LSU Scholars Tour the Port of New Orleans


BATON ROUGE – The LSU Presidents Millennial Scholars Program, or PMSP, visited the Port of New Orleans as an academic off-campus experience to strengthen scholars’ cultural knowledge and awareness of economic systems.

The program is a newly created four-year retention and professional preparation program designed to provide undergraduates with necessary skills for success during and after college. In the first two years, the program concentrates on a student-centered approach to ensure academic and personal development. The last two years will highlight career and professional development, with a focus on internships and professional opportunities.

Brandon Smith, PMSP program director and LSU community affairs liaison, said the program is committed to engaging scholars through experiential learning.

“Real-world connections are pivotal as we push them to think not only about their academic interests, but also careers and aspirations to impact communities in the near future.”

During the port tour, students engaged in academic sessions about the Port’s mission, history, scope and impact ­– regionally, nationally and globally. In addition, students learned about the various careers in the maritime industry and how most academic majors can lead to an internship or employment post-graduation. After the sessions, students boarded a patrol boat to tour the Port and its operations from the water.

The Port of New Orleans is a deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world’s busiest port system – Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River.

The Port is connected to major inland markets and Canada through nearly 15,000 miles of waterways, six class-1 railroads and the interstate highway system. It is also the ideal gateway for steel, project cargo, containers, coffee, natural rubber, chemicals, forest products, manufactured goods and cruising.

To stay ahead of market demand, the Port has invested more than $100 million in capital-improvement projects since 2012 and has a master plan to expand the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to an annual capacity of 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs.

 “The port tour enlightened us on the port’s history as well as the economical and societal impact that the port holds today,” said Patrick Tapalla, a freshman mechanical engineering and PMSP scholar. “Exploring New Orleans’ heart and soul definitely influenced how I view the development of this state and country now and years to come.”



Contact Tara Kistler
LSU Media Relations


Contact Wilton Jackson
LSU Office of Diversity