2018 Love Purple Live Gold Awards

LSU Presents Awards to Student Organizations and Involved Student Leaders

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2018

BATON ROUGE – Last month LSU Campus Life, a department within the Office of the Dean of Students, awarded Love Purple Live Gold Awards for 16 categories out of 144 total applications for outstanding achievements during the 2017-18 academic year.

group shot of love purple live gold winners


2018 Love Purple Live Gold Award individual recipients included:

Agent of Change Award: Ferdous Intaj, civil engineering graduate student, Baton Rouge, La. Described as someone that has helped to positively change the environment for Bangladeshi, international, and graduate students at LSU, Ferdous has represented LSU in local and international community development. His involvement with several student organizations - Bangladeshi Student Association, International Student Association and Student Government Senate - has helped to create a positive experience for many international students.

Emerging Leader Award: Katie Gatewood, sophomore, biochemistry, Ponchatoula, La.  Katie Gatewood, the founder of Animal Care for a Cause, is described as a go-getter who never stops digging to find opportunities for her organization to get involved. She regularly meets with members on campus on her own time to discuss ideas, volunteer opportunities and donations. Katie is a sophomore studying biochemistry.

Advisor of the Year: Amanda Martin, director of recruitment and retention, College of Agriculture Amanda Martin has helped to transform the Agriculture Students Association into an official and well-organized group. She has given members the tools needed to be competitive hires. Amanda regularly helps students with resumes and graduate school applications. She is described as a mentor who goes above and beyond.

Graduate Student of the Year Award: Dependra Bhatta, agricultural economics, Baton Rouge, La. Dependra, a graduate student in agricultural economics, is active in both the International Student Association and the Nepalese Student Association. He often carries out critical strategic and operational tasks for the organizations and always emphasizes promoting the well-being of students. Balancing strong academic performance with leadership involvement has positioned Dependra as a role model for other students.

Undergraduate Student Leader of the Year Award: Tabitha Ann Kearns, junior, biological sciences, Thibodaux, La. Tabitha is described as sincere and selfless. Like her organization, Encounter, whose purpose is to educate and serve, she embodies those values in everyday life. Her nominator wrote that Tabitha, “has always been passionate about  community service and takes it upon herself to bring about positive change.” Tabitha is a junior studying biological sciences.

Legacy Award: Michael Waitus Denham, senior, economics, Mandeville, La. Michael is described as a force of change and is the definition of a brilliant, selfless leader. Despite being a double major in economics and chemical engineering, he selflessly committed his time in creating the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) to educate others on mental health. Michael has exemplified the definition of being a servant-leader, “The glory should not go to the president, but to the club and members.” Michael is a senior in economics.

Unsung hero Award: Samantha Lanham, sophomore, mass communication, Westlake, La. Samantha is described as someone who is a fresh face in the organization ImPRint Communications, who quietly yet consistently puts forth intentional effort in all she does and embraces her role as a team player. She often works on websites, graphics, and social media-based tasks. While it is not a glamorous job, it is the backbone of our outreach and social media presence. Her nominator said Samantha, “leads by example and has always taken on any role we ask her to play without hesitation.” She is a mass communication sophomore.

2018 Love Purple Live Gold Award organizational recipients included:

Commitment to Community Award: Encounter. Encounter contributes positively to the life of the campus and the surrounding community using their LSU experience to not only bring justice, equality, and compassion to the homeless community, but to also encourage outreach among students to reverse the stereotype that surrounds the homeless community.

Academic/ Educational Program: Tiger Racing. Each year Tiger Racing designs, manufactures and builds a formula-style, open wheel race vehicle from the ground up for the purpose of competing in the largest collegiate engineering competition in the world. The organization’s current world ranking is 82 out of 556. In addition to learning technical engineering processes, the organization emphasizes leadership and member development.

Advocacy Program: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The goal of NAMI is to reduce the stigma of mental illnesses that prevent many people from receiving adequate health care. NAMI held a mental health forum within the African American community, where statistically there is a higher stigma on the topic.

Collaborative Program Award: Sigma Alpha and Alpha Gamma Rho, “Pancakes for Pup’s Sake.” Sigma Alpha and Alpha Gamma Rho’s purpose for this program was to educate and support Companion Animal Alliance. These groups hosted a pancake breakfast to showcase shelter dogs, raising over $2,000 and exceeding their fundraising goals.

Multi-Cultural/ Diversity Program Award: National Society of Black Engineers for A Walk for Education. The goal of the National Society of Black Engineers is to increase awareness of the opportunities available through education particularly in the STEM fields and to shatter myths about minorities in STEM fields. Through the coordination of the Walk for Education event, the organization works to feed the pipeline of qualified minorities into STEM disciplines.

Service/ Volunteer Program: Delta Gamma: Service for Sight. Delta Gamma works with the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired. Fan Day is an annual day of celebration with LSU athletes that brings LSVI students to the campus for a fun-filled afternoon.

Social Program: Tricks of the Trade. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted a business banquet to teach mass communication students dining etiquette while serving as a platform for students to network with professionals. Planning this event allowed PRSSA members to learn about planning and executing events while also learning inclusivity of other students and organizations.

New Student Organization Award: Chabad. Chabad was created to promote a positive environment, both inside and outside of the classroom, for Jewish undergraduate and graduate students on campus. Chabad maintains an active presence on campus through a combination of weekly programs that are comprised of social events, service trips, study hours, stress relief, and, of course, Jewish studies.

Student Organization of the Year: Alpha Kappa Psi. The foremost purpose of Alpha Kappa Psi is to prepare its members for their professional lives, readying them for their futures once they leave LSU and begin their careers. Alpha Kappa Psi is the premier developer of principled business leaders and is the oldest and largest coed business fraternity in the world. The LSU chapter has consistently been recognized within the national organization as Best Business Organization and Chapter of the Year.

The 2018 Tom W. Dutton Award was also presented at the ceremony. Recipients included:

  • Christina Bastien, graduate student, public administration, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

  • Savanah Dickinson, senior, international studies and mass communication, Dallas, Texas

  • Bonnie Gibbons, junior, kinesiology, Metairie, La.

  • Casey Landreneau, junior, kinesiology, Clinton, La.

  • Madeline LeBlanc, senior, coastal and environmental science, Lafayette, La.

  • Megan Manno, senior, accounting, Houma, La.

  • Alix Perry, senior, accounting, Carencro, La.

  • Hailey Simpson, junior, biological sciences, Goshen, Ky.

  • Sidney Thomas, junior, psychology, Natchitoches, La.

  • Jordyn Warren, graduate student, mass communication, Baton Rouge, La.

These awards are presented annually to students and organizations who are nominated by their peers or themselves. A four-member panel of judges from departments around campus determine the winners. Winning students and organizations receive a plaque.

LSU Campus Life supports and advises seven student organizations that uphold the three tenets of Involvement, Leadership and Service.  Those organizations include Geaux BIG Baton Rouge, Homecoming Committee, Involvement Krewe, Kitchens on the Geaux, Service Breaks, Student Activities Board, and Volunteer LSU. LSU Campus Life also works closely with the 400+ student organizations and countless individuals daily to make LSU an increasingly vibrant campus. Since the beginning of the current school year, Campus Life has approved over 4200 student-led events. For more information visit www.lsu.edu/campuslife


Ferdous Intaj poses with the Agent of Change AwardKatie Gatewood poses with the Emerging Leader AwardAmanda with her awardDependra Bhatta poses with his award

Tabitha poses with her awardMichael Denham poses with his awardSamantha poses with her awardEncounter team member with the award

Team members with the awardNAMI team member accepts the awardTeam member accepts the awardTeam members accept the award

Team member accepts the awardTeam member accepts the awardTeam members accept the awardWinners accept their certificates