University with full funding (tuition, room, and board) to work on a master’s degree in student affairs and higher education. 

Manship School of Mass Communication

Yoali Angeles-MartinezYoali Angeles - Martinez, Mass Communication (Public Relations)
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Shreveport, La.
Advisor: Shawnna Eberhard-Smith

Yoali Angeles-Martinez is proud to be an LSU Distinguished Communicator, but actually most values their very first award, when they were named “most likely to be a comedian” by their high school Spanish teacher. Throughout their time in the program, Yoali has not only gained confidence in their communication skills but also discovered the value of these skills in her personal life. Their commitment to communication skills also extends to their volunteer work with the EverybodyReads program, where they provided individual reading assistance for students. After graduation, Yoali plans to spend a year working for a law firm while sending out law school applications. 

Brooke BordelonBrooke Bordelon, Sports Administration (Sports Commerce) and Mass Communication (Public Relations)
Minor: Business Administration
Hometown: Raceland, La.
Advisor: Will Mari

Brooke has a passion for travel and loves to meet new people and make new connections. As president of her sorority, her communication skills were most useful when she was charged with fostering communication between the nearly 400 women in her chapter and their national organization. Brooke was also one of the first interns for the new Name, Image, and Likeness Department in the LSU Athletic Department, where she created graphics to explain legislation updates and rule changes along with other content to keep stakeholders informed. She has served in a number of roles for clubs in the Manship School and interned in political offices at the national level, including as a Congressional intern for Congressman Steve Scalise. This summer, Brooke will serve as an intern for Congressman Mike Johnson and will be applying to law schools to begin in Fall 2025.

Kennedy CarterKennedy Carter, Mass Communication (Public Relations)
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Shreveport, La.
Advisor: Doug Draper

Forget Taco Tuesday–for Kennedy, Tuesday nights are dedicated to sushi with her closest friends. Kennedy is a member of the Class of 2024 Tiger Twelve and a 2023 recipient of the Outstanding Panhellenic Leadership Award. She has also served an internship with Senator Bill Cassidy’s office, and values the communication and relationship-building skills she learned there. Kennedy has already used the communication skills she’s learned during her time at LSU to create a job interview presentation for a job with the national headquarters of Kappa Delta sorority, and earned a job she will be starting this June! After graduation, she will be heading to Birmingham, Alabama, for a position as a leadership development consultant supporting the Kappa Delta chapter at Samford University.

Ryan CastellonRyan Castellon, Mass Communication (Public Relations)*
Minors: Business Administration, Political Science
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Advisor: Sadie Wilks

Ryan has dedicated much of his time at LSU to serving the university and student community. He has served as the Director of Programming and the Chief of Staff for LSU Student Government as well as the Director of Communications for the Student Philanthropy Council of LSU. Ryan is a member of the Class of 2024 Tiger Twelve, and the Tigercast event he oversaw received the Outstanding Collaborative Program, Outstanding Advocacy Program, and Outstanding Service Program awards by Campus Life last year. He will begin his MBA in the fall at LSU’s Flores MBA Program, and hopes to one day work in management consulting. 

Matthew DelatteMatthew Delatte, Mass Communication
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Thibodaux, La.
Advisor: Will Mari

Matthew says he has a knack for getting people’s attention while tabling in Free Speech Alley on campus, and he must be right–as the president of Geaux Vote, he has registered 4,500 students to vote! Registering voters isn’t Matthew’s only political activity, however. He also participated in the Governor’s Fellowship program as an intern for the Louisiana Governor’s Office of John Bel Edwards, where he was chosen to deliver the concluding address, and has been active in LSU Student Government, including serving on the judicial branch and as the campaign manager for the EVOLVE campaign, which saw the highest-ever voter turnout at LSU. Matthew is especially proud to be named to the Class of 2024 Tiger Twelve as a representation of the core values he embraces. He plans to apply for law school admissions in the Fall of 2025, and hopes to be working on some political campaigns in the meantime.   

Stephanie HailesStephanie Hailes, Mass Communication (Public Relations)
Minor: General Theatre
Hometown: Pass Christian, Miss.
Advisor: Chris Yandle

Stephanie likes to look at the world from a different point of view–specifically, upside-down while hanging from aerial silks. Stephanie’s many other talents include serving as a teaching assistant for aerial silks classes, set construction, and impersonating Disney princesses for Storybook Birthdays, a local children’s entertainment company in Biloxi, Mississippi. As a peer communication coach for Communication Across the Curriculum, Stephanie assisted hundreds of LSU students with their projects and created a campaign to recruit Music & Dramatic Arts faculty to certify their courses as communication-intensive. She also served on the leadership team for the new CxC Geaux Communicate initiative. Stephanie’s advisor says “she should be extremely proud of how far she’s come in these last 12 months.”  As she returns to her hometown, Stephanie plans to apply her communication expertise to work in her field before pursuing graduate studies.

Millie LindsayEmily Lindsay, Mass Communication (Digital Advertising)*
Minors: Business Administration, Screen Arts
Hometown: Alexandria, La.
Advisor: Bob Mann

Emily’s advisor says “Millie is an extraordinary student…my only regret is that I didn’t get to know her sooner.” Emily is a prolific reader who reads 100 books a year, and she loves documentaries and learning new things. As the Operations Manager of Tiger TV and as the vice president of her sorority, Emily found lots of ways to use her communication skills during her time at LSU. She is especially proud to be graduating with College Honors after successfully defending her thesis. After graduation, Emily will be serving as a Leadership Coordinator for the Zeta Tau Alpha International Office, and hopes to return to LSU to work toward her MBA. 

Claire PlaisanceClaire Plaisance, Mass Communication (Public Relations)
Minor: Leadership Development
Hometown: Mandeville, La.
Advisor: Sadie Wilks

Claire loves to dance and choreograph, and she’s pretty good at tumbling, too! She teaches dance to high schools and middle schools in Louisiana, and also choreographs competition routines for them. Claire has earned a number of distinctions, including the Order of Omega and President’s Honor Roll, and has served in a variety of Greek life positions, including as the philanthropy chair of Chi Omega, which allowed her to raise enough money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for three Baton Rouge children. After graduation, Claire will be taking a full-time job as the social media coordinator in the communications department of the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, where she previously worked as an intern.

Anna-Kate RabalaisAnna-Kate Rabalais, Mass Communication (Public Relations)
Minors: Sociology, History
Hometown: Madisonville, La.
Advisor: Doug Draper

Anna-Kate is, as her advisor says, “a skilled communicator” whose biggest strength is in being a “resourceful and adept networker who builds alliances to achieve her goals.” She’s also a creative thinker who created a research project survey to assess Jessica Chastain’s public recognition and favorability to become a presidential candidate. Her most surprising application of her communication skills was as the head of timing and logistics for her sorority’s rush in Fall 2023, and she also applied those skills as the vice president of The Manship School’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Anna-Kate will be attending LSU Law School in Fall 2024. 

James TrammellJames Trammell, Mass Communication (Political Communication)*
Minor: Business Administration
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Advisor: Roxanne Dill

James loves to travel, and has developed a passion for photographing the places she visits, including Paris, Stockholm, and London where she studied abroad at the University of Roehampton in Spring 2023. One of the skills James values most highly from her time in the Distinguished Communicator program is website development, which she is currently working on during her internship at Gatorworks, a website development and digital marketing company in Baton Rouge. Her advisor says “It’s been a blast watching her hone her skills and use them to improve the world around her.” After graduation, James will be taking a position at Emergent Method as a consultant.

College of Music & Dramatic Arts

Antavion Moore, Political Science and Music*+
Hometown: Ringgold, La.
Advisor: Nick Totaro

Read Antavion Moore's profile under the College of Humanities & Social Sciences.

College of Science

Emily BrownEmily Brown, Biological Sciences
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Lafayette, La.
Advisor: Adam Bohnert

Emily lives for adventure: she loves ziplining, riding ATVs, and rock climbing! She’s also musical, and enjoys playing the piano and singing. Emily served as the Service Chair of Zeta Tau Alpha and Treasurer of the Physician Assistant Collegiate Society, in addition to many other leadership positions on campus! .She values the Distinguished Communicator Medal as a reflection of the hard work she has put into her portfolio and is excited about the prospect of further developing her communication skills in the future. After graduation, Emily plans to work full-time as a Medical Assistant at Louisiana ENT Specialists while applying to Physician Assistant (PA) School for the Fall 2025 cycle. 

Nina ColegroveNina Colegrove, Biological Sciences (Secondary Education)
Hometown: Mandeville, La.
Advisor: Rebecca Nguyen

Nina is a self-described “cat whisperer” and an excellent cook whose speciality is crawfish queso. She is also a magna cum laude graduate, the first candidate admitted to the University of Alabama Birmingham Optometry School’s class of 2028, and the only Louisiana resident to receive The Louisiana Seat Contract for Optometry, which pays half of her tuition. In addition, Nina has already taught more than 300 students through Geaux Teach and earned her certification to teach grade 6-12 biology. After graduation, Nina plans to pursue a Doctorate of Optometry and Master's of Vision Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Optometry, with the goal of becoming a pediatric eye doctor.  

Camille CoreilCamille Coreil, Biological Sciences*
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Lafayette, La.
Advisor: Khoa Nguyen

Camille says she may seem reserved at first meeting, so she thinks it would surprise many people that she used to be an avid competitive dancer. She also makes a mean charcuterie board! Camille believes her summa cum laude designation is her most valuable award, because it symbolizes her dedication and resilience in her academic career. Her communication skills came in very handy during her time working as a medical scribe in a rural community, where she was able to translate medical information for patients while also ensuring they felt supported and heard. Camille will start medical school at LSU Health Shreveport in the fall. 

Rebecca DobsonRebecca Dobson, Biological Sciences
Minor: Business Administration
Hometown: Belle Chasse, La.
Advisor: David Vinyard

Rebecca is passionate about health, especially in her work as a licensed pharmacy technician. During her time at LSU, she has worked at several pharmacies in Baton Rouge and Plaquemines. Rebecca is also passionate about service, and has done significant work with Catholic Charities and Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly of the Greater New Orleans. In addition to archery and cooking, Rebecca enjoys practicing and performing on aerial silks. After graduation, she will be heading the Harrison College of Pharmacy in Auburn, Alabama to pursue her PharmD and MBA.

Elanor FullerElanor Fuller, Biological Sciences and Religious Studies* **
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Kaukauna, Wis.
Advisor: Laura Lagomarsino

Elanor has found a way to combine the interests of both her majors with her research focus on the regional genetic variations of a Central and South American hallucinogenic plant used in religious rituals. This work also incorporated her Spanish minor, as she and her lab mates spent time in Colombia for a research workshop about plant evolutionary history in the Andes. She is especially proud of earning an Honors College thesis distinction. Her advisor says “by all accounts she is impressive, all while maintaining a humbleness and curiosity that makes her a joy to work with.” Elanor will shortly begin an internship position with the U.S. Forest Service and begin applications for PhD programs in ecology and evolutionary biology. 

Madeline GirouardMadeline Girouard, Biological Sciences (Secondary Education)
Minor: English
Hometown: Lafayette, La.
Advisor: Margaret Piccoli

Madeline’s advisor says her “attention to detail and content knowledge is exceptional,” and that “she is going to be an amazing teacher and mentor to her students.” Madeline was also nominated to the Board of Regents Future Educator Honor Roll. She believes the highlight of her LSU experience was her time volunteering and working for the Geaux Teach STEM program thanks to working with people who are so passionate about the field of education. While her main focus is STEM, Madeline wants to make sure we also celebrate her minor in English and her certification in ESL teaching, which will help her ensure student success in her future classroom. After graduation, Madeline plans to combine her love of travel and teaching to work abroad as an English as a foreign language teacher. 

Maia JacksonMaia Jackson, Biological Sciences (Secondary Education)* **
Hometown: Hampton, Ga.
Advisor: Rebecca Nguyen

Maia isn’t saying that she is a mind reader, just that she can perhaps read people’s minds. If that’s true, then she already knows her advisor says she’s incredibly proud of her for the person she has grown to be during her time at LSU. It also means she’s keeping students on their toes: As a Geaux Teach participant, Maia spent her student teaching experience at Woodlawn High School under LSU Distinguished Communicator alum Samantha Lee! Maia has also completed an Honors College thesis evaluating preservation methods for tissue specimens to help develop collection practices for the Natural Science Museum. In addition to her Honors College thesis distinction, Maia also earned the Clarence and Ann Cazalot Geaux Teach Outreach Scholarship in recognition of her academic performance and dedication to the program. She will be teaching high school biology after graduation, and plans to ultimately pursue a PhD in human genetics with the goal of helping to increase minority participation in medical research. 

Ethan LittlefieldEthan Littlefield, Biological Sciences
Hometown: Lafayette, La.
Advisor: Nick Totaro

Ethan plans to become a doctor, and he’s already practicing his bedside manner. He participated in the Narrative Medicine partnership between LSU and Our Lady of the Lake hospital to learn about patient-physician communication. As a volunteer at Baton Rouge General, Ethan also experienced firsthand the impact effective communication can have on patients’ family members during tense situations. Ethan’s skills in communication have paid off in other ways, too: he earned first place in the College of Science and first place for visual display at Discover Day 2023. His advisor says “Ethan’s enthusiasm and passion for what he has done shows!” After graduation, Ethan plans to attend medical school. 

Kenedi LynchKenedi Lynch, Biological Sciences*
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Advisor: Tyrslai Williams-Carter

As a former cheerleader and gymnast, Kenedi still enjoys performing the stunts she learned every once in a while. She has been the recipient of several prestigious scholarships, including the Stamps Scholarship, Goldwater Scholarship, and the Astronaut Scholarship. Kennedi loves to travel, and has visited three countries and a variety of states in the past two years! Some of those visits came about as part of her continued pursuit of new learning opportunities, such as her internship at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2022. This summer, Kenedi will be participating in an internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and preparing to apply to MD/PhD programs for the upcoming year. 

Valerie MacedoValerie Macedo, Biological Sciences*+
Minor: Business Administration
Hometown: Henderson, Texas
Advisor: Drew Lamonica Arms

Not only is Valerie Macedo a Distinguished Communicator, a Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership (CCELL) Engaged Citizen, and an Ogden Honors College graduate, but she can also tap dance to any song! Valerie's ability to adapt and effectively communicate with a diverse range of people has been evident, especially during her time in her sorority. Valerie described her time at LSU as a journey, and her Distinguished Communicator advisor, Drew Lamonica Arms, says that her portfolio has documented this journey “in a way that would make Odysseus proud!” After graduation, Valerie is heading to Baylor Law School, where she has been awarded a 50% scholarship. 

Sophia MatylisSophia Matylis, Biochemistry
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Johnna Roose

Sophia Matylis is passionate about horror movies. But not just any horror movie–only shark horror movies meet her exacting criteria! In addition to being a McNair Scholar and part of the Distinguished Undergraduate Research program, Sophia received the Virginia Rice Williams Memorial Award for her work in Dr. Larkin’s laboratory. Sophia has been researching plant stress responses and adaptations, and hopes that her work will one day make human habitation outside Earth possible. Sophia’s hidden superpower of being good at navigating new and unexpected situations will serve her well in her post-graduation plans to pursue a PhD at Washington State University.

Alaine MitchellAlaine' Mitchell, Biological Sciences* **
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Broussard, La.
Advisor: Antonieta Guerrero-Plata

Alaine’ says that if she had not settled on medicine as a career path, she would have liked to be a professional gamer. As a student worker in the Plata Lab in the Pathobiological Sciences department at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, Alaine’ has conducted research on the effects of tobacco smoke exposure on immunity. She has presented her research at Discover Day and Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day, where she placed first in the Basic Research Category, and has earned the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program Medal in addition to an Honors College thesis distinction. She will be heading to medical school after graduation, and hopes to one day work as a neurosurgeon. 

Celeste PatronCeleste Patron, Biochemistry* **
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Belle Chasse, La.
Advisor: Heather Lucas

Celeste really likes brains–particularly studying how they work. As a biochemistry major with a minor in psychology, Celeste has worked on neuro-related research from animal brain model microscopy to performing neurostimulation experiments on human subjects. She is also the founder of the Synapse LSU neuroscience club, and did summer research at the University of Virginia on aging and neurodegeneration. When she isn’t occupied with brains, Celeste enjoys painting, dancing, reading fantasy books, and hanging out with her pet leopard gecko, Yubi. After graduation, she will be working as a lab research coordinator in a neuroimaging lab, then eventually applying to clinical neuropsychology PhD programs.  

Lillian PowellLillian Powell, Mathematics**
Minor: Applied Statistics
Hometown: Madisonville, La.
Advisor: Charles Delzell

For Lillian, earning the Distinguished Communicator medal as a first-generation student is a symbol of gratitude for the opportunity to get this education. As a math enthusiast, Lillian says that her journey is about seeking balance, not only in equations but in life. She worked to make connections with other mathematics students at LSU by reviving the LSU Math Club after it had been inactive for five years and has served as its president for five semesters. Lillian also worked with the Research Ambassadors Club and spent this past year as a Communication Across the Curriculum ambassador. Lillian enjoys fishing in a few special spots around campus, but she won’t tell you where those are. After graduation, she will be working as an actuarial analyst at Wills Towers Watson in Dallas, Texas, where she worked as an intern last summer.  

Mina SheikhMina Sheikh, Biological Sciences*+ **
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Covington, La.
Advisor: Fan Zhang

Mina is looking for adventure: skydiving, bungee jumping, snowboarding, if it comes with an adrenaline rush, she wants to try it! And when she’s finished experiencing that rush, she can use her secret superpower of making a playlist that expresses that feeling perfectly. Mina has had some adventures already, like her volunteering experience with Lallie Kemp Medical Center’s gynecology clinic in Independence, Louisiana, where she developed her charting skills and collaborated with physician assistant students on rotations. Her Honors College thesis detailed her study of the reproductive rates of roundworms and how microorganisms can affect them. After graduation, Mina will be heading to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for medical school at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Reetu ShresthaReetu Shrestha, Nutrition & Food Sciences and Biological Sciences* **
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Jiaqi Tan

Reetu’s advisor says she demonstrated “unparallelled dedication, creativity, and diligence in her contributions” to their lab. As a first-generation college student with immigrant parents, Reetu says that her goal has always been to give back to the community through service. She currently works as a student medical assistant, and previously volunteered in the Cardiopulmonary Rehab department at Baton Rouge General Hospital. Reetu’s dedication to service was rewarded when she earned the Associate Member of the Year for the Alpha Epsilon Delta honor society in 2021. After graduation, she will be working full-time as a medical assistant in the pediatric cardiology department and applying to medical schools.   

Carson SmithCarson Smith, Biological Sciences
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Advisor: Prosanta Chakrabarty

Carson is a juggler, both literally and metaphorically–during his time at LSU, he juggled the demands of college, a fraternity membership, and working in a research lab. His work in Dr. Galvez’s research lab on 3D printing anatomical features from organisms using CT imaging has helped him imagine ways this new technology might shape his future career in medicine. Carson says that the Distinguished Communicator program has made him a better friend, and he is especially proud of the amount of people he has been able to interact with and befriend during his time at LSU. He is preparing to apply for medical school and hopes to begin in Fall 2025. 

* Honors students are designated with an asterisk.
+ Students earning the LSU Engaged Citizen award are designated with a plus sign.
** Students earning the LSU Distinguished Researcher award are designated with a double asterisk.