May 27, 2011

Nguyen first Industrial Engineering Student to Receive Certification

In addition to the class of 2011, LSU's 274th commencement exercises honored eight undergraduate engineers with the LSU's Distinguished Communicator Award, the first program of its kind in the nation. Along with these engineering students, 24 additional students representing numerous majors earned the distinction. Those honored from the College of Engineering included: Anna Glynn, Jace Landry, Brooke Morris, Casey McMann, Taylor Morris, Paul Nguyen, Ifeanyi Okoro, and Rachel Truitt.

LSU Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Gil Reeve, welcomed family and friends of the students and noted that among this year’s Distinguished Communicators (DC) were, “an astronomer, a group of dedicated teachers, a wedding dress designer, an Eagle Scout, several talented engineers, an activist seeking to eliminate human trafficking, a handful of talented artists, Chancellor’s Medalists, three Tiger Twelve awardees, gifted scientists, future physicians, a couple of filmmakers, several entrepreneurs, world travelers, a cyclist, homemade chefs, NPR’s number one fan, avid runners, sports enthusiasts, music lovers, an A cappella singer, a Latin and ballet dancer, a dedicated mom and even a beauty queen!”

LSU's Distinguished Communicator Award recognizes students who demonstrate exemplary levels of communication skills during their undergraduate years. Recipients are selected on the basis of completing 12 hours of approved courses, submitting a digital portfolio, participating in internships or co-ops, demonstrating leadership, and maintaining a GPA of 3.0 in communication-intensive courses. Upon completion, students have their transcripts annotated to reflect their Distinguished Communicator designation.

Nguyen, a native of Baton Rouge, was the first industrial engineering (IE) major to earn the certification. Nguyen noted of his experience, “The awards and recognitions that meant the most to me was being selected as the first student from the IE Department to receive the Distinguished Communicator Award and being the first Non-Black Regional Chair for National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Both mean a lot to me because I feel I have helped paved the way for future students to follow in my footsteps and not be afraid to take on a new challenge. Both of these recognitions will mean that I will be able to help develop future leaders in NSBE and assist students in IE who are interested in the distinguished communicator program.”   

The 32 LSU students earned the DC 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 that were based on written, spoken, visual and technological communication. The students built digital portfolios, displayed as public Web sites that include their communication projects from courses, internships, leadership roles and public service.

“The Distinguished Communicator program has taught me to bridge the gap between knowing and showing,” said Okoro. “Simply put, if I know it, I can show you what it is. I can tell you, write it to you or present it to you.  Better yet, I can incorporate technology in whatever method I choose to relate it to you. I can, because I am a distinguished communicator.”

Dr. Sarah Liggett, director, CxC, sent students off with one final thought. “As you leave here tonight, officially being named LSU Distinguished Communicators, know that you possess a vital skill that is greater than any one talent. You are part of an amazing group of students, a unique program, and a stellar university.  You are both the reason for, and the result of, their successes.”

Anna Glynn played a very active service role during her time at LSU as she earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering.  During this time, Glynn was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority where she spent one year working as the Vice President for the Panhellenic Council, recruiting for 10 chapters and over 1,000 members.  Glynn was also a two-year recipient of the merit based Staplcotn Scholarship.  After graduation she will pursue a career in the biological/environmental engineering field. Advisor: Dorin Bolder, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Click here to view Glynn’s digital portfolio.

Jace Landry earned a degree in Biological Engineering while he maintained his standing on the Dean’s List and Chancellor’s Honor Roll, was named a Chancellor’s Future Leader in Research, and received an Undergraduate in Research Opportunity Award.  Landry served as historian of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society and the ag council representative of the Biological Engineering Student Organization.  In his free time, Landry also served as a Baton Rouge Science Fair mentor and assisted in the South Boulevard and Cedarcrest Elementary playground builds.  After graduation, Landry plans to attend medical school.  Advisor: Marybeth Lima, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Click here to view Landry’s digital portfolio.

Casey McMann earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering. During his time at LSU, he was active in many groups such as the Biological Engineering Student Organization where he was the co-fundraising chair and a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society. McMann was recognized for his academic success by being named to the Chancellor’s Honor Roll and Dean’s Lists, and he received a study abroad scholarship for a semester in England.  After graduation, McMann will pursue a master’s degree in Secondary Education and teach high school biology or physical science.  Advisor: Daniel Hayes, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Click here to view McMann’s digital portfolio.

Brooke Morris earned a degree in Biological Engineering and gained many skills through her community service and research.  She was awarded the Most Innovative Research Award while working with a group of LSU students and community partners. Morris was also a member of the LSU Playground Project group that received the Chancellor’s Sesquicentennial Service Award.  She worked with the national Engineers without Borders organization to establish an LSU chapter, where she played an important role including writing the group’s constitution. After graduation, she will attend the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she will pursue a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning.  Advisor: Marybeth Lima, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Click here to view Brooke Morris’ digital portfolio.

Taylor Morris earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering adding to a long list of accomplishments. Morris has been involved in community service including: communications director of Volunteer LSU and talent chairman for the LSU Ambassadors.  He earned numerous awards, such as being selected as one of the LSU Tiger Twelve and named as a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.  After graduation, he will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on product design.  Advisor:  Jack Helms, Mechanical Engineering

Click here to view Taylor Morris’ digital portfolio.

Paul Nguyen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Among the many honors bestowed upon Paul were the Ronald McNair Scholar award, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Fellow and TORCHBearer granted to those with a 3.2 GPA or higher.  Nguyen was also named the first Non-Black Regional Chair for the NSBE where he supervised over 3,000 members and managed an operating budget of $135,000. He also held numerous positions in student organizations such as the Institute of Industrial Engineers, Alpha Pi Mu and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor societies, and LSU Student Government for the College of Engineering.  After graduation, Nguyen will begin his career with Procter and Gamble.  Advisor:  Gerald Knapp, Industrial Engineering

Click here to view Nguyen’s digital portfolio.

Ifeanyi “Ify” Okoro completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.  While seeking his degree, Okoro received awards such as the LSU Golden Oaks, LSU Black Scholars, LSU Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate and the National Society of Black Engineering College AP award, but the one that means the most to him is being named a member of the LSU Tiger Twelve for his positive contributions to the campus and community. After graduation, Okoro will pursue a master’s degree.  Advisor:  Su-Seng Pang, Mechanical Engineering

Click here to view Okoro’s digital portfolio.

Rachel Truitt earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering and received many awards and scholarships at LSU such as S-STEM and a BP Scholarship through the Engineering Diversity Program. As a research assistant in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Truitt assisted in micro-algae sampling and modeling. Truitt also worked in the Engineering Communication Studio for the past three years as a student mentor where she helped students and faculty members produce large format and 3-D prints. She also aided in the use of engineering and graphics programs. After taking some time off from school to work, Truitt is considering returning to school to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering.  Advisor:  Kelly Rusch, Environmental Engineering

Click here to view Truitt’s digital portfolio.

To learn more about the Communication across the Curriculum program, click here.


For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, or (225) 578-0092.

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