LSU Presents Awards to Student Organizations and Involved Student Leaders


Love Purple, Live Gold

“Let’s Get In-Formation,” the academic/educational program of the year, was hosted by the Minority Women’s Movement. Photo: LSU Campus Life

BATON ROUGE – On Wednesday, April 19, LSU Campus Life, a department within the Office of the Dean of Students, awarded Love Purple Live Gold Awards to six individual student leaders, one student organization advisor and the membership of seven student organizations for outstanding achievements during the 2016-17 academic year.

2017 Love Purple Live Gold Award individual recipients included:

·Advisor of the Year Adrienne Steele. Steele advises the Society of Peer Mentors and was nominated for going “above and beyond” in this volunteer role and for building such strong relationships with the members that they seek her advice as a mentor and leader.

·Agent of Change Monturious Howard, a senior majoring in liberal arts from Baton Rouge, La. Howard is the president of the NAACP at LSU and was nominated for his ability to forge relationships at all levels of the university to advance the interests of all students who were facing unprecedented challenges, from natural disasters to police brutality. His nominator wrote that Howard, “never pushes his ideals on others, but always encourages thoughtful discussion about controversial topics.”

·Emerging Leader Jonathan Roussel, a first-year student majoring in computer science from Baton Rouge, La. Roussel helped to found the LSU student organization eSports, where he took the initiative to lead membership and recruitment efforts despite being in his first year at LSU and having been significantly affected by the August 2016 floods.

Love Purple Live gold

Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honor Society was the Commitment to Community award recipient. Photo: LSU Campus Life

·Graduate Student Leader of the Year Vernon Dunn, a biological sciences graduate student from Metairie, La. Dunn served the LSU Student Senate as a rare representative from the LSU Graduate School, as president of the Graduate Student Association for two years, and as the president of the Graduate School College Council. In these positions, he worked with LSU Executive Vice President & Provost Richard Koubek to secure more funding for graduate students.

·Legacy Award Drake Boudreaux, a senior majoring in mass communication concentrated in digital advertising from Lafayette, La. Boudreaux has pursued numerous leadership positions where he saw the potential to make a positive impact at LSU. Those roles included serving as an LSU Ambassador, an LSU STRIPES program leader, a Southern Regional Orientation Workshop chair, a Student Government Senator and Chief of Staff, helped establish the new Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and participating in two performances with the Musical Theater Club at LSU.

·Undergraduate Student Leader of the Year Tatiana Gonzalez-Quiroga, a first-year student majoring in international studies from Mandeville, La. Gonzalez-Quiroga is the fundraising coordinator of the National Alliance for the Mental Illness at LSU. Her nominator said, “Through her passion for those normally left behind, Tatiana has used her empathy and appreciation of diversity to reach out to members of LSU’s campus to jumpstart discussions on mental illness.”

·Unsung Hero Timothy Adam Leonard, a library and information sciences graduate student from Ft. Pierce, Fla. Leonard reactivated the Sigma Tau Alpha English honor society at LSU, where he worked with faculty and staff to complete the paperwork process, to find funding and to recruit members for the reactivation. He has also raised almost $5,000 to support members’ participation in an international conference where they presented original research and to support children’s literacy causes.


2017 Love Purple Live Gold Award organizational recipients included:

· “Let’s Get In-Formation,” academic/educational program of the year hosted by the Minority Women’s Movement. President: Ana Forero, a senior majoring in psychology from Baton Rouge, La. “Let’s Get In-Formation” helped first-year students at LSU learn study habits, good use of university support services, safe recreation, on-campus involvement, stress management, and personal health practices.

· “Educational Healthcare Series,” advocacy program of the year hosted by Planned Parenthood Generation Action. President: Sarah Dai, a mass communication senior from Shreveport, La. The “Educational Healthcare Series” used weekly table displays in Free Speech Plaza on campus and events to help educate the LSU student body on reproductive health and reproductive rights and encouraged use of Planned Parenthood services.

· “Health Professions Career Fair,” collaborative program of the year co-hosted by Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honor Society and the Olinde Career Center. President: Nikka Khorsandi, a senior majoring in biological sciences from Carencro, La. “Health Professions Career Fair” allowed students to explore many healthcare career paths and connected 300 students to 35 employers and presenters.

·  “Utsav 2016,” multicultural/diversity program of the year hosted by the Indian Students Association. President: Joy Das, a graduate student in agricultural economics. “Utsav 2016” celebrates Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, and gives the campus and surrounding community a platform to enjoy cultural performances and Indian cuisine regardless of ethnicity.

· “Annual Philanthropy and Community Service Series,” service/volunteer program of the year hosted by Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honor Society. President: Nikka Khorsandi, a senior majoring in biological sciences from Carencro, La. The “Annual Philanthropy and Community Service Series” includes service programs with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Hospice of Baton Rouge, among others. The signature program of the series is a partnership with Youth Oasis, one of Louisiana’s emergency youth homeless shelters, whereby members raise funds, plan programs and spend time with the youth in residence.

· “Strategic Games Club Night,” social program of the year hosted by Strategic Games Club. President: Elizabeth Weltman, a senior majoring in sociology from Baton Rouge, La. “Strategic Games Club Night” is dedicated to alternative environment entertainment away from Baton Rouge clubs and bars where students can build lifelong friendships around a shared interest in strategic gaming.

· National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, at LSU, new student organization of the year. President: Michael Denham, a senior majoring in chemical engineering from Mandeville, La. The mission of NAMI at LSU is to break down the stigma of mental illness and to bring awareness, education, access to resources, and a safe space to discuss mental illness. NAMI regularly brings speakers to campus to discuss topics related to mental illness and psychological health and wellbeing.

· Alpha Kappa Psi, student organization of the year. President: Michael Cusanza, a senior majoring in management from Metairie, La. Alpha Kappa Psi is the oldest and largest coed business fraternity in the world, and LSU’s chapter has won the national chapter of the year award for the past three years. This organization provides professionalism training, service to the community, business professional clothing drives, and academic support for members.

· Alpha Epsilon Delta, or AED, Pre-Medical Honor Society, Commitment to Community award recipient. President: Nikka Khorsandi, a senior majoring in biological sciences from Carencro, La. Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honor Society showcases several tenets of the LSU Commitment to Community, a document of basic behavioral expectations of all members of the LSU community. AED “holds myself and others to the highest standards of academic, personal and social integrity” by providing tutoring services to members, setting a 3.0 GPA membership requirement and teaching ethical and social responsibilities of being a physician. They “practice justice, equality, and compassion in human relations” by volunteering at several campus and community service programs each year. AED “uses the LSU experience to be an active citizen in an international and interdependent world” by participating in public health outreach days.


The Tom W. Dutton Award was also presented at the ceremony. Recipients included:

·      Jillian Davis, a senior majoring in communication disorders from Bellaire, Texas

·      Florencia Scaglia Drusini, a junior majoring in biochemistry from Broussard, La.

·      Amanda Fontenot, a junior majoring in coastal environmental science from Houston, Texas

·      Danielle Kelley, a 2016 master’s graduate in mass communication from Baton Rouge, La.

·      Lillian LaGrange, a sophomore majoring in economics from Baton Rouge, La.

·      Samantha Lanjewar, a junior majoring in animal/dairy/poultry Science from Valhalla, N.Y.

·      Camille Prejean, a senior majoring in biological sciences from Lafayette, La.

·      Chloe Riviere, a junior majoring in political science and international studies from New Orleans, La.

·      Victoria Smorodinova, a sophomore majoring in finance from Lake Arthur, La.

·      Latrissia Torres, a junior majoring in mass communication with a concentration in public relations from Slidell, La.

These awards are presented annually to students and organizations who are nominated by their peers or themselves. A four-member panel of judges from departments around campus determine the winners. Winning students and organizations receive a plaque.


Media Note/Photos: Individual photos of awardees are available by contacting Margo Jolet at


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