2020 Inspire Award Winners

Congratulations to Meagan Moore and Max Cole!

The LSU Ethics Institute Inspire Award for Exemplary Ethical Action recognizes students who help another individual or group, stand up for a cause or belief, or otherwise exhibit extraordinary ethical leadership. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, two undergraduate students have particularly stood out for stepping up and using their skills and knowledge to provide crucial help to their community. We are pleased to award the 2020 Inspire Award to Meagan Moore and Max Cole for their dedication to making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect first responders throughout Louisiana during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Meagan and Max pose with PPE

Meagan Moore and Max Cole pose with PPE they helped develop


Meagan and Max were nominated by Dr. Wayne Newhauser, the Director of Medical and Health Physics and holder of the Dr. Charles M. Smith Chair of Medical Physics at LSU. As concerns about the severity of the pandemic grew in Louisiana and after LSU closed campus, Dr. Newhauser recognized a need for ventilator filters and other PPE for first responders throughout the state. Supported by the Bella Bowman Foundation, LSU, and Lamar Outdoor Advertising, a new nonprofit was formed, OneLouisianaNow!, comprising a 13-member leadership team and more than 80 volunteers. The first members to join the team were Meagan and Max Cole, followed by Cathlin Disotell (LSU alumnus), Frank Womack (research specialist, LSU Physics and Astronomy), Nicholas Lombardo (research specialist, Chemical Engineering), and Dr. Newhauser’s wife Heike and sons Sven (LSU Mechanical Engineering) and Nils (LSU Laboratory School). 

The volunteers worked quickly, meeting regularly in Dr. Newhauser’s garage and working eight to ten-hour days. They created the prototypes for ventilator filters, as well as face shields, masks, and gowns, and mass production of these items has since begun in the LSU PMAC and other LSU laboratories.  The garage operation yielded more than 3,400 items of PPE, which were successfully distributed to hospitals in the greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas in the first few weeks.  Early mass production on the LSU campus yielded approximately 5,000 items per week. 

While we have immense gratitude for the entire group of volunteers, we would like to especially recognize Meagan and Max for their efforts. Amid great turmoil and uncertainty, after shifting to online classes and having their normal lives as students completely upended, Meagan and Max rose to the challenge and put their community in front of their own concerns. We are thrilled that Dr. Newhauser nominated them for the Inspire Award, which recognizes students who have engaged in exemplary ethical conduct with a $1,000 scholarship. In Dr. Newhauser’s nomination, he noted that “The students showed initiative and commitment to a fledgling initiative to help healthcare professionals in their hour of need…they demonstrated exemplary ethical conduct by putting the needs of others before their own.”

Meagan Moore, daughter of Michael and Kathryn Moore, is a senior in Biological Engineering. She is from Baton Rouge and as she continues her studies in Biological Engineering, she also serves as the Assistant Director of the STEM Lab at St. Joseph’s Academy. Max Cole is a senior, studying Physics at LSU. He is from Dallas and the son of Michelle and Laurence Cole. This fall Max will pursue a Ph.D. in Medical Physics at LSU. We are pleased to recognize Meagan and Max’s efforts with the Inspire Award and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Max Cole

Max tries on a sample face shield and gown.

Meagan poses with equipment

Meagan poses with a tool used in developing equipment.