May 16, 2008

Eleven undergraduate engineers in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE), Chemical Engineering (ChE) and Mechanical Engineering (ME) received the LSU Distinguished Communicator Award (D-Comm) on May 15, 2008 in the Vieux Carré Room of the LSU Union. The first award of its kind in the nation, and in its second year, D-Comm is a designation given to students who earn high grade-point averages (GPAs) in communication-intensive (CI) courses throughout the University, as certified by the Communication Across the Curriculum (CxC) program. CI courses in engineering and other disciplines foster the development of superior written, spoken, visual and technological communication skills.

Each recipient develops a digital portfolio of their body of work, which serves as an online résumé of leadership, service and achievements both in and out of school. To view the portfolios, visit the CxC homepage ( and click on the designated hyperlinks.

David Mustain, one of the six ME D-Commrecipients, sees definite advantages in earning the special distinction, stating "Lots of students benefited from the CxC staff and CI courses, but we who completed the D-Comm certification now have proof of all our accomplishments." Mustain feels that the program’s portfolio requirement provides certified communicators with a uniquely valuable asset. "The digital portfolio communicates so much more than a one page résumé ever could."

Adam Murdaugh (ME) concurs, "A CxC digital portfolio gives potential employers the chance to see beyond your résumé,” adding that the designation also affected him personally He said "My Creative Writing/English-major girlfriend is jealous that she didn’t have the opportunity to earn the award."

One of last year’s recipients, Shawn Treadaway (ME) is engaged to marry Lacey Deshotel (English) a 2008 honoree. Dr. Lillian Birdwell-Bowles, Director, Communication Across the Curriculum (CxC) and English Professor commented, “We all know that communication is key to a successful marriage and these two already have that advantage. The engineer inspired the English major to become a Distinguished Communicator. More often, it’s the other way around!  We’re proud that engineers are providing so much leadership here at LSU.”

The chart below highlights each of CoE’s 11 D-Comm designees by name, hometown and declared major. The four remaining awardees represent the English, Chemistry and Architecture departments.

Article by Kip Britton for the College of Engineering,, 225-578-5706

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