November 6, 2013

Fall brings a vibrant spirit to college campuses as students engage in higher learning during the week and cheer their team on the weekend. To the average College of Engineering student, the expectations involved with completing an engineering degree and participating on LSU spirit teams might seem nearly impossible to meet. However, these students are rising to the challenge to pursue their LSU passions both on and off the field.

“Being a member of both the College of Engineering and the Golden Band from Tigerland is a privilege,” said Carson Allgood, mechanical engineering senior. “My education through the College of Engineering at LSU can rival that of any university in the nation.”

As the section leader for the LSU Tiger Marching Band’s tuba section, Allgood said his academic and extracurricular schedules can be very demanding, but worth it.

“Away game trips occupy the majority of three days, with Friday and Sunday being travel days,” Allgood said. “Time spent with Tiger Band during home-game weeks totals to around 25 hours. That time can increase substantially with an away game trip.”

On top of home and away games, Allgood said band rehearsals are held four days a week. “Almost every part of my day is planned out; with time set apart for Tiger Band, academics, work, and home-life,” Allgood said. “I have been forced to become extremely organized and a meticulous time-manager.”

Although music and academics may not seem to go hand in hand, Allgood said that playing music actually benefits him academically and acts as a great escape from his studies. “Playing music is a great complement to the engineering sciences,” Allgood said. “The analytical side of my brain is allowed to take a break during rehearsals while I can be creative through the music.” 

Eric Campos, mechanical engineering junior and LSU cheerleader, agrees that the skills he has acquired on the field can successfully be applied toward his engineering degree. “Being an LSU cheerleader, I have to learn how to work effectively with a team,” Campos said. ”Teamwork is a soft skill that every engineer needs to know and understand if they want to be successful.”

Campos added that communication is another important skill he has developed during his time as an LSU cheerleader. “Communication, teamwork, and leadership are all fundamental skills,” Campos said. “As both a cheerleader and engineer, I am constantly working to become better in all three of those areas.”

Campos found that the confidence he has developed as an LSU cheerleader has also helped him significantly at events like this year’s College of Engineering Networking Reception as well as the Engineering, Science, and Technology Expo. “I have to be ready to talk to anyone and everyone at promotions and other cheer events,” Campos said. “It’s the same case with networking events. You have to be confident and able to effectively communicate with professionals in the industry.”

As LSU’s 2013 Homecoming King, Alex Cagnola, a biological engineering senior, is a prime example of a spirited College of Engineer student who is dedicated to both his school and his community.

“Any member of the Homecoming Court should excel in leadership and scholarship and also be an active contributor to his or her community,” Cagnola said. “It is not only important for LSU, but also for the Baton Rouge community that we have LSU students who give back and want to make our area a better place for everyone.”

Regan Turner, industrial engineering junior and an LSU Golden Girl, can also relate to the hectic schedule that comes along with being a student athlete and LSU engineering student. “There have been weeks when I have had three tests, three appearances, plus the 14 hours of class, 14 hours of work, and 14 hours of practice,” Turner said. “There just aren’t enough hours in the week.”

With most of the weekend designated to games, Turner understands the importance of preparing in advance. “It’s really important to study and do homework a little every single night so my Sunday isn’t packed with too much catching-up to do,” Turner said.

“Industrial engineering is small so most of my core classes consist of 5-20 people,” Turner said. “I’ve really gotten to know my professors and I feel like my peers push me to be a better student.”

When asked how she handles the pressure from her demanding schedule, Turner responded that maintaining a positive attitude helps her balance and keep everything in perspective.

“I just mentally remind myself of how great of an opportunity it is for me to dance for LSU’s football team and how important it is that I give 100 percent to my team,” said Turner. “And in that same way I have to remind myself how blessed I am to attend LSU as an engineering student and that I have to give 100 percent to my academics. When you remind yourself of the positive things, it’s easy to just do what you have to do.”

Although her academic and athletic involvement can be very demanding, Turner said she wouldn’t trade her role as an LSU Golden Girl and College of Engineering student for the world. “Those are two very unique experiences that make me love LSU,” Turner said. “And very few get to experience that.”


Article by Lauren Zimmermann, communications intern. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, or (225) 578-5706.

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