December 21, 2012

The College of Engineering held its diploma ceremony for Fall 2012 at the Maddox Fieldhouse, conferring 165 Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees, 43 Masters of Science degrees and 17 Ph.D. degrees. Of note, LSU College of Engineering graduates represented 29 Louisiana parishes, 8 states, and 23 foreign countries.

This semester’s graduating class contained a number of high-achieving students including: two Distinguished Communicators, two Summa Cum Laude graduates, two Magna Cum Laude graduates and two Cum Laude graduates.

Cole Diez received a University Medal, awarded to students for graduating with perfect undergraduate grade-point averages. In another tradition, the College of Engineering also honors those graduates who have earned the highest gpa. Diez was 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. Diez will begin his career in the Gulf of Mexico with Chevron.

LSU also honored four 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: Blake Banta and Ryan Smith.

Eight graduates were commissioned during the LSU Fall Commissioning Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 13, including one engineering graduate. John Navarro received a BS in civil engineering and a minor in professional leadership development from the Department of Military Science and was commissioned by LSU Army ROTC program.

During the ceremony, a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree was awarded to Ed Steimel. Steimel, a native of Baton Rouge, La., was the founding executive director of the Public Affairs Research Council, or PAR, a private, nonprofit research organization that studies governmental policy issues and publicizes findings and recommendations. Steimel and PAR were motivating forces for a constitutional convention that led to the adoption of a new Louisiana constitution in 1973. He later served as the executive director of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, or LABI, which has helped to enact more than 50 pieces of education reform legislation.

Additionally, Steimel has been a tireless fundraiser for LSU, serving as development director for the College of Engineering. During his tenure, the college secured more than 50 scholarship funds, 106 professorships and 15 chairs. Each year, thanks to his generosity, the college awards the Ed Steimel Staff Excellence Award to an outstanding employee.


Article excerpted from LSU media releases by Cassie Thibeaux for the College of Engineering, 225-578-0092,

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