December 7, 2011

Phyllis Taylor and her late husband, Patrick “Pat” F. Taylor, have provided countless students the opportunity to earn a college degree. Pat founded Louisiana’s Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), and his and Phyllis’ work has led to the introduction of similar programs in 22 other states. 

Over the past several years, a select group of students in the colleges of Engineering and Science have been named Taylor Scholars through a program made possible by the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation. Scholars receive financial support that allows them to focus on academics and, in many cases, devote time to research and activities that improve communities at LSU and beyond. Following, meet this year's engineering Scholars whose excellence speaks to the value of this program.

Taylor Scholars in the College of Engineering are a high-achieving group of underrepresented, full-time engineering students. The support they receive is awarded for four years of undergraduate study.

Jaworski Sartin

Patrick F. Taylor Scholar

Civil & Environmental Engineering • Bogalusa, La.

A decade ago, Jaworski and his peers at Bogalusa Junior High School gathered to hear Pat Taylor talk about TOPS. His message was simple: You can go to college. 

Fast forward to 2011 ... Jaworski, a former TOPS recipient, was his college’s first Taylor Scholars graduate and is pursuing a PhD. In 2007, he participated in the dedication of LSU’s Patrick F. Taylor Hall, named in honor of a man whose impact on Jaworski’s life has been profound.

He says, “Working long hours and late hours can conflict with academic success. I didn’t have to worry about that.”

Jaworski also appreciated the annual dinners during which Phyllis Taylor visits with the Scholars to celebrate their achievements and discuss the challenges of engineering and science, saying, “She is genuinely concerned about the students.”

Jaworski’s doctoral program builds upon the foundation he developed as an undergraduate in the Department of Civil Engineering. He is currently conducting research on hurricane evacuation plans for the Louisiana Gulf Coast region. Jaworski intends to build his career in the South and to work on evacuation plans for New Orleans and Houston.

Julie Quach

Patrick F. Taylor Scholar

Electrical & Computer Engineering • Gretna, La.

When Julie graduates in May 2013, she will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. It is a career goal she has been working toward since she was a Junior ROTC cadet in high school.

“I like the discipline and structure,” Julie explains, smiling as she adds, “I like things by schedule.”

Julie was recruited to LSU through the Recruitment into Engineering of High Ability Minority Students (REHAMS) Program, which offers pre-college students an opportunity to explore engineering. Through REHAMS, Julie learned about the Taylor Scholars program. The support she now receives has enabled her to participate in ROTC and perform well in her degree program.

“Growing up, I worked,” she says. “Coming here, my full-time job is being a student. My parents wanted me to focus on school. With the scholarship, I can focus on school.”

Julie has coupled her computer engineering curriculum with two ROTC classes per semester that have, she says, prepared her to be an Air Force officer. After graduation, she hopes to work in the area of cyber security to protect the U.S. and government documents from foreign hackers.


The above article was published in the Fall 2011 edition of the Cornerstone Magazine produced by the LSU Foundation. To read the complete article, click here.

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