2023 Governor's Fellows in the Ogden Honors College
July 18, 2023
Ogden Honors students Matthew Delatte and Landon Zeringue have been named 2023 Louisiana Governor's Fellows. Both passionate about public service and with a deep interest in Louisiana's environment and government, they were thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside influential leaders and gain hands-on experience in their desired fields.
Matthew Delatte, a Thibodaux native and rising senior at LSU, is pursuing a degree in mass communication with a concentration in political communication and a minor in political science. As a participant in this program, Delatte has been paired with the Governor's Office of Communication, offering him a unique opportunity to experience public policy in action, work alongside cabinet-level leaders, and gain invaluable insights into the rich history and current affairs of Louisiana government.
He ultimately applied to this program because he had experience working in the Louisiana state legislature, government-related nonprofits, and various Louisiana government agencies, and he wanted to use this opportunity to expand his commitment to public service. Reflecting on his aspirations, Delatte shares that while he plans to pursue a juris doctorate and practice law upon graduating, his passion for public service will always hold a special place in his heart. It is evident that his participation in the Lamar Governor's Fellowship Program is nurturing and strengthening this commitment, making him a force to be reckoned with in Louisiana's political landscape.
At LSU, Delatte's involvement in various organizations speaks volumes about his dedication to community engagement and leadership. He currently serves as the president of Geaux Vote, an organization focused on encouraging student voter participation. Additionally, he holds the position of an associate justice on the LSU Student Government University Court, demonstrating his interest in matters of governance and justice. His earlier roles in the Student Government, including his tenure as the chief of staff and membership in the Student Senate, have provided him with firsthand experience in managing complex issues and advocating for student interests. These experiences have undoubtedly honed his leadership skills and refined his ability to navigate the complexities of organizational structures.
In his sophomore year, Delatte's pursuit of academic excellence led him to join the Ogden Honors College, a decision motivated by his desire to engage in elevated discussions unique to the program's specialized courses. Embracing the challenges and rigor of the Honors College, he eagerly awaits the opportunity to delve into his senior thesis and graduate with college honors in the upcoming spring of 2024.
Landon Zeringue, a rising junior majoring in political communication with a minor in political science, grew up in the small town of Kraemer, Louisiana. As a 2023 Governor's Fellow, Zeringue was selected to work with Louisiana's Department of Wildlife & Fisheries.
From an early age, Zeringue's connection to nature fostered a deep sense of responsibility and an unwavering commitment to preserving Louisiana's natural beauty for future generations. His fondest memories revolve around camping, hiking, and fishing along the state's waterways, experiences that ignited a profound desire to protect these precious ecosystems.
Witnessing the potential impact of climate change on his beloved hometown and neighboring regions further fueled Zeringue's dedication to environmental conservation. He recalls learning about the unsettling prospect of familiar places like Thibodaux or Houma transforming into something akin to Grand Isle in the next few decades. The stark reality of such changes left a lasting impression on him, motivating him to take proactive steps to safeguard the environment.
His commitment to environmental causes is evident through his involvement in various organizations and initiatives at LSU. Zeringue plays key roles in Student Government, Geaux Green, and the Residential Hall Association, spearheading noteworthy projects such as providing biodegradable Ecofetti to protect the campus infrastructure and advocating for the planting of 50 fruit trees to promote a sustainable, edible ecosystem on campus. Beyond LSU, Zeringue's dedication extends to working with external organizations like the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. These experiences have given him the opportunity to learn from conservation leaders and actively participate in efforts to restore and protect Louisiana's unique coastal habitats.
Zeringue credits the Ogden Honors College for playing a pivotal role in his personal and academic growth. Engaging with his peers and exploring critical issues, particularly those related to the environment, has deepened his understanding and passion for Louisiana's ecology and the challenges it faces.
Looking ahead, he envisions a career that merges his love for the environment with his passion for storytelling. Zeringue's dream is to chronicle the stories of Louisiana's people and their intricate relationship with nature. From the Cajun community's deep-rooted connections to the state's waterways to the unique perspectives of other diverse groups across Louisiana, he aims to amplify their narratives, fostering a greater understanding of the human-environment dynamic.