High-Achieving LSU Business Students Selected as Ourso Outstanding Eight

April 09, 2024

BATON ROUGE - The LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business is proud to announce the inaugural class of honorees for its Ourso Outstanding Eight undergraduate award program. Students selected for this prestigious honor demonstrate success in at least two of the following categories: academics, leadership, professional development, and campus/community service.

The 2024 Ourso Outstanding Eight are Emma Bruney of Nederland, Texas; Emily Demps of Atlanta; Brian Gage of Maurice, Louisiana; Jacob Hoffpauir of Germantown, Maryland; Clarence C. Magee II of Dallas, Texas; Ranna Okeil of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Aliya Pasquale of Boston and Katherine Whatley of Shreveport, Louisiana.

"We have launched the Ourso Outstanding Eight with an impressive group of students," said Jared Llorens, dean of the E. J. Ourso College. "Each honoree is on a different path with unique experiences and aspirations, but they all share a commitment to using their talents to create opportunities. They embrace the college's mission to improve lives through business education and community involvement."  

Emma Bruney is pursuing bachelor's degrees in marketing and interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in English, history and communication. Bruney has represented the Ourso College as a student senator for three years and currently serves as the speaker of the LSU Student Senate. She has also held numerous leadership roles with Alpha Delta Pi sorority and BridgeUSA @ LSU. In 2022, Bruney was a legislative intern for US Senator John Cornyn. Her community involvement includes volunteer service with Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Ronald McDonald House Charities and LSU Campus Life Food Pantry. Following graduation in May, she plans to attend law school with the ultimate goal of working in corporate litigation.

Emma Bruney headshot in a black and white dress on a white background. She smiles warmly.

Emily Demps is pursuing a bachelor's degree in management with a concentration in international management. A Louisiana Service and Leadership Scholar through the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College, she has devoted much of her time to addressing food equity through the LSU Food Pantry as a volunteer and student worker. This past August, Demps became a student manager for LSU Beach Volleyball in addition to her ongoing work with Project 225 and Ogden Honors College Advocates. She spent last summer as a sales consultant intern with Sysco and will return this summer as a sustainability intern. She is on track to graduate in May 2025 and is a member of Swipe Out Hunger's Student Leadership and Advisory Council and the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society.

Emily Demps wears a sleeveless cream and black checked sweater and black pants. Her arms fall in front of her and she has a warm smile

Brian Gage is a marketing major with minors in advertising and entrepreneurship. He serves as campus outreach chair for LSU Ambassadors, assistant director for LSU Student Government's Freshman Leadership Council and director for Student Philanthropy Council's First-Year Leadership Initiative. He received the Kayne Finley Associate Member of the Year Award for his work with LSU Ambassadors. Gage is a member of Delta Chi fraternity and Order of Omega. He has interned with Allay Therapeutics in San Jose, California, and The Emerge Center in Baton Rouge. Following graduation in 2025, he hopes to launch a career in the entertainment industry. 

Brian Gage wears a brown sweatshirt, a cream polo shirt color is visible at the collar. He has a warm, vibrant smile.

Jacob Hoffpauir will complete bachelor's degrees in finance and economics with a minor in analytics this May. In the summer of 2023, Hoffpauir worked as an investment banking analyst for Q Advisors LLC in Denver. The previous summer, he was a private equity analyst with Carr's Hill Partners in New Orleans. Hoffpauir currently serves as the president of The de Soto Society and previously held the vice president role in the LSU Business College Council. Hoffpauir was also the vice president of finance and administration for the Interfraternity Council. He is a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member and has been part of the Asset Management Academy and Venture Capital Apprenticeship Program. Following graduation, he will return to Q Advisors as an investment banking analyst. 

Jake Hoffpauir headshot wearing a blue oxford shirt. His arms are folded across his chest. He smiles and confidently looks at the camera.

Clarence Magee II is set to complete a bachelor's degree in accounting in December. Magee serves as president of the National Association of Black Accountants at LSU. Last summer, he completed the Embark Scholars Internship with KPMG in Baton Rouge, where he worked with internal auditing, partnership tax returns and healthcare external audit. This summer, Magee will return to Ernst & Young for an audit internship after completing a launch internship with the firm in 2022. His community involvement includes volunteer service with St. Vincent de Paul and the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Following graduation, he will complete the Master of Accountancy program at LSU before launching his career.

Clarence Magee wears a purple LSU polo. He has a big smile and holds his hand up in an L shape.

Ranna Okeil is pursuing bachelor's degrees in economics and mathematics. Through the President's Future Leaders in Research program, Okeil has conducted research through the LSU Department of Economics since her freshman year. In the summer of 2022, she was a visiting research assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Last summer, she completed an economic consulting internship at FTI Consulting in Mclean, Virginia; following graduation in May, she plans to return to FTI to launch her career. Okeil is president of the Economics and International Finance Club at LSU. She is a Stamps Scholar and Ogden Honors College student. 

Ranna Okeil wears a pale pink sleeveless sweater in her headshot. Her head is tilted to the side and her arms are crossed in front of her. She has a bright smile.

Aliya Pasquale is a marketing major with a concentration in marketing analytics. Last spring, Pasquale, an Ogden Honors College student, spent the semester participating in the International Studies Program at Université de Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Her professional experience includes internships as a relationship banker for Cape Cod 5 in Hyannis, Massachusetts, an event planning intern at Deering Events in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and in records and information governance at Kean Miller LLP in Baton Rouge. After graduation in May, she plans to undertake a legal internship with Cape Cod 5 before pursuing law school in 2025.

Aliya Pasquale wears a white blazer and black top. Her hands are folded in front of her and she has a broad smile.

Katherine Whatley will graduate with a bachelor's degree in accounting in May before pursuing a Master of Accountancy. She is the first LSU student selected for the KPMG Global Advantage Program, which was held in Brussels, Belgium, last summer. Her professional experience includes serving as a public sector audit intern for Whitley Penn in Dallas and working as an accounts payable intern for MAPP Commercial Construction in Baton Rouge. Whatley also owns a custom-painted jean jacket business, Kat Paints Clothes. In addition to serving as the Beta Alpha Psi president, she is a KPMG Campus Ambassador and a member of the LSU Women in Business. 

Katherine Whatley's arms are tucked behind her torso. She wears a pink, black, and white plaid blouse with puffy sleeves and a gold heart necklace.

About the Ourso Outstanding Eight

The Ourso Outstanding Eight is a new annual award program celebrating undergraduate excellence in the E. J. Ourso College of Business. Honorees will demonstrate success in at least two of the following categories: academics, leadership, professional development, and campus/community service. To be considered, students must complete a formal application process and meet a series of eligibility requirements, including being admitted to the E. J. Ourso College and having a minimum 3.0 overall GPA. Additional information about the honor can be found at lsu.edu/business/ourso8.

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High quality headshots available upon request.