Four LSU Manship School Seniors Recognized as Members of LSU’s Prestigious Tiger Twelve

May 6, 2021

BATON ROUGE—Four of the 12 seniors of LSU’s Tiger Twelve Senior Recognition Class of 2021 are LSU Manship School of Mass Communication students. Since 2003, LSU has presented the prestigious Tiger Twelve honor to 12 students graduating each calendar year. Students selected as members of the Tiger Twelve are undergraduate seniors who contribute positively to the life of the campus, surrounding community, and society and who demonstrate commitment to intellectual achievement, inclusive excellence, leadership in campus life and service.

We proudly recognize the following Manship School seniors who have been recognized as members of LSU’s Tiger Twelve Class of 2021:


Samantha Beekman, a native of West Monroe, Louisiana, is an LSU Ogden Honors College student graduating with dual degrees in mass communication with a concentration in political communication and international studies with concentrations in global diplomacy and the Middle East, as well as minors in Arabic and French. Her honors thesis regarded COVID-19 policy in Scandinavia and the American South, and her reporting with the Manship Statehouse Bureau on COVID-19 and the Louisiana Legislature has been published in more than 20 news outlets around the state. Currently, Beekman serves as the policy intern for the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, where her research centers around the impact of COVID-19 on the state of Louisiana and the analysis of public policy and the Louisiana Legislature. Previously, she worked with Emergent Method in environmental policy and data analysis, and her independent research has focused on the influence of media on public perception of race and migration.

Beekman is on the executive staff of Louisiana Vote and has served as a member of the Golden Band from Tiger Land, Kappa Kappa Psi, S.T.R.I.P.E.S. staff and the Las Carmelas Migrant Assistance Program. After graduation, she will pursue a Master of Public Policy at the Hertie School in Berlin, Germany as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar.

Sami Beekman


Justin Franklin, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, is an LSU Ogden Honors College student graduating in mass communication with a concentration in political communication and a minor in history. Franklin recently defended his honors thesis on race, news media and mob violence that compares news coverage of the aftermath of the Tulsa Race Riot in 1921 to the unrest that followed the death of George Floyd in 2020. Since his sophomore year, Franklin has served as the president of the National Association of Black Journalists at LSU (LSU NABJ). Franklin was also a member of LSU Mock Trial, where he and his fellow teammates advanced to open round nationals for the first time in LSU program history. In 2020, he was among the founders of the Black Honors Initiative (BHI), the first and only minority organization within the honors college. Franklin has served on the LSU Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee on University Communications and the Manship School Diversity Committee. He was selected to be one of two Manship student representatives on the editorial board for the first 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial debate.

Franklin currently serves as a communications intern for Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. In the fall, he will attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, as a public affairs fellow pursuing a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in government, politics and policy studies, after which he plans to attend law school.  

Justin Franklin


Alaysia Johnson, a native of Aberdeen, Maryland, is graduating in mass communication with a concentration in political communication and a minor in Liberal Arts-African & African American Studies. Throughout her matriculation at LSU, she has worked diligently on behalf of those who feel they have no voice while also working part-time and striving for academic excellence. She has built a lasting legacy at the University by spearheading programs and initiatives aimed at addressing the needs of students. Johnson has served in various positions on campus. She was the inaugural chair of the Black Women's Empowerment Initiative and the political action director of LSU's NAACP. She served as president of the Student Government Black Caucus and was an avid member of LSU Student Government. Additionally, she was a Clarence L. Barney Jr. AACC Ambassador, an LSU Engaged Citizen and vice president of LSU NABJ.

As an undergraduate student, Johnson engaged in several discussions with the university administration about making LSU a more inclusive and safe campus for underrepresented students, especially Black women. She is a Tom W. Dutton, Board of Supervisors and Walter Hitesman Endowed scholarship recipient. Following graduation, Johnson plans to attend LSU Law School to pursue a legal career in civil rights.

Alaysia Johnson


Sarah Procopio, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is an LSU Ogden Honors College student graduating in mass communication with a concentration in political communication. A Louisiana Service and Leadership (LASAL) Program Scholar, Procopio recently defended her honors thesis, titled “Defusing Polarization: The Politics of the Medicaid Expansion in Louisiana.” Supported by the LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, her work at LSU has focused on connecting young people to public policy and increasing civic engagement. As the director and creator of LA Youth Platform, a non-partisan civic engagement group, she has facilitated discussions between young people and state policy creators on fostering opportunity in the state and halting outmigration.

Selected as a Louisiana Governor’s Fellow in 2019, Procopio worked at the Louisiana Department of Health to write a successfully passed policy proposal to install anti-opiates in all public Louisiana college residential halls. In her junior year, she became the 12th LSU student to be honored as a Truman Scholar. Headed to LSU Law in the fall, she hopes to continue to work for positive change in the state with the eventual goal of being a full-time policymaker.

Sarah Procopio


“To say we are proud of Sami, Justin, Alaysia and Sarah is an understatement,” said Manship School Interim Dean Josh Grimm. “Their exceptional work in and out of the classroom speaks volumes about the leaders and scholars they've become over the past four years. They could not be more deserving of the Tiger Twelve honor.”

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LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: Master of Mass Communication, Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs, Certificate of Strategic Communication and a dual MMC/Law degree. Its public relations students were recently ranked the #1 team in the nation, and its digital advertising and student media teams frequently earn national recognition.