May 25, 2011

The College of Engineering held its diploma ceremony for Spring 2011 at the Maddox Fieldhouse, conferring 360 Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees, 50 Masters of Science degrees and 15 Ph.D. degrees. This year's graduating class contained a large number of high-achieving students including: eight Distinguished Communicators, 11 Summa Cum Laude graduates, 15 Magna Cum Laude graduates, and 12 Cum Laude graduates. Of note, LSU College of Engineering graduates represented 35 Louisiana parishes, 18 states, and 18 foreign countries.

Four LSU engineering seniors received University Medals, awarded for graduating with perfect undergraduate grade-point averages (gpa): Avery L. Cook, III, a chemical engineering major from Lake Charles; Ryan Pazdera, an electrical engineering major from Ragley, Holly Samaha, an environmental engineering major from Baton Rouge, and Patrick A. Vocke, a mechanical engineering major from Metairie. In another tradition, the College of Engineering also honors those graduates who have earned the highest gpa. These four graduates were also presented with the Edward McLaughlin Dean’s Medal of Excellence for earning a perfect 4.00 gpa. The award commemorates McLaughlin's 28-year LSU career as professor, researcher, department chair and dean.

Graduating class representative and McLaughlin Medalist, Patrick Vocke, addressed the 500-plus engineering graduates at the spring 2011 CoE diploma ceremony. Objectivity, precision and predictability characterize the stereotypical engineer, he said. But Vocke reminded his classmates that uncertainty is a part of life.
“We’ve been trained to like predictable results, but life beyond this University is anything but predictable,” said the mechanical engineering graduate. “We have to safely account for uncertainty.”
Vocke encouraged the College of Engineering class of 2011 to rely on the unwavering aspects of life for support and guidance. He named three certainties for the graduates.  
“We’re graduating from a great school in a field with a great demand for us. Second, we’re part of the LSU family,” he said. “Third, we are fortunate to have each and every one of you in the audience today.”

LSU also honored 32 graduating students with the LSU Distinguished Communicator Award. These students earned this honor by meeting high standards set by faculty in various colleges and by the LSU Communication across the Curriculum program. The students earned high grade-point averages in communication-intensive courses – based on written, spoken, visual and technological communication – and have built digital portfolios displayed as public websites that include their communication projects from courses, internships, leadership roles and public service. Those honored from the College of Engineering included: Anna Glynn, Jace Landry, Brooke Morris, Csaey McMann, Taylor Morris, Paul Nguyen, Ifeanyi Okoro, and Rachel Truitt.

Twenty-three graduates were commissioned during the LSU Spring Commissioning Ceremony on Thursday, May 19, at the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes. Maj. Gen. James E. Rogers, commander of the 1st Sustainment Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., was the guest speaker for the Spring Commissioning Ceremony. His command is responsible for providing logistical support across the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Two College of Engineering graduates were from the LSU Army ROTC program and the Southern University Navy ROTC program. Stefan Hardy received a BS in electrical engineering. Aaron Smith received a BS in chemical engineering.  

Among notable degree recipients this year was Tyler Crosby, a biological engineering major graduated magna cum laude from the College of Engineering, was a Goldwater Scholarship recipient in 2010. A native of Bush, La., Crosby hopes to pursue a combined M.D./Ph.D. and conduct clinical research into genetic therapies for diseases after graduation. The Goldwater Scholarship can be used to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Noah Scott McGill, a petroleum engineering major from New Orleans, was also recognized for graduating from LSU’s Honors College with College Honors.

Todd Burford, Josh Cusimano, Michael Florek, Sean LeNeave, Patrick Lipoma and Eric Zeller were student athletes who also graduated with a BS in engineering.

Rick Koubek, dean, College of Engineering, concluded with a special message for graduates. “I would like to add my personal congratulations to all graduates, their parents and relatives, and faculty and staff for this wonderful achievement. Graduates, you are now officially part of an esteemed group of alumni with this May 2011 class.”

LSU held its 274st commencement exercises on May 20st, conferring 3,559 students. The main ceremony was held in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and individual colleges held separate diploma ceremonies at various locations around the Baton Rouge campus. W. Henson Moore, chair of the Forever LSU campaign and former representative of Louisiana’s sixth congressional district for 12 years, delivered the commencement address at the main ceremony.


Article excerpted from LSU media releases and additional information added by Cassie Arceneaux for the College of Engineering, 225-578-0092,


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