April 17, 2008

Nine engineering students were presented with a 2007-08 Donald W. Clayton Engineering Awards at the LSU College of Engineering Hall of Distinction ceremony on April 17, 2008, which took place at the LSU Faculty Club. The Donald W. Clayton Engineering Awards are granted each year to outstanding undergraduate students who exhibit extraordinary character, scholastic achievement, and evident leadership in the College of Engineering. The undergraduate award entails a stipend of $5,000 and a commemorative plaque. The awards were founded in 2004 through a generous donation by Donald W. Clayton (BS, PETE, 1959), who was inducted into the College of Engineering Hall of Distinction in 1993. The Graduate Assistantship was established by Mr. Clayton as a PhD Supplement to bolster the College of Engineering as it strives for excellence. Award recipients receive a $10,000 stipend, and the graduate student’s principal adviser/faculty member receives a $2,000 stipend.

Donald W. Clayton Engineering Excellence Awards (Undergraduate)

Gabriel David Broussard, a TOPS scholar, graduated Magna Cum Laude from LSU in December 2007 with a BS in Civil Engineering. He completed his degree with an overall GPA of 3.87, finishing first in a graduating class of 29 students. He was the 2004 recipient of the Josephine R. Losavio Scholarship, as well as the 2005-2006 recipient of the W.R. Aldrich Scholarship. Gabriel is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Civil Engineering with a concentration in structures. After graduate school, Gabriel looks forward to entering the field as a professional engineer.

Paige Kathleen Brown, a senior student-athlete in Biological Engineering, Paige Kathleen Brown holds a cumulative GPA of 3.91. Paige has received countless accolades, including 2005-2007 SEC Academic Honor Roll, 2005-2006 Outstanding Sophomore of Phi Kappa Phi, 2007 LSU Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, and 2008 Wally Pontiff Academic Excellence Award. She was also awarded the Richard L. Bengston Endowed Scholarship in 2006, the Carl H. Thomas Memorial Scholarship in 2007, and the H. Boyd McWhorter Postgrad Scholarship in 2008. In the summer of 2007 she received the Summer HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) Research Program Scholarship, which supported her research on a BioMEMS design for detection of apoptosis. She has also completed numerous other independent study and group process design projects. Paige has lettered for four years on the LSU Swimming and Diving team, garnering numerous awards such as Most Improved Diver Award in 2006-2007, and she qualified for the U.S. Diving National Championships three years running. Besides being an accomplished student-athlete, Paige is also fluent in the French language, having studied abroad in France for a year. Paige plans on attending graduate school in Biomedical Engineering.

Jeffrey Alan Kornuta is a senior in Mechanical Engineering, holding a 3.92 cumulative GPA, placing him on the Dean’s List and the Chancellor’s List. He was awarded the AFCEA General John A. Wickham Scholarship and the TOPS Honors Scholarship. He is an active member of the LSU Honors College, and received their Sophomore Honors Distinction. Besides being the President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Jeffrey is also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the LSU Mechanical Engineering Student Advisory Council. He is enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering 3+2 Program, which will allow him to obtain his Master’s degree at an accelerated pace. Jeffrey then plans to pursue a Doctorate in engineering and join the professional aerospace industry.

Melissa Suzanne Wason will graduate in May of 2008 with a 3.52 GPA and a BS in Biological Engineering. For her four years at LSU, she has been awarded an out-of-state tuition waiver and total tuition exemption. She was on the LSU Gymnastics team from 2004 to 2005 and has been a gymnastics coach for the LSU Bengal Program since 2005. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the Biological Engineering Student Organization, of which she is an Executive Council Member. As a part of the service-learning course BE 1252, Melissa helped to design and build playgrounds for underprivileged children at local schools. She plans to attend graduate school, obtaining her Master’s in Biological Engineering with a research focus on diagnostic methods using new ultrasound technologies. Melissa hopes to enter the field as a Professional Engineer researching emerging biomedical technology for injury and disease treatment.

Clayton Graduate Assistantship Recipients 2008

Andrew Allen Campos graduated in 2005 from the University of Florida, Gainsville, with a BS in Chemical Engineering. He is now enrolled in the LSU Chemical Engineering PhD program with a 3.3 GPA. He exhibits great promise and initiative, having already printed two peer-reviewed publications in this early stage of his graduate research. In addition, Andrew has attended several short courses and conferences across the United States pertaining to his research. His research concerns converting coal and diesel fuel into cleaner sustainable energy sources. Campos was nominated by Dr. James J. Spivey.

Charisma Dionne Edwards attended Clark Atlanta University (CAU), graduating Cum Laude in 2004 in Electrical Engineering. She participated in the Honors Program all four years, as well as the National Scholars Honor Society and the Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society. She was a Georgia LSAMP/Program for Research Integration in the Science for Matriculation to the Doctorate (PRISM-D) Fellow. Charisma was both a research assistant and a teaching assistant at CAU, and she also worked as a Research Intern at the University of Pennsylvania, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and the Naval Research Laboratory. She was also a research specialist at Emory University, where she studied magnetic therapy for stroke patients. More recently, she was a tutor for the LSU REHAMS program in the summer of 2006, in addition to being a substitute teacher for East Baton Rouge Parish. She currently holds two fellowships: the NSF Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professorate (AGEP) and the Louisiana Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LA-LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate Program (BDP). Charisma hopes to use her research to further the field of biomedical imaging and instrumentation in electrical engineering. Edwards was nominated by Dr. Hsiao-Chun Wu.

Wakeel Ishola Anthony Idewu graduated from University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a BS in Civil Engineering in 2004. In December of 2007, he went on to obtain an MS in Engineering Science with a concentration in transportation. He expects to receive his PhD in Civil Engineering from LSU in December of 2008. In 2005, he received the Graduate Alliance for Education in Louisiana Award, as well as Minority Engineering Program Graduate Student of the Year. He holds the HBEC/ONR Future Faculty Fellowship and the Bridge to Doctoral Program Award. Wakeel is active in the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association and won first place at the NSBE Poster Competition in 2007. From 2004-2005 he served as a civil engineering intern at the New Orleans International Airport. He has completed several projects as a researcher at LSU with a concentration in transportation. Wakeel is also a teaching assistant and tutor in the Minority Engineering Program at LSU, honing his teaching skills to prepare him for an academic career. His doctoral research project seeks to increase safety and efficiency in the development of highway lane reductions. Idewu was nominated by Dr. Brian Wolshon, P.E.

Kiley Bre’Ann Pulliam, a senior in Mechanical Engineering at Centenary College, Kiley Bre’Ann Pulliam will graduate with a 3.85 GPA in May of 2008. She plans to enter the LSU Computational Fluid Dynamics PhD program in the fall. Her research will focus on discovering how natural transport processes of the eye can lead to eye diseases. Her dedication to learning is exemplified by her plans to teach English and science in Morocco this summer through the Cross-Cultural Solutions Organization. After procuring her PhD, Kiley hopes to continue her research as well as teach physics or math at the high school or university level. Pulliam was nominated by Dr. Sumanta Acharya.

David John Widenski obtained his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where his emphasis was industrial engineering with a minor in chemistry. He is now located at LSU, where he is a Chemical Engineering PhD candidate. He holds a 3.71 cumulative GPA. Since September of 2006, he has served as a research assistant for the Gordon A & Mary Cain Department of Chemical Engineering. Specifically, he performed crystallization research and completed teaching assistant duties. Once he gains his PhD, David hopes to enter the field in the process development engineering industry. Widenski was nominated by Dr. Jose A. Romagnoli.

Article by Colette Burke for the College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu

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