Chevron Leadership Academy Prepares Students for Life after College

10/25/2017Chevron Leadership Academy

The Chevron Leadership Academy recently held its first workshop.

Twenty-four LSU Engineering students were selected to participate in the year-long program, which aims to maintain and strengthen leadership skills through workshops, seminars and mentorships.

During the event, a panel of Chevron representatives, LSU Engineering faculty and industry professionals answered questions about safety, mentoring, conflict, failures and challenges faced in their careers.

Barry Guillory, an instructor and undergraduate coordinator in the Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, spoke about safety being the number-one priority for all engineering facilities.

“Study things that have happened and how to avoid them,” Guillory said. “You can also study things that could happen in the future. I can’t emphasize how important an engineer’s role is to make safety happen.”

Gregory Washington, extrusion supervisor at Intralox, said one of the major challenges he faced early in his career was the fear of failure.

“Later on, I found the more I failed, the more I learned from those [experiences],” he said.

Additionally, Madeline Commander, a civil engineer at Command Construction, discussed the difficulty of transitioning from college to the workforce. The LSU alumna said there are leadership opportunities available if the individual shows initiative and enthusiasm for his or her job.

Senior mechanical engineering major Macie Coker decided to participate in the program after witnessing how inspiring the process was for a friend. The Chalmette native felt encouraged to take on more leadership roles.

“I am incredibly blessed and thankful to be here.” Coker said. “It is an honor to have been selected for the [Leadership Academy].”

Elizabeth Melvin, director of academic affairs for the College of Engineering, said she hopes this program lays the foundation for students and helps propel their careers.

“I don’t want to send students into the workforce thinking they have this degree and they are going to be good,” Melvin said. “You need to learn how to work on teams and inspire others.”

The Leadership Academy is just one of the resources available through the college’s Chevron Center, which is funded by a donation from the Chevron Corporation. It also helps students successfully navigate the LSU Communication Across the Curriculum program and assists them with mapping out their study abroad options.

“This is a premier program and (chance) to do something that you won’t get to do anywhere else,” said Craig Harvey, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering. “Take advantage of this rare opportunity.”

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Article by Raven Nichols, communications intern. Contact Josh Duplechain, director of communications at for more.