May 21, 2012

LSU's 277th commencement exercises honored nine engineering students with the LSU's Distinguished Communicator Award, the first program of its kind in the nation. Along with these engineering students, 30 additional students representing numerous majors earned the distinction.

Students honored from the College of Engineering included: Andrew Calogero, Casey Robelot, Joseph Tran, Kevin Holly, Trey Ledet III, Mary-Anne Nguyen, Melinda Hunter, Rebecca Marx and Yvette Triay.

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, “a number of honors students, a group of dedicated teachers, several talented engineers, a handful of talented architects, Chancellor's Medalists, a Tiger Twelve award recipient, future physicians, several entrepreneurs, freelance artists and photographers, world travelers, avid runners, music lovers and a great deal of sports enthusiasts!”

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.

“The LSU Distinguished Communicator program has helped me overcome my communication challenges to reach a level I never dreamed possible,” Ledet noted of his experience. “This program has opened numerous possibilities that would have never been possible without the skills I have learned through the CxC program. I am proud to say I was part of the LSU Distinguished Communicator Program. GEAUX TIGER COMMUNICATION!”

The nine LSU students earned the DC honor by meeting high standards set by faculty in various colleges and by the LSU CxC 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.

“I believe our ability to communicate effectively can define the opportunities we allow ourselves to receive. Being an LSU Distinguished Communicator means having not only the ability, but having the confidence to present your ideas and thoughts to a variety of audiences,” Hunter said. “As an engineering major, there is often a stigma on engineers not being able to communicate; however, this program gives me the opportunity to help disprove those stigmas through personal hard work that will be a direct representation of myself – a representation that I am more than proud to display.”

Dr. Sarah Liggett, director, CxC, offered students a few final words. “As you leave here today, officially being named LSU Distinguished Communicators, know that you posses a vital skill that is greater than any one talent. As certified LSU Distinguished Communicators, you are part of an amazing group of students, a unique program and a stellar university. Your ability to effectively communicate your thoughts and ideas will take you great places. And we hope that you will take with you the many experiences you've had through the CxC program, and of course, the spirit that is "forever LSU..."

Andrew Calogero received his Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering. Calogero was a member of Acacia Fraternity, as well as the Tiger Transition Team, where he served as a mentor to two incoming freshman, helping them to adjust to college life. Calogero was a member of the LSU Honors College and has been previously on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll. In the summer of 2011, he shadowed three doctors at an orthopedic and occupational medicine clinic, which provided him with valuable future experience. Calogero hopes to go on to graduate school to study biomechanics. Adviser: Dan Hayes, Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Casey Robelot received her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. During her time at LSU, Robelot was part of several organizations including the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), Alpha Pi Mu Honor Society for Industrial Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She served as vice president of LSU IIE and as the treasurer of Alpha Pi Mu. Robelot was recognized as the 2011-2012 IIE Outstanding Senior. She has volunteered with organizations including the Sally Ride Science Festival and Habitat for Humanity. After graduation, she will assume a position in New Orleans and plans to continue serving as a private tutor for middle and high school students. Adviser: Gerald Knapp, Industrial Engineering

Joseph Tran received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. Tran was a member of organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Association of Corrosion Engineers and the LSU Math Club. Tran had the opportunity to be a part of the Louisiana Aerospace Catalyst Experiences for Students, which he believes was his most significant exploit during his undergraduate career. After graduation, Tran hopes to intern for a research and development company this summer and plans to begin law school in August. Adviser: Wanjun Wang, Mechanical Engineering

Kevin Holly received his Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering. Holly has been an active member in organizations such as the Biological Engineering Student Organization, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, and the Residence Hall Association. He served as an engineering council representative within BESO and a student leader in Chi Alpha. He has volunteered with different projects and organizations like Roaring in the Halls, the Louisiana Water Environment Association and Habitat for Humanity. Holly has been named to the Chancellor’s List and was awarded membership into Phi Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Pi honor societies. After graduation, Holly will be working toward a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Louisiana Tech. Adviser: Steven Hall, Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Trey Ledet received his Bachelor of Science in Construction Management and a minor in Business Administration. Ledet was a member of the Construction Student Organization and the SEI Entrepreneurship Fellows Program. He has received numerous awards and recognitions such as LSU’s Top 100 Scholarship, Chancellor’s Honor Roll, Dean’s List, the Floyd W. Womack Scholarship, and the Associated General Contractors Scholarship. He volunteered his time with Habitat for Humanity, Connections for Life, and the Louisiana Color Guard. He has also served as a percussion instructor to students at several Louisiana High Schools. In the fall, Ledet will advance his studies in the Flores MBA program at LSU. Adviser: Charles Pecquet, Construction Management

Mary-Anne Nguyen received her Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering. Nguyen served as the vice president of the Biological Engineering Student Organization and secretary of the Society of Women Engineers. She was also an active member of STEM Talent Expansion Program, the Society of Peer Mentors, Freshman Tiger Transition Team and the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society. Nguyen received the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Student Scholarship and the LSU Centennial Award. The recognition that meant the most to her was becoming a part of the LA-STEM Research Scholars. She served as a volunteer with several organizations, including the Baton Rouge Playground Outreach Project. After graduation, Nguyen plans to pursue a doctorate in biomedical engineering. Adviser: Marybeth Lima, Agricultural & Biological Engineering 

Melinda Hunter received her Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering. Hunter has served in a variety of leadership roles including vice president of the LSU Service-Learning Student Advisory Council, focus area chair for Baton Rouge Restoration and Beautification and construction chair for the LSU Community Playground Project. Some of Hunter’s recognitions include the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, Dean’s List, Monster Diversity Leadership Recipient, the Black Scholars Award and the Chancellor’s Sesquicentennial Service Award. She was an active volunteer in Habitat for Humanity of BR, Big Buddy Program and Volunteers in Public Schools Everybody Reads Program. After graduation, Hunter will be moving to Sugar Land, Texas to assume the position of Field Engineer at Baker Hughes, Inc. Adviser: Richard Bengtson, Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Rebecca Marx received her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Marx was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Engineers without Borders and LSU Club Tennis where she served as the secretary. She also served as a chemistry tutor. She received the LSU Top 100 Alumni Association Academic Scholarship, Honors College Study Abroad Scholarship, Department of Mechanical Engineering Scholarship and gained membership into the National Society of Leadership and Success. Marx interned with PPG, Inc. in Lake Charles, La., where she worked on projects in the Silica plant. She also studied abroad in Greece and Turkey. After graduation Marx will work as a manufacturing engineer at John Deere in Thibodaux, La. Adviser: Jack Helms, Mechanical Engineering 

Yvette Triay received her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. For two years, she was part of the LSU Women’s Gymnastics team and was selected for the Student Athlete’s SEC Honor Roll and the Tiger Award for the gymnast with the best overall attitude, sportsmanship and work ethic. Triay was an active member of the America Association of Mechanical Engineers and Sigma Tau Alpha Honor Society. Through Disney’s College Program, she worked as a mechanical engineer intern in the Magic Kingdom. She has also participated in numerous volunteer opportunities including the Disney VoluntEARs Junior Achievement Bowlathon, Charity Challenge in Orlando, MDA Telethon, MDA Strides-n-Rides and Race for the Cure. After graduation, Triay will begin working for FMC Technologies in Houston, Texas. Adviser: Ingmar Schogel, Mechanical Engineering


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

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