LSU Alumni Magazine_Fall 2017

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Fall 2017, Volume 93, Number 3

From the


LSU Alumni – Our Strongest Allies I recently had the pleasure of watching two-time LSU alumnus and celebrity chef Jay Ducote deliver the address for our 293rd commencement ceremony. Listening to him reflect upon his time at LSU reminded me once again of the strong connection our graduates feel with this University. He was passionate about the impact his alma mater had on his life and career. And his speech touched on one very particular strength of LSU’s that I believe far surpasses our competitors’ offerings: “LSU didn’t teach me what to think,” he said. “It taught me how to think.” In today’s evolving economy and global landscape, I cannot imagine a better goal for our University to have. A university’s name is built from the successes of its graduates, and our challenges are won with help from your collective voice. We celebrated a record-breaking graduating class in May 2017 – we couldn’t have done this without your long-term support that provides both scholarships to deserving students and the word-of-mouth necessary to attract students generation after generation. Similarly, we walked away from the extensive 2017 legislative session without any budget cuts for the first time in nearly a decade. We were able to achieve this impressive feat because of you – our strongest allies in the fight to keep LSU nationally competitive. And for that, we cannot thank you enough. There’s no doubt that LSU holds a special place in the hearts of alumni – or that the University community reciprocates that feeling ten-fold. In recognition of this relationship, you will notice that we will be asking your opinion more often. We want to know more about what you have done with your LSU degree. But we also want to know how we can better engage you, and how we can better reach the multitudes of future Tigers across the country who would benefit from an LSU degree. As we begin to build our next freshman class, the influence of our more than 225,000 alumni around the world will have a significant impact on our efforts. I hope you’ll join us in our effort to ensure that every interested student has the opportunity to become an LSU Tiger and enjoy the same benefits you have. You’ll see these requests for input and engagement through a variety of formats – on social media, through my monthly Postscript newsletter, from the LSU Alumni Association, and through our recruiting team. But I hope you’ll also take the opportunity to share any input you might have with me directly at Thank you for supporting your alma mater, and Forever LSU!

Geaux Tiger!

F. King Alexander LSU President @lsuprez

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Publisher LSU Alumni Association


Editor Jackie Bartkiewicz Advertising Mignon Kastanos Art Director Chuck Sanchez STUN Design & Interactive



18 Annual Report The LSU Alumni Association’s achievements are made possible by the extraordinary support and involvement of alumni, friends, and supporters. You can take great pride in the Association’s remarkable growth and success over the past few years – a marked contrast to the nationwide downward trend in alumni giving. We are pleased to share with you this “at-aglance” overview of our major accomplishments in 2016.

22 I-Corps: Taking It to the Next Level More than just a department that takes advantage of innovation on campus, the Office of Innovation and Technology Commercialization helps LSU entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into actual processes and products and to create companies beyond campus. In January 2016, LSU was named one of the most recent I-Corps Sites by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This designation allows the University to tap into NSF’s resources to educate faculty, students, and the community about entrepreneurial principles and to plant the seeds for the next level of economic development in Louisiana, the nation, and the world.

In Each Issue 1 4 6 30 44 52

From the President President/CEO Message LSU Alumni Association News Around Campus Locker Room Tiger Nation

Cover design by STUN Design & Interactive

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Editorial Assistants Patti Garner, Karla Lemoine, Brenda Macon Contributors Sarah Black, Nick Button, Julie Cavin, Mark Claesgens, Blake Couch, Barry Cowan, Ed Cullen, Debbie Greengard, Bud Johnson, Doug Moreau, Kathy Nugent-Arnold, Laura Odenwald, Rachel Spangenthal, Paul West Photography Michael Barnes/Austin-Statesman, Joey Bordelon/Modern Heart Photography, Mark Claesgens, Ray Dry, Johnny Gordon, Larry Hubbard, Daniel Huggett, LSU Alexandria Athletics, LSU Athletics, LSU-NCBRT, Mark McKelvey, Jan Menard, Gary McCullough, NASA, Chris Parent, Eddy Perez/LSU Strategic Communications, Elizabeth Shaw, Carolyn Streva, Bryan Wayne, Cody Willhite/LSU Strategic Communications Printing Baton Rouge Printing NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Leo C. Hamilton Chair, Baton Rouge, La. Susan K. Whitelaw Chair-Elect, Shreveport, La. Jack A. Andonie Director Emeritus, Metairie, La. Lodwrick M. Cook Director Emeritus, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

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Jon D. “Jay” Babb, Baton Rouge, La. Ted A. Martin, Baton Rouge, La. Karen G. Brack, San Diego, Calif. Louis R. Minsky, Baton Rouge, La. David B. Braddock, Dallas, Texas Jeffrey M. “Jeff” Mohr, Baton Rouge, La. Stephen T. “Steve” Brown, Sherman Oaks, Calif. A.J.M. “Butch” Oustalet, III, Gulfport, Miss. Randy L. Ewing, Quitman, La. Fred G. “Gil” Rew, Mansfield, La. Kathryn “Kathy” Fives, New Orleans, La. Oliver G. “Rick” Richard, III, Lake Charles, La. Mario J. Garner, Pearland, Texas Bart B. Schmolke, Alexandria, La. Matthew K. “Matt” Juneau, Baton Rouge, La. Beverly G. Shea, New Iberia, La. Kevin F. Knobloch, Baton Rouge, La. Van P. Whitfield, Houston, Texas Brandon P. Landry, Baton Rouge, La. Stanley L. “Stan” Williams, Fort Worth, Texas LSU ALUMNI MAGAZINE is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December by the LSU Alumni Association. Annual donations are $50, of which $6 is allocated for a subscription to LSU Alumni Magazine. Approval of Periodicals Postage Paid prices is pending at Baton Rouge, La., and at additional mailing offices. The LSU Alumni Association is not liable for any loss that might be incurred by a purchaser responding to an advertisement in this magazine. Editorial and Advertising Office LSU Alumni Association 3838 West Lakeshore Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4686 225-578-3838 • 888-RINGLSU / e-mail: © 2017 by LSU ALUMNI MAGAZINE. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to LSU ALUMNI MAGAZINE, 3838 West Lakeshore Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4686 Letters to the editor are encouraged. LSU ALUMNI MAGAZINE reserves the right to edit all materials accepted for publication. Publication of material does not indicate endorsement of the author’s viewpoint by the magazine, the Association, or LSU.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


President and CEO


Kudos to Tiger Nation: You Make It Possible There is a familiar message in this issue: “Hats off” to the alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and future alumni who are LSU Tiger Nation, those in all walks of life who make LSU extraordinary. In his letter to readers and in the administration’s Legislative Update in this issue, President F. King Alexander credits alumni advocacy for reversing the downward trend in state support for higher education; the I-Corps feature highlights LSU faculty, staff, and alumni mentors who help entrepreneurs develop their ideas into processes and products and create companies to move Louisiana forward; the Association’s 2016 Annual Report reflects remarkable growth in members/donors and programs for our constituents and our University – contrary to the nationwide downward trend in alumni participation; and, although our baseball team was not victorious in the CWS championship, Tiger Nation once again converted Omaha into “Baton Rouge North.” I know we all agree that the spirit exhibited by proud LSU alumni and friends is incredible. That said, please join me in taking it a step further and become an ambassador for the LSU Alumni Association. Together we possess all the qualities needed to create a truly powerful alumni support base. We are trending upward in alumni participation, financial support, legislative advocacy, and enthusiasm for all things LSU. We have the momentum. All we need is your help to create a groundswell of support. Social media is a strong communication vehicle, so let’s use it to encourage the entire LSU Tiger Nation to give, advocate, and participate. If the Association has an accurate email address for you on file, you know we are in the process of creating a comprehensive strategic plan – using feedback from alumni, friends, donors, chapter leadership, board leadership, and other constituents to chart a course for the future. An essential aspect of any successful organization is to continually identify the opportunity to be more valuable to those we serve. With that in mind, we have embarked on a strategic planning process to evaluate everything we do and to ensure we are aligned with the needs of our alumni and the University for years to come. As a first step we wanted input from you. This input has been gathered through many conversations as well the above-mentioned surveys. The response and feedback has been invaluable, so thank you for responding! After completing significant research and evaluation, we will set a course for your Association that makes your relationship with LSU, with fellow alumni, and with the Association more valuable than ever. Thanks in advance for your ambassadorship!

Cliff Vannoy President/CEO @LSUAlumniPrez

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LSU Alumni Association


From Our Readers Hall of Distinction First and foremost, I’d venture to say, in my opinion, LSU Alumni Magazine is the best among all colleges and universities. Secondly, since LSU has been one of the leading universities, colleges, or military academies to supply military officers in our wars, it is most fitting that the LSU Alumni Association selected Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis as the 2017 Hall of Distinction Alumnus of the Year. With LSU’s proud and distinguished military history, it was very rewarding the Association recognized him for this prestigious, outstanding, and distinguished honor. Congratulations to the Association for the very professional LSU Alumni Magazine distributed to its membership. Keep up the good work.

Jerald Juneau (1960 BACH H&SS) Col. (Ret), U.S. Army


Collaborative Care Dear Lauren, We couldn’t have been more pleased with the focus on Collaborative Care at the Student Health Center. Thank you so much for all the research and the time you spent with us before writing the article. I’ve had quite a few shout-outs from friends across the country who complimented the SHC.

D'Ann Morris Executive Director Student Health Center

Just opened my LSU Alumni Magazine – thanks for featuring all the pics and article about the Texas Tigers Breakfast! Great job, as usual!

Linda Young (1971 BACH BUS) LSU Alumni/Dallas

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


LSU Alumni Association


The crawfish races are always a big hit.

Chapter Events

Audrey and David Barr – a Tiger and an Aggie.

Dawn Hebert Beasley, chapter president, with hubby, SMU alum Dan Beasley.

Tails, Tunes, and Tailgating – “I am happy to report that the Baldwin Bengals Boil on the Bay was a huge success,” writes Dawn Hebert Beasley, chapter president. “This was our fourth year as a chapter and our fourth crawfish boil – and each year we double our attendance. We had nearly 200 happy crawfish eaters and served more than700 pounds of mudbugs.” Fans from Auburn, Alabama, SMU, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Ole Miss, Florida, and Georgia wore their school colors to enjoy the festivities and help raise money for the chapter’s scholarship fund. Event sponsors were Truland Homes, Servepro of Baldwin County, Cardiology Associates, Another Broken Egg of Fairhope, Market By the Bay, and Stirling Properties.

Johnnie Gross and Cara Young, a sophomore at Houston High Scholl in Germantown, Tenn., who has committed to the LSU soccer team as part of the Class of 2019. Immediate Past President John Frazier, President Johnnie Gross, John Boudreaux, and John Lawhon.

Longtime chapter members KK Gross, Cindy Benson, Steve Collins, and Joel Benson.

Mudbugs in Memphis – John and Jennifer Lawhon welcomed more than 140

Memphis-area Tigers to their home – and popular fishing pond – for the annual boil. Tasty appetizers, boudin balls, and desserts were on the menu, in addition to 700 pounds of crawfish with all the fixings. The recipient of the chapter’s $1,000 Jan Moore Memorial Freshman Scholarship, Aidan Connell, was introduced along with runner-up Roane Waring, and outgoing President John Frazier “passed the gavel” to President Johnnie Gross.

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Julian Rosenberg, Clyde Fontenot, Julia Fontenot, Ginger Lee McGraw, Erin Camden, Bill Camden, Brian Hager, Cherie Hager-Many, Stuart Roy, Paul May, Larry May, Leigh Owens, Tom Evans, Chris Grant, Cary Nakayama, Leone Fontenot, Carolyn Streva, and Jonathan Streva.

Tamra Coleman, Freddie and Pia Dubois, Abby Taylor, Jaime and Jerry Price, Shandas Wollie, Anthony, Sean Wollie, Dereck and Lowen Williams, Tracey Thomas, Luke Cesaretti, and Lydia Wyatt

Sin City Tigers – Las Vegas-area LSU faithful gathered under the Canopy of the Fremont Street Experience for an experience like no other – live crawfish boiled on site, BBQ, free beverages, face painting, balloon crafts, and the best Zydeco music outside of Louisiana. Photos by Carolyn Streva

Kelly Long, Anna Long, Larry May, and Clyde Fontenot. Tiny Tiger cheerleaders Lucy and Nola Rosenberg with the crawfish balloon guy.

To find a chapter near you visit

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


LSU Alumni Association News

Front to back, left, Chip Morrison, Judie Morrison, Tom Scheck, Marsha Scheck, and unidentified guest; right, James Morrison, Jo Ann Lester, Danny Mok, Mike Locascio, and Peter Stanfill.

Chapter Events

Guy Manning, left, Jim Jeffrey, unknown guest, and Kaye Jeffrey.

Front to back, left, Karis Gaines, Robert Gaines, Connie Davis, and Leslie Houston; right, Kolby Gaines, Ed Thompson, Al Caldwell, Phoebe Caldwell, Liz Ragusa, and Joe Ragusa.

Tarrant County Tigers – LSU

faithful gathered at Longhorn State Park on Lake Benbrook in Ft. Worth in April for the Tarrant County Chapter’s annual crawfish boil. The mudbugs – 160 pounds – were supplied by LSU alum Dan Demaline through his Acadia Parish Crawfish Company and Raising Cane’s was on hand to supply lemonade, tea, that famous dipping sauce, and giveaways.

DJ Robert Gaines provided musical entertainment for the event.

Record Crowds – More than 4,500 LSU alumni, friends, and supporters attended

the 2017 San Diego Crawfish Boil at Qualcomm Stadium practice field in May. The Euphoria Brass Band and Theo & the Zydeco Patrol provided musical entertainment as mudbug-hungry Tigers enjoyed 21,000 pounds of crawfish and other “back home” treats available at food booths. A popular spot was LouZiana Foods, run by Pete and Pam Terrebonne, San Diego chapter founding alumni members.

Jeni Clark, an LSU junior, and mom Michelle Clark in their grab bag-selling gear take time out for a photo op with Carolyn Streva and her son, future alum Jon.

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LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


LSU Alumni Association News

Crawfish at Shoal Creek

By Kathy Nugent-Arnold

Tiger faithful Jim Schonian and Crystal McGehee Schonian, left, and Bob McCrain and Betsy Lang McCrain. Kathy Nugent-Arnold, chapter vice president; LSU Alumni Association CFO Mike Garner; Amy Elbrecht, Shoal Creek Saloon general manager; and Susie Rupert, chapter president.

Shoal Creek Saloon hosted LSU Austin's annual crawfish boil, and thanks to the generosity of owner Ray Canfield and general manager Amy Elbrecht, 100 percent of the ticket sales went directly to the Austin chapter's scholarship fund.

LSU Austin Chapter board members Laurie Woodel, left, and Sharon Owens.

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The staff served up steaming hot crawfish, spicy jambalaya, and cold Abita beer all afternoon to our Austin-area alumni. And, thanks to the members who donated and purchased silent auction items – those proceeds went to our scholarship fund as well. LSU Austin has partnered with Shoal Creek Saloon for many years for football watch parties and crawfish boils. When visiting, be sure to stop at Shoal Creek Saloon on 9th & Lamar and tell them LSU Austin alumni sent you. The food is fabulous, the service is fantastic. Share the love of purple and gold – and for the Saints fans, black and gold!

Geaux Orlandeaux By Paul West

Future Tiger Dustin and Johnny Nguyen.

Central Florida Chapter alums hosted the annual crawfish boil at Boggy Creek Resort in Kissimmee, Fla. Thanks to board members, volunteers, sponsors, and participants, the chapter raised enough money to complete the funding of its annual LSU Flagship Scholarship for “LSU Bound” Central Florida high school grads.

The event attracted some 160 attendees from the Central Florida area along with guests from Baton Rouge and South Florida. More than 1,000 pounds of crawfish were flown in from New Orleans and prepared along with corn and potatoes by the volunteer Orlandeaux Boil Crew – Dustin Sims, Ed Kochan, Orlando Torres, Allen Fugler, and Paul West. Louisiana music was provided by the Jeff Howell Band and plenty of activities – including a bounce house donated by Babs Gross, crawfish races, face painting, cornhole games, auctions, and raffle

LSU Alumni Association Vice President John Grubb, center, with future Tigers Justin Morgan, left, and Kaylee Alaniz.

– kept guests busy. Among this year’s auction offerings were two Labradoodle puppies donated by Douglas and Chris Gearity of The Women’s Center. During a brief business meeting Debi West was elected as returning president; Paul West, vice president; Melissa Fountain, treasurer; and Olga Ivanova, secretary. The Board Member of the Year Award was presented to Conrad Caples for his ongoing efforts, and the Advisory Board Member of the Year Award went to Dennis Price for his consistent contributions to the crawfish boil. Special thanks GEAUX out to alum Ken Soday of Stellar Sign & Design, who contributed signage for the event, and to sponsors Falcon Pest Control, Massey Services, WorldQuest Resorts, The Women's Center, Spice World, Polo Park Animal Hospital, Brian Mondello, Mike Fountain, Barbara Gross, Fred Wehle, Brenden Coyne, and Paul and Mercedes West.

Jeff Howell, aka The Big Red Dog, and Debi West, chapter president.

Rae Connelly bid for and won Beignet,a twelveweek-old Labradoodle puppy.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


LSU Alumni Association News

Greater Birmingham Highlights

By Debbie Greengard

Jerry Argo, Margie Argo, and Becky Crain chow down at the crawfish boil.

LSU Rougaroux Gumbo Krewe, from left, Kenny Haynes, Rebecca Galatas, CJ Galatas, head chef Charlie Galatas, team captain Greg Cain, President Paul Chin-lai, and Ed Paxtor.

David Leong and a couple of close friends.

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Tiger fans showed up in force to cheer LSU to victory against Alabama in Tuscaloosa in April.

The Birmingham LSU Rougaroux Gumbo Krewe did Tiger fans proud by picking up first place in the Chef’s Choice Seafood Gumbo competition at the Twelfth Annual Gumbo Gala held in April at Sloss Furnaces. The Krewe, headed by Greg Cain, team captain, and Charlie Galatas, head chef, ran out of twelve gallons of mouth-watering seafood gumbo in less than an hour and a half. It clearly was the event favorite. This year’s Gumbo Gala, recently named “Best Food Festival in Alabama,” raised more than $73,000 for Episcopal Place, a non-profit foundation that provides safe, affordable housing and access to supportive services for senior and disabled adults with restricted income. Sporting their gumbo-winning pride, Tiger fans travelled to Tuscaloosa a week later to watch LSU defeat Alabama in extra innings. Of course, there was tailgating, plenty of great Cajun food and even an appearance on the SEC Network pre-game show during which they proudly displayed their support for the Tigers. Clear skies and a cool breeze made for a fantastic day in early May at the chapter’s thirty-second annual crawfish boil at Avondale Brewery. The crawfish were boiled to perfection, and fans, decked out in purple and gold in true Bayou Bengal-style, chowed down on massive amounts of the little red critters. They boldly accepted the challenge and saw to it that no crawfish was left behind that day.

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LSU Alumni Association News


Louisiana Assistant Secretary of Tourism for Louisiana Kyle Edmiston, center, with, from left, Vice President of Hotel and Conference Operations John Grubb, Director of Sales Tammy Brown, Director of Hotel Operations Consuela Gowan, and Sales Manager Danielle Gueho.

Talking Tourism – Members of The Cook Hotel executive staff and sales department met with Louisiana Assistant Secretary of Tourism Kyle Edmiston after his address to the joint gathering of the Baton Rouge Lodging Association and the Ascension Hospitality Management Association in May. Edmiston's presentation focused on legislative initiatives that affect the hotel industry and the overall tourism industry.

Joining Mike the Tiger were Roland and Mary Dommert, Freddie Martin, Rose Payton, Rose Ann Martin, and Judy and Ken Koonce.

LSU Alumni Association President Cliff Vannoy with “Best Dressed” winners Julia Hawkins and Ed Zganjar.

Mary McGehee joins pianist Doug Pacas for a spirited tune.

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Mike poses for a photo with Pat McDermott, Pat Dale, Sindee Roppolo, and Armando and Pat Corripio, seated.

Happy July 4th – Nearly 300 retired LSU faculty and staff attended the Fourth of July Celebration hosted by the LSU Alumni Association at the Lod Cook Alumni Center. Guests were treated to a fried chicken picnic lunch and walked away with dozens of holidaythemed door prizes. The Association also hosts a Christmas holiday celebration for University retirees. Photos by Johnny Gordon

Graduating seniors, left, and Collegiate Clubbers dig in.

Crawdads and Camaraderie – Crawfish and all the fixins’ were on the menu for soon-to-be future alumni and Collegiate Club members at April events. May graduates gathered at the Lod Cook Alumni Center for the annual senior crawfish boil sponsored by the LSU Alumni Association, and the Association and the Tiger Athletic Foundation hosted Collegiate Clubbers at Walk-Ons. The organization provides students with social, networking, and volunteer opportunities.

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LSU Alumni Association News

Joining the Team

Steve Helmke.

Steve Helmke (1993 BACH BUS) joined the LSU Alumni Association as chief operating officer in June. With more than twenty-four years of experience, Helmke began his career as a consultant on business process improvement, IT, and strategic change projects for Fortune 500 organizations. He has held leadership roles in the banking software industry; lead the growth of one of Louisiana's largest educational technology firms; and most recently focused on growing his marketing and advertising agency. Helmke holds an M.B.A. from Baylor University. Photo by Eddy Perez

Sally Stiel (2003 BACH H&SS) has joined the LSU Alumni Association as senior director of alumni engagement. She was most recently advertising manager at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge. Previously, Stiel was the senior media planner and buyer for SK+G Advertising in Las Vegas and account executive/media planner and buyer with Edelman Advertising in Baton Rouge. Sally Stiel.


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Mike the Tiger poses with a graduate and her family.

Congratulations – The LSU Alumni Association celebrated spring commencement

with new alumni by hosting a graduation open house at Lod Cook Alumni Center throughout the day. New grads enjoyed food and beverages by Unique Cuisine, took pictures with Mike the Tiger, left their legacy on campus by purchasing a brick, and joined the LSU Alumni Association to gain access to social, volunteer, and professional networking opportunities through their LSU alumni chapters.

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LSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 2016 ANNUAL REPORT The LSU Alumni Association’s achievements are made possible by the extraordinary support and involvement of alumni, friends, and supporters. You can take great pride in the Association’s remarkable growth and success over the past few years – a marked contrast to the nationwide downward trend in alumni participation. We are pleased to share with you this “at-a-glance” overview of our major accomplishments in 2016.


$ 3 6 .1

IN TOTAL ASSETS. The major portion of these assets is restricted, including an endowment of $17.1 million.


ATTRACTING AND RETAINING THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST • 10 President’s Alumni Scholarships Full cost of attendance for four years; $2,000 study abroad stipend; $1,550 per year to earn through President’s Future Leaders in Research Program • 16 Global Leaders Scholarships - $2,000 study abroad stipend; $1,550 per year to earn through the President’s Future Leaders in Research Program. The Association funds 50 of these scholarships. • 175 Flagship Scholarships - $2,500 per year; $1,550 per year to earn through the President’s Student Aide Program • 4 International Student Scholarships $2,500 each • 28 Alumni Professorships - $6,200 each





THE ASSOCIATION HAS $13.7 MILLION IN PHYSICAL ASSETS such as the Lod Cook Alumni Center, The Cook Hotel, the Jack and Priscilla Andonie Museum, the Warren & Lorraine Pol Building, and the Sugar Woods building. Current cash, accounts receivable, and merchandise inventory total $3.3 million.

• 17 Departmental Professorships $6,200 each • 10 Rising Faculty Research Awards $5,000 each • 4 Faculty Excellence Awards - $2,000 each • 2 Teaching Assistant Awards - $2,000 each • 1 Josephine A. Roberts Distinguished Dissertation Award - $2,000 • 1 Distinguished Dissertation Award $2,000 • 4 Phi Kappa Phi Non-Tenured Faculty Awards - $500 each



$18.9 M $13.7 M INVESTMENTS


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$.5 M

• Tiger Band Alumni Reunion • Annual Meeting & Past Presidents/ Chairs Luncheon • Hall of Distinction


• Retired Faculty/Staff Appreciation Events • Scholars Banquet

• Commencement Open House • Chapter Leadership Summit

FUTURE ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION • Spring Invitational – with the LSU Office of Orientation • LSU On the Geaux and LSU BOUND – with LSU Undergraduate Admissions • Bengal Bound, STRIPES, and Back to School Social – with LSU First Year Experience • Grad Fair – with LSU Barnes & Noble Bookstore and other campus units • LSU Ring Ceremony – with Student Life & Enrollment and LSU Finance & Administrative Service • Senior Stride – with LSU Student Government • Graduating Seniors Crawfish Boil • LSU Collegiate Club – with Tiger Athletic Foundation

PARTNERSHIPS • Speakers: The Series - with LSU Student Government • Partners in Progress and Partners in Communication – with University Executive Council

• Queen sofa sleepers with gel-foam mattresses and glassed, walk-in showers. • Signature lighting, including a customdesigned Tiger-head lamp. Two new room types were introduced. The Cook Executive Suite (two bedrooms, three baths) is now available for guests, and new Studio King rooms were added to the second floor. The hotel's Fitness Center received a full makeover and expansion to double the capacity and offerings for in-house guests. The renovations were contracted through Intermountain Renovation Concepts of Monroe, La., and the contractors, American Renovations Inc. based in Selmer, Tenn., brought teams from around the country as well as using local subcontractors, for the project.

• “Come Home, Alumni” – with Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Louisiana Economic Development


• Alumni Engagement Forum – with College Development and Alumni Council

Thanks to Tiger Advocates, LSU was successful in reversing the downward trend in state support that had occurred over the past several years. There were no cuts to higher education for the first time in nearly a decade, TOPS was fully funded, and the mid-year cut issued to higher education in January was restored. Our advocacy efforts continue throughout the year. To stay informed and to volunteer, visit www.lsualumni. org/tigeradvocates.


• Membership grew from 16,803 members in 2015 to 18, 363 strong in 2016 – a 9.2 percent increase. As shown in the accompanying chart, membership numbers have double in the past eight years, with the largest growth in 2014, 2015, and 2016, thanks in large part to the Joint Membership Program, which provides local and national affiliation at one low price. • Over the last thirty years, chapters have given more than $3.8 million realized from “Parties with a Purpose” proceeds. • 130 chapters around the world (see accompanying charts). • New chapters: Bat Girl Alumnae, LGBTQ+, and Ouachita Parish Chapter (revitalized).


Thank you for sharing your ideas, energy, and enthusiasm – and your talents and resources. We can’t do it without you!


Renovation of guest rooms in The Cook Hotel was completed July 1 following a fourand-a-half month construction project totaling $3.2 million, setting a new standard for luxury and value in the Baton Rouge market. Two years of planning and coordination resulted in bringing the project in on time and on budget. Among the renovations and improvements that transformed the sixteen-year-old hotel are: • Custom-made hardwood furniture with quartz surfaces.

Cliff Vannoy President and CEO

• Signature headboards and top-of-the-line mattresses. • Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and ceramic cooktops.

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LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017



BRIAN SHEDD HAS AN ENVIABLE JOB. As the assistant director of LSU’s Office of Innovation and Technology Commercialization and the coordinator for the new I-Corps program on campus, he works directly with some of LSU’s most creative and innovative people to help them commercialize their best ideas.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017



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ore than just a department that takes advantage of innovation on campus, the Office of Innovation and Technology Commercialization, under the direction of Andrew Maas, helps LSU entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into actual processes and products and to create companies beyond campus. In January 2016, LSU was named one of the most recent I-Corps Sites by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This designation allows the University to tap into NSF’s resources to educate faculty, students, and the community about entrepreneurial principles and to plant the seeds for the next level of economic development in Louisiana, the nation, and the world. Once LSU became designated as an NSF I-Corps Site, campus faculty and administrators immediately began offering support for campus entrepreneurs through six-week-long programs offered in spring, summer, and fall/winter. Shedd’s office selects up to fifteen participants for each of these sessions. Selection is based on participants’ willingness to develop their technology into commercial products and to go beyond the scope of many basic research grants. The program requires that the participants learn to communicate their ideas to nontechnical individuals and develop and test hypotheses about the market for their technology. Prior to selection, each of the participants’ ideas is evaluated for its potential for success and versatility.

Through these workshops, participants with an interest in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization learn the basics of technology commercialization, technology transfer, patents, and licensing, as well as skills for identifying customers and opportunities for startups, conducting market research, working with teams, and locating funding sources. The connection to NSF also gives these groups information on and access to NSF Small Business Innovation Research/ Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grants.


Already, several teams have created viable business plans. For example, Guoqiang Li, who holds both the Major Morris S. and DeEtte A. Anderson Memorial Alumni Professorship and the John W. Rhea, Jr., Professorship in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, participated in the summer 2016 session of I-Corps, along with two of his postdoctoral associates, Lu Lu and Pengfei Zhang. The three established a company, Louisiana Multi-FunctionalMaterials Group LLC (LAMG), to produce a special polymer that behaves counterintuitively to common physics of materials, by contracting when heated and expanding when cooled, which can be used to seal expansion joints used in bridges and roadway pavements. Lu, a chemist, is leading the effort to synthesize the new sealant, and Zhang, one of Li’s former students, is managing the business side of the company. Li

On-line, high temperature, phased-array, ultrasonic testing system in operation during friction stir welding (top) with associated A-scan (bottom left) and S-scan (bottom right) signal images illustrating a weld defect. Photo courtesy Daniel Huggett

Dr. Guang Jia, left, and Ph.D. candidate Joseph Steiner pulled together radiation technologies, processes, and equipment from a variety of areas in medical physics to arrive at a better diagnostic tool for early detection of prostate cancer. Photo by Larry Hubbard

credits the I-Corps program with helping them get to this level. “With the knowledge from this program,” Li recently wrote, “we are able to think more in the shoes of the customer. We are able to take economic impact and commercialization into account. We now know how to identify customers, and through interaction, how to create the business model. With the knowledge and technology learned from the program, we gained confidence to establish the company and skills to promote the company.” As a result of their work in the I-Corps program, this team has already won a $225,000 NSF SBIR grant to continue their research. Another summer 2016 session team, with Professor of Industrial Engineering T. Warren Liao, Ph.D. candidate Daniel Huggett, and Ryan Doerr, is developing a system that will detect friction stir welding defects on the production line with a high-temperature, phased array, ultrasonic testing scanner. Doerr is a nuclear energy expert with Entergy who works with Shedd’s office as a business mentor. While the team had one industry – aerospace – in mind as the primary source of customers, their participation in I-Corps widened their horizons. “Through the I-Corps program,” Huggett explained, “our concept of who could use the system changed, as we found that other industries, such as oil and gas and energy providers, may also be interested in this system. The program required us to contact members of industry, inquire about their needs, and ask if a system such as ours could aid their corporations. Through these interviews, we gained valuable data on how our system could be modified for other industry sectors.” Their system is currently being tested for its aerospace application at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The team has also submitted a patent application for their idea and is currently exploring additional funding sources.







Andrew Maas, assistant vice president for research and technology transfer and director of the LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization, has high praise for the researchers who take part in the I-Corps program. During the final presentations of the spring 2017 I-Corps program, Maas offered his vision of the impact that these participants could have, saying, “If you take what you learn back with you and apply it to your other work, we will begin to see gradual but amazing change at LSU.” He explained that, as of spring 2017, ninety faculty had participated in the program at LSU. As a result of that participation, these faculty have changed their approach to research from largely esoteric and insulated to market-driven and end-user-mindfulness. Also, success lends itself to future success: Researchers learn from each other, and as the word spreads that this program increases the chances of new sources of funding, more faculty are willing to participate. But the true vision is long range. Each of those ninety faculty members brought ninety graduate students into the program. As Maas pointed out, only about 10 percent of those graduate students will go into academia; the rest will take jobs in industry. LSU graduate students who participate in I-Corps learn to ask future employers, “What five projects in your company have the greatest market potential?” and then to make those projects their priorities, which maximizes production and corporate earnings. Maas sees this aspect of the program as life changing. An example of the way I-Corps is winning over LSU faculty is evident in an impromptu testimonial at the spring presentations. Boyd Professor Isiah Warner, already a celebrated and highly successful researcher in his career at the University, had been asked a number of times to participate but was reluctant at first. Finally, he agreed to serve as a faculty sponsor for one of the spring 2017 teams. At the end of the presentations, Warner commented, “I had no idea what I was getting into. This program was work – hard work! But I think this is the most worthwhile activity I’ve ever done here. It not only helps us focus on the project we’re currently working on, but also on all of our other projects.” Maas’ vision for this type of experience began years ago when he was still at the University of Akron School of Law and was asked to participate in developing a proposal to NSF to bring one of the first I-Corps sites to that university. As a result of that proposal, Akron became one of the first three sites in the U.S. Today, with fifty-one sites in the U.S., NSF still uses that early proposal as the template for others to follow. NSF provides $3,000 in funding per team for the I-Corp Site participants. As Maas explains, the I-Corps Site program is the first step for entrepreneur researchers to attain; after that, each team can apply to be part of the I-Corps Team program, which provides $50,000 in funding per team. Studies have shown that I-Corps Team participants are three to four times more likely to receive additional funding through the NSF SBIR/STTR program, which is divided into SBIR/STTR I and SBIR II. Moreover, participants have a 45 percent success rate for developing their ideas into commercial products as compared to the 20 percent success rate of those without training.


Brenda Macon is a freelance writer and editor in Baton Rouge.

ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PIECES of the I-Corps program is the interaction that the researchers have with members of the community and with business and industry representatives. A very large part of the program is finding a market for the team’s proposed product, and that requires interviewing potential investors and end users. Every team has a mentor from the business sector to help them stay grounded and focused on conforming the product to meet a need or to solve a problem in the world outside the laboratory. These valuable volunteers work with the team to identify markets, make contacts, and set up interviews for feedback and analysis. Shedd is always looking for people to serve as mentors, especially LSU alumni who are interested in learning about innovative research, being on the cutting edge of new products, and serving the university all at once. For more information on being a mentor, contact Brian Shedd at or 225-615-8967. For more information on the I-Corps Site at LSU, please


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NE OF THE CORNERSTONES OF THE I-CORPS CONCEPT IS translating research ideas into marketable products and services. While academic researchers have a wealth of knowledge and creative sparks of invention, the products of their knowledge and invention need a market. I-Corps pairs its academic teams with mentors who are successful in business and industry and who know how to find the best market for an idea. One of those mentors, Ryan Doerr, worked with a summer 2016 team to help them cultivate a skill that may be the most important of all: listening to those who may put their research into practice. Doerr worked with Professor of Industrial Engineering T. Warren Liao and Ph.D. candidate Daniel Huggett on their project, which was to develop automated ultrasonic inspection equipment to detect friction stir welding defects. Though Doerr is not an LSU alumnus – he earned his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Louisiana Tech in 1999 and his M.B.A. from Mississippi State in 2011 – he was drawn to the program for a number of reasons. His good friend Andy Maas (assistant vice president for Research & Technology Transfer and director of the Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization) asked him if he would be interested, and he was immediately intrigued. “We both live in Zachary and met when our daughters played softball in the city rec league together,” Doerr recalled. “When Andy told me about the I-Corps program and asked if I wanted to participate, I jumped at the chance.” In an odd twist of fate, one of Doerr’s early career mentors, JunIng Ker, who was the chair of the industrial engineering department while Doerr was at Louisiana Tech, is a very good friend of Liao. After Doerr graduated from LA Tech, Ker asked him to serve on the department’s advisory council. Doerr served from 2001 until 2015, when his term ended. Along the way, he and Ker became very close. So in a way, Doerr paid Ker’s mentorship forward by serving as the team mentor for Ker’s good friend Liao. Doerr has served in a variety of capacities with Entergy’s nuclear division since he graduated, including service as a supplier auditor and later as a procurement engineer in Jackson, Miss., the company’s nuclear division headquarters. He also worked for a time in another company’s facility that included an aluminum foundry, welding shop, and a final product assembly and testing area, yet another experience that came in handy in his work with Liao and Huggett. Doerr moved to Baton Rouge in 2013 when he accepted a position as the supervisor of engineering code programs at Entergy’s River Bend Nuclear Station in St.

Francisville. That department establishes tests and test frequencies to ensure that the plant maintains compliance with industry codes and standards. In 2016, he moved into a rotational position in quality assurance. “The code requirements rely heavily on metal piping and pressure vessel inspections and tests,” Doerr explained. “I find it interesting how closely my experiences aligned with the team with which I was privileged to work. They developed new equipment to be able to perform inspections for defects in a metal-joining process, and most of my career has centered around material testing and acceptance.” Doerr finds that his work with the LSU team was a valuable experience for him as well as the team. He gave them insights into how their work will be perceived by those in the private sector, and the team gave him a new perspective on new approaches to materials testing. “The best thing I have brought back with me from I-Corps is a willingness to look for better solutions outside the normal channels in nuclear power,” Doerr said. “By regulation and history, we are reluctant to change things in our plants. We can get stuck in a rut doing the same thing over each time because we know it works. Working with this team has helped drive home to me that there are still new ideas out there that can be beneficial.” “For anyone who is interested in serving as an I-Corps mentor, I say jump in and do it,” Doerr advised. “Even if your experience doesn’t align as closely to the team as mine did, you can still add great value to the process. Simply by being the outside voice that isn’t emotionally tied to the project, you can ask questions and challenge assumptions. Your participation may be the catalyst that leads the team to make amazing breakthroughs.” Above, Ryan Doerr loves an adventure. His work with an LSU I-Corps research team gave him just that, as well as an opportunity to help others and to be part of an innovative, cutting, edge research project.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017








IT WAS INTERESTING WATCHING THE STUDENTS . . . GROW 5 1 & 2: Maria Gutierrez-Wing explains that Pedro Chacon, a Ph.D. student working with Jin-Woo Choi, designed an experiment to determine how light color and intensity affects the growth of various types of algae. The container that Chacon created, using a 3-D printer at the lab facility, can test as many as twenty-four samples at a time, using four light colors. 3. Maria Gutierrez-Wing uses several types of algae in her quest to find a better method for bringing light into algae ponds. 4. The team is using the turbulent flow of the algae pond aeration system to power LED light sources that will move from top to bottom and back again as the water circulates. That flow is reproduced in the laboratory with algae samples, like this one with Spirulina. 5. Among the criteria for creating the best vehicle for the team’s light source is finding the right size and weight for the balls containing the LED source.


From left, Jin-Woo Choi, Maria Gutierrez-Wing, and Ph.D. candidate Davis Lofton are three members of the team working to develop a new method for introducing light into algae ponds.


NE INCENTIVE FOR research is to solve persistent problems in

new and more efficient ways. Maria Teresa Gutierrez-Wing, assistant research professor with Louisiana Sea Grant and the Department of Renewable Natural Resources, and Jin-Woo Choi, associate professor with the LSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, have worked collaboratively for some time on research to optimize algae productivity. Algaculture, or algae farming, has the potential for both environmental and economic benefits worldwide, especially with recent technological breakthroughs that may allow biofuels to be produced economically from algae sources. Additionally, a wide range of products are created from algae, including food additives, nutritional supplements, medicines, agriculture feed, valuable pigments, and even makeup.

Because algae can multiply in just hours, as opposed to days or weeks as with most land-based crops, algal culture production has the potential to be far greater than with agriculturally grown crops. One limitation of traditional methods for growing algae, however, is related to that rapid growth rate – they grow so fast that they quickly block an essential source of that growth: light. Gutierrez-Wing and Choi recognized that solar light can only penetrate ten to twenty inches under even the best conditions, and even less when the cultures become dense. And artificial light requires electricity, which increases the cost of production and depends on an external power supply. Then they began to look at the turbulence in the cultures. And that’s where they had an epiphany: Put the light source within the algae column itself. Algae needs to be in nearly constant motion to promote healthy cultures and optimum growth. If they become stagnant, they die. Think of the family fish tank, which requires a pump to aerate the water for both plant and animal life in the tank. The same is true of an algae pond. Pumps keep the algae biomass in continuous motion, and the turbulence in the tanks drew the researchers’ attention. “Looking at the turbulence in the cultures, we came up with the idea of creating a light system that could harvest the culture motion to generate light,” GutierrezWing recalled. “We considered that if we could let the lights move freely with the microalgal culture, we can supply light to cultures of any depth, with little or no external power for the lights (using only the culture media movement). The idea came from a collaboration between Dr. Choi and me. Dr. Choi is an expert on electrical and electronic devices and microfluidics, so the combination of his field and mine was a great match for this project.” Currently, the team is working on developing just the right material, weight, and size to carry the LED lights into the flow of algae and water in their tanks. They are also experimenting with light color and intensity, since each type of algae reacts differently to these factors. For example, Spirulina – a type of blue-green algae that is high in protein and, therefore, used in a number of food products – grows best in red light but reacts well in white light, too. Both lead researchers also brought their Ph.D. students into this endeavor. Davis Lofton works with Gutierrez-Wing, and Pedro Chacon is working with Choi. When the team was accepted into the I-Corps Site program, Stephen Loy joined them as their industry mentor. Gutierrez-Wing and Choi served as academic leads, and Lofton and Chacon served as industry leads, with Loy providing them all with insights on commercialization and marketing. In particular, Lofton and Chacon visited with businesses and gained a whole new perspective on their work. “Going out and talking – or rather, listening – to people who could use our product exposed me to the business side of things, how to make a product viable,” Lofton shared. He feels that his work on this project has given him valuable insight into what he can do to help make future projects more profitable. “The challenge is listening to our clients and customers, to get feedback and to ask the right questions.” Gutierrez-Wing agrees, and she saw a fascinating transition in Lofton as they became more involved in the I-Corps Site program. “It was interesting watching the students, who had no prior experience, grow from passive participation to leaders in the market research part of the effort.”

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017




In Focus

Professor Qinglin Wu, LSU Alumni Association President Cliff Vannoy, Kunlin Song, LSU Graduate School Associate Dean Sean Lane, Jacqueline Zimmer, Graduate School Dean Michelle Massé, and Professor Adelaide Russo. Photo Credit: Cody Willhite/LSU Strategic Communications

Distinguished Dissertations – The LSU Alumni Association and the Graduate School presented Distinguished Dissertation awards in April to two graduates whose research and writing demonstrate superior scholarship. Jacqueline Zimmer (2016 PHD H&SS) received the Josephine A. Roberts Alumni Association Distinguished Dissertation Award in Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Kunlin Song (2016 PHD AGR) was awarded the LSU Alumni Association Distinguished Dissertation Award in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.

New Board Member – Mary Werner, of Lake Charles, La., and representing the 3rd Congressional District, was appointed in June to the LSU Board of Supervisors by Gov. John Bel Edwards. She will serve the remainder of the term of Scott Angelle, the former Public Service Commission member who was hired by the Trump administration. The term ends in June 2018. Werner is the director and vice president of the North American Land Company LLC and the Sweet Lake Land & Oil Company LLC.

Mary Werner was appointed to the LSU Board of Supervisors in June by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

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LSU Alumni Association President Cliff Vannoy, center, with, from left, Adam Ali, Thu Nguyen, Glaucia Del Rio, and Dipak Kumar Singh. Photo by Srinija Kanchi

International Fusion – Four students were recognized for their high academic

achievements, leadership, and engagement at the International Fusion event in April. Receiving LSU Alumni Association-sponsored scholarships were Adam Ali, petroleum engineering, Tanzania; Dipak Kumar Singh, computer engineering, India; Glaucia Del Rio, biological sciences, Brazil; and Thu Nguyen, chemistry, Vietnam. The International Scholarships award was established in 2015.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Around Campus

In Focus

Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, Barbara Goodson, and James Richardson.

PAISA Day – The Public Administration Institute (PAI) recognized Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Deputy Commissioner Barbara Goodson (1979 BACH BUS, 1993 MPA) as its 2017 Master of Public Administration Alumna of the Year during the Public Administration Institute Student Association (PAISA) Day event in March. Student Mark Richards received the David B. Johnson Student Achievement Award, and student Noble Bates Young was given the Astrid Merget Award. An endowment honoring James Richardson, PAI founder and past director of PAI, was formally announced. The Dr. James A. Richardson LSU Public Administration Institute Endowment will help to initiate new programs, fund current activities, and provide flexibility for meeting student and faculty needs.

Roger Hinson, Joy Bagur, Katherine Green, Mary Feduccia, and Jerry Exner.

Faculty-Staff Retirees – Katherine Green, a federal law clerk and former chair of the Human Trafficking Task Force for the Middle District of Louisiana, was guest speaker at the April meeting of the LSU Faculty & Staff Retirees Club. Green is cofounder of Eden House in New Orleans, whose mission is to “end human and sex trafficking one woman at a time.” Photo by Mark Claesgens

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Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union; John Grubb, The Cook Hotel/LSU Alumni Association; Bunnie Cannon, Tiger Athletic Foundation; Casey Coughlin, Campus Federal Credit Union; and Cindy LeJeune, Campus Federal Credit Union.

Kiwanis Leadership Award – LSU Kiwanis presented career employee Bunnie Cannon with its Distinguished Leadership Award at the club’s annual awards luncheon in April. Cannon, executive director of planned giving and stewardship at the Tiger Athletic Foundation, was recognized for her service and dedication to the University and community during her twenty-six-year career.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Around Campus

In Focus

Cadets of the Ole War Skule President John Milazzo, LSU Military Excellence Commission Chair Laura Leach, President F. King Alexander, and past Cadets of the Ole War Skule President Richard Lipsey. Photo by Ray Dry

Cadet Lukas Dretzka, left, and Commandant LTC Lawrence House, right, look on as MIDN/CAPT Christopher Dedo, Corps Commander, turns over command to Sarah May. Photo by Cody Willhite/LSU Strategic Communications

Celebrating LSU’s Military Heritage – With a nod to the past and a salute to

the future, LSU celebrated its military heritage with three major events on April 20. The afternoon’s activities began with a ceremony marking the initial phase of the anticipated restoration and renovation of Memorial Tower, which will house the LSU Military Museum. The traditional President’s Day Parade and Change of Command Ceremony for the LSU Corps of Cadets – LSU Army and Air Force ROTC and Naval ROTC at Southern University – took place at the LSU War Memorial on the Parade Ground. After the parade, cadets and midshipmen were recognized at the sixth annual Joint ROTC Awards Ceremony, which was followed by a reception for honorees and their families and guests. The events were sponsored by the University and Cadets of the Ole War Skule.

President F. King Alexander, Christopher Dedo, Zachary Faircloth, Steve Carter, and Bridger Eglin.

ODK Leadership Award – Student Body President Zachary A. Faircloth received the 2017 Arden O. French Leadership Award sponsored by the Baton Rouge Area Alumni Chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK). The award is presented annually to the top graduating senior in a leadership role. On hand for the presentation were President F. King Alexander; Midshipman Christopher Dedo, LSU Corps Commander for Spring 2017; state Rep. Steve Carter; and Bridger Eglin, president of the ODK Alumni Chapter.

Photo by Ray Dry

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LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Around Campus

Record Number of Degrees Awarded at Commencement

Photos by Eddy Perez/LSU Strategic Communications

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards delivered the keynote address and asked the graduates to live with heart, purpose, and passion.

In addition to the most degrees ever awarded, the class of 2016-17 broke a number of records for LSU, including the most degrees awarded to women, African-American, and Asian-American students.

LSU graduated its largest and most diverse class at the 292nd commencement exercises on May 12. Christopher Dedo, left, and Zachary Faircloth were each presented with a Sean O’Keefe Leadership Award at the College of Engineering diploma ceremony. The $10,000 award, created by LSU donors to acknowledge the leadership of former LSU Chancellor Sean O’Keefe during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, recognizes outstanding LSU undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional leadership and possess the character, capability, vision, and motivation to be future leaders.

36 LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017

At the spring commencement ceremony, a total of 4,163 degrees were awarded – the largest number of degrees awarded at a single commencement surpassing last year’s 4,043 degrees awarded in the spring. The overall class of 2016-17 – students receiving degrees in previous summer and fall commencements combined with the current spring commencement – is also a record breaker for the University with 6,562 students receiving degrees. The previous high was 2015-16 with 6,444 degrees awarded for the full academic year. In addition, the overall class of 2016-17 included the most degrees awarded to women, African- American and Asian-American students. The graduating class represented fifty-three Louisiana parishes, forty-eight U.S. states, and fifty countries. Women made up 57.34 percent of the class, and men made up 42.66 percent. The oldest graduate was sixty-six; the youngest, nineteen. LSU President F. King Alexander presided over the main ceremony, and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards delivered the keynote address.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017



Around Campus

Jessica A. Aslin, counselor in the University College Center for Advising & Counseling, was selected as an Outstanding Advising Award winner from the National Academic Advising Association. The award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students or outstanding academic advising administration, whose primary role at the institution is the direct delivery of advising services to students.

Jessica A. Aslin

Jake Esselstyn

Clarence L. Barney, Jr.

Gabriela González

The naming of the African American Cultural Center for the late Clarence L. Barney, Jr., was approved by the Board of Supervisors in May. Barney became the first AfricanAmerican to serve as chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors in 1992. As a result of his leadership and commitment, the center became a reality in 1993. Jake Esselstyn, LSU Museum of Natural Science curator of mammals, is part of a team that described one of the International Institute for Species Exploration’s Top 10 New Species of 2017. Esselstyn and his colleagues have discovered a new genus and species of rodent on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The rodent, nicknamed the “slender root rat,” is the only mammal on this year’s list, which is announced annually to commemorate the birthday of eighteenth-century botanist Carolus Linnaeus, or the “father of taxonomy.” Gabriela González, professor of physics and astronomy, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. She is one of the eighty-four new members recognized for her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. An experimental physicist with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), González contributed to the detection of gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

Michael Polito

J. “Ram” Ramanujam

James Spivey

A research team led Michael Polito, assistant professor in the Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, was awarded funding from NOAA’s RESTORE Science Program to study how current coastal land loss restoration practices impact marsh food webs. The award was one of fifteen competitive federal grants funded from penalties paid by parties responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and thirteen of the projects are led by institutions located in the Gulf of Mexico region.The project is a collaboration with researchers from Rutgers University, University of Florida, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Michigan Technological University, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), and LSU. J. “Ram” Ramanujam, director of the Center for Computation & Technology and the John E. and Beatrice L. Ritter Distinguished Professor in the Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received the Distinguished Research Master AwardScience, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics sponsored by the Office of Research & Economic Development. James Spivey, the James McLaurin Shivers and Clarence M. Eidt Jr. Professor in the Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, helped coordinate LSU’s membership in the University Coalition for Basic Applied Fossil Energy Research and Development (UCFER) a university-led program started in 2016 by Pennsylvania State University that coordinates research on current and future energy sources and shares that research with other universities. The program focuses on traditional energy sources like coal, natural gas, and oil, as well as research on geological and environmental systems, materials engineering, and energy conversion engineering.

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Michelle Zerba, the Erich and Lea Sternberg Professor of Foreign Languages & Literatures and the Maggie B. Martin Professor of Rhetoric and Classical Studies, received the Distinguished Research Master Award in Arts, Humanities, and Social and Behavioral Sciences sponsored by the Office of Research & Economic Development. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, has made a third detection of gravitational waves, which are ripples in space and time, demonstrating that a new window in astronomy has been firmly opened. As was the case with the first two detections, the waves were generated when two black holes collided to form a larger black hole. The newfound black hole, formed by the merger, has a mass about forty-nine times that of our sun. This fills in a gap between the masses of the two merged black holes detected previously by LIGO, with solar masses of sixty-two from the first detection and twenty-one from the second detection.

Michelle Zerba

LSU is one of nine institutions of higher education in the country named a 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School, recognizing its innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Louisiana Legislature Funds LSU, TOPS

Around Campus

The 2017 legislative season proved one thing definitively: the strength of alumni advocacy is the predictor of legislative success.

“This renews our confidence that higher education and LSU are a priority.”

Though the Tiger Advocates were activated less in the 2017 legislative sessions than in previous years, the tactical roars emitting from the group were successful in reversing the downward trend in state support that had occurred over the past several years. The results were uplifting: no cuts were issued to higher education for the first time in nearly a decade. Additionally, the midyear cut issued to higher education in January was restored. Both of these situations were considered highly unlikely when the Legislature convened. “Gov. Edwards and the Legislature took the necessary steps to stabilize state funding for LSU. This renews our confidence that higher education and LSU are a priority,” said President F. King Alexander. “We are pleased to face the new academic year on such a positive note.” Other good news included the restoration of Louisiana’s TOPS program. As many of you know, the 2016 Legislative session saw TOPS both decoupled from tuition and reduced in terms of total funding – moves that destabilized one of the state’s most effective tools for keeping our best and brightest at home in Louisiana. Cuts to TOPS disproportionately affect LSU students, as the majority of students receiving the award attend Louisiana’s flagship university. For example, LSU enrolled 14,432 students last year, who earned $72.9 million in TOPS awards. That amount would have increased to $106.4 million had TOPS been fully funded. This year, the Legislature finalized its TOPS decision in midJune, after most students had already made their college decisions and their deposits at out-of-state universities by the time they learned of the restored funding. To help alleviate continued brain drain from the state, LSU rapidly launched a communications campaign to inform students of the changes to TOPS and encourage them to apply. The construction budget brings both good and bad news. On the positive side, several projects related to student living and activities were given the “green light,” as was the Memorial Tower renovation project, which will see half of its funding from private donations. The University did not receive any dollars to finish the Art Studios renovation and to start Huey P. Long Fieldhouse renovations, but the request will be made again in 2018. Only about one-third of the building is usable, but some changes would open up much needed space for the fast-growing sports administration program. Next year’s state budget brings with it new and significant challenges. On the lead up to the 2018 legislative session, the LSU Alumni Association is asking all alumni, especially those in Louisiana, to join the Tiger Advocates. It’s free, it’s easy, and it leverages the collective voice of Tigers around the state and the nation to ensure that LSU is protected and prioritized by our state leaders. If you’re already a member, please take this opportunity to encourage your friends, families, and neighbors to join. Together, let’s get ready to ROAR.

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ON THE WEB To sign up visit

Counterterrorism Training at LSU LSU is on the front lines in the fight against terrorism through one of its federally funded centers, the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (LSUNCBRT). The center develops and provides counterterrorism training to responders across the U.S. and its territories. Since its inception in 1998, LSU-NCBRT has trained 356,362 participants. “The training we develop and advance is essential to enhancing public safety services provided by our nation’s law enforcement and first responders. Preventing terrorist actions that threaten the safety and economic stability of our nation is paramount,” said Director Jeff Mayne. LSU-NCBRT, along with the top subject matter experts in the country, develops courses that address the most current preparedness needs. “Critical Decision Making for Complex Coordinated Attacks” addresses the vulnerability of any community to synchronized attacks using multiple attackers at multiple locations and often exceed conventional response tactics. “After the Mumbai attacks it became a training issue, and the need has increased since the Paris and San Bernardino attacks,” said Jerry Monier, associate director of research and development. “Complex coordinated attacks aren’t just active shooter events. It involves all types of threats, and that requires us to look at how we respond.” “Law Enforcement Prevention and Deterrence of Terrorist Acts” teaches law enforcement personnel about actions they can take to prevent, deter, and respond to terrorist acts. The nature of officers’ daily work provides them with a

unique understanding of the community, and this heightened awareness gives them an opportunity to prevent or deter potential WMD terrorist incidents. “The most useful aspect of the course was the simple fact of heightened awareness,” said Marco Padilla of the Philadelphia Police Department. “Because of this course, I can now add a few extra things to look for during my investigations.” Another Philadelphia officer, Clifton Lyghts, saw immediate benefits. “We received a fake license in my unit the day after training. The techniques we learned were used immediately,” Lyghts said. “The most useful was knowing where to find certain items on money and various documents to determine their legitimacy.” Currently, the center offers twentythree courses, and not all participants are from law enforcement. Terrorists could also use a biological attack or contaminate the food system, and the center is a leader in biological incident and food and agriculture security training, targeting eighteen professional disciplines whose members are considered to be first responders. Grants from the Department of Homeland Security’s National Training Program enable LSU-NCBRT to develop and deliver certified counterterrorism training. Additionally, this training is mobile – equipment and instructors are brought to the training agency at no cost to the agency or participant. “This federally funded program represents a positive use of federal dollars directly protecting our communities and our nation’s critical infrastructure,” Mayne said.

By Julie Cavin Photo courtesy LSU-NCBRT

Participants work together during a tabletop exercise at an LSU-NCBRT class in Commerce, Calif.

“Preventing terrorist actions that threaten the safety and economic stability of our nation is paramount.”

Julie Cavin is the public affairs and outreach coordinator at NCBRT.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Couple Creates App to Find the Cheapest Crawfish

Around Campus

By Rachel Spangenthal Photo by Elizabeth Shaw

Crawfish App creators Ryan and Laney King.

“What we didn’t see happening is what it would do for . . . the crawfish industry.”

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LSU alums Ryan King (2012 BACH ENGR) and his wife, Laney (2005 BACH BUS, 2010 MBA), have developed a cell phone app to make it easier for you to eat crawfish. “The idea came to us three years ago. At the time, we were having crawfish boils just about every weekend, and it took a lot of time to call all the vendors, to figure out who had crawfish and how much they were,” said Ryan King, co-founder of the Crawfish App, and a third-year law student at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. “It’s really kind of the mix of both of our backgrounds,” Ryan said. “The technical aspects of the app, I’ve taken care of. The business side and the sales side, Laney’s taken care of all of that.” The app is free for the user and the vendors. “Eventually we’re going to make money off advertising on the app. So, the more downloads we have the more appealing it is for advertisers,” Laney explained. The app allows users to search for live or boiled crawfish based on price, reviews, and location. And not just southeastern vendors are listed on the app – there are vendors from Illinois, Tennessee, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. “Our goal is to have every single vendor on the app,” Ryan said. The Kings update the prices every week, calling the more than 900 vendors every Thursday. “Because that’s when we have been told they update their prices for the weekend. And we want users to have the most updated prices,” Laney said.


Rachel Spangenthal is a content coordinator at LSU Media Relations.

Check Out These Resources at LSU Libraries LSU alumni feature prominently in the new LSU Digital Commons institutional repository. The online repository, sponsored by the LSU Libraries and the Office of Research and Economic Development, offers free online access to a variety of LSU scholarships. The Graduate School’s online collection contains electronic theses and dissertations from 2001-2016 and over 7,000 selectively digitized dissertations from 1935-2001. This growing collection of nearly 17,000 items is a great display of the intellectual work produced by LSU graduate students. The project is part of the LSU Libraries’ and Graduate School’s efforts to make LSU theses and dissertations more accessible. The unique campus materials are now full-text searchable, indexed, highly ranked in Google, and linked to a global network of university repositories. LSU Digital Commons is also home to digital versions of the Gumbo yearbooks, School of Veterinary Medicine Cenobium yearbooks, and materials such as the ORED Research Magazine and the LSU Agriculture Experiment Station Reports.

1. When did student population reach the 10,000 mark for the first time? 1926 1947 1958 1976 2. Which Tiger football player received All-American honors in 1957? Billy Cannon Gaynell Tinsley Billy Truax Jimmy Taylor 3. What event in 1957 delayed the construction of Middleton Library? A steelworkers’ strike A hurricane A lack of funding A problem excavating the basement 4. How much was tuition, room and board, and books in 1860? $158 $258 $348 $558 5. After World War II, trailer parks were established on campus to handle the influx of married students. True False 6. Which university’s law school was established with help from LSU law professors? Tulane Southern Loyola Grambling 7. When was the Cadets of the Ole War Skule established? 1926 1939 1945 1955 8. For whom was Annie Boyd Hall named? Thomas Boyd’s sister Thomas Boyd’s daughter Thomas Boyd’s wife Thomas Boyd’s cousin 9. A new ROTC squad was established after World War I to teach the use of what weapon? The machine gun The Gatling gun The James rifle The grenade launcher 10. When were the bronze tablets containing the names of Louisianans who died in World War I placed in the Memorial Tower? 1926 1932 1935 1958 11. What piece of headgear were male freshmen required to wear from the 1920s into the 1960s? A gray kepi A white lampshade A purple beanie A raspberry beret 12. What was LSU president David Boyd’s middle name? Duckett French Stafford Fuqua Answers: 1:b 2:d 3:a 4:c 5:a 6:b 7:d 8:c 9:a 10:b 11:c 12:b

They said the app is their way to celebrate Louisiana. “Really, if you want to celebrate something every week in Louisiana, there’s something to celebrate. And we wanted to do something to give back to Louisiana. So, when we came up with the Crawfish App, we thought this is a great way to celebrate our culture,” Laney said. “What we didn’t see happening is what it would do for the hardest working industry in Louisiana – the crawfish industry. This is their livelihood and they have one shot, six months out of the year, to make the money to pay for everything and provide for their families. Many of them didn’t have a way to get the word out about their businesses.” The invention competed in LSU’s sixth annual Venture Challenge, which showcases student entrepreneurs and provides their businesses with capital and resources. The Crawfish App placed second and was awarded $6,000.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Coach O Recruited the Top Coordinators


ROOM Photos courtesy LSU Athletics

Dave Aranda, defensive coordinator and associate head coach.

Defensive line coach Pete Jenkins.

Ed Orgeron had a plan. When he campaigned for the job as permanent head coach, Orgeron told athletics director Joe Alleva that he wanted to hire the nation’s best coordinators. Coach O is convinced LSU’s got the No. 1 coordinators in college football — Dave Aranda directing the LSU defense, and Matt Canada orchestrating the Tiger offense. After becoming the head coach, Orgeron made sure Aranda would continue as defensive coordinator. “The professor” is now the highest paid assistant in college football, with a $1.8 million contract for 2017. He also has the title of associate head coach. “When I first sat down with Joe Alleva and we mapped out a plan for LSU football, we agreed that we were going to demand excellence on both sides of the ball,” Orgeron said. Canada was brought in to revitalize the Tiger offense. “We have a real opportunity under Coach Orgeron to propel LSU football to another level,” Canada said. “The chance to put together a high-powered offense with the athletic ability available at LSU and the leadership of Coach O is incredibly exciting. I’ve long-respected Coach Orgeron’s ability to recruit, lead and motivate.” LSU’s coordinators are mirror images. Both coaches are constantly tinkering to improve their respective systems. Both have bounced around college football, enduring the nomad existence of an assistant coach in search of a better situation, i.e., the right job. Both are considered to be at the top of their profession heading into the 2017 season.

Dave Aranda Aranda may be the best defensive coordinator in the game. Everywhere he’s coached — Cal Lutheran, Delta State, Texas Tech, Houston, Hawaii, Utah State, Wisconsin and LSU — his teams have

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excelled in several defensive categories. His LSU defense allowed the fewest touchdowns (16) and fewest touchdowns per game (1.3) in college football in 2016. The Tigers finished in the Top 10 nationally in scoring defense (No. 5 at 15.8 points per game) and total yards allowed (No. 10 at 314.4 yards per game). He likes to devise mismatches which allow his best player to go 1-on-1 with a lesser athlete from the opposing team. And Aranda throws himself into any challenge. Facing a new offensive scheme, or a talented pass-catch combination, or breaking in new player personnel, Aranda frequently finds a solution with a technique that he hasn’t tried before. No one on the LSU staff has seen more football … or influenced more defensive coaches … than the venerable veteran Pete Jenkins, the Tigers seventy-six-yearold defensive line coach. He was a major influence to both Coach O and Aranda. He’s coached at ten different colleges and the Philadelphia Eagles. We asked Coach Jenkins to share his evaluation of Aranda, and what makes him an outstanding defensive coordinator. What separates Aranda from the other defensive coordinators you’ve known? Pete Jenkins: “I realized he was special when I first met him in Hawaii in 2010. He was the defensive coordinator for the University of Hawaii, and I was coaching in the Pro Bowl. We met after practice one day. Our meeting lasted five hours. I knew then that he was special. We had a good exchange. I later visited with him and his defensive staff at the University of Wisconsin. “Dave has a number of outstanding qualities. His work ethic is one. I don’t know anybody that spends as much time thinking about defense as he does. He is obsessed with it. He is always looking for a better way to do things. “He is intelligent. He is an analytical thinker. His concepts are sound. “Aranda studies and researches as much

as anyone I have ever known. We watch film in the off season of teams who use the same scheme that we do. He is always searching for ways to improve what we do. “Organization. He is highly organized, and always works from a plan. “Preparation. He prepares his defense thoroughly for a game. A lot of people can do that but fall short during the game. “Adjusting and adapting. He makes ingame adjustments better anyone I’ve ever been around. Last year against Alabama, he made some great adjustments during the game. “He would adjust, then the Alabama offensive coordinator would adjust, and Dave would readjust. It was like a chess match. “Dave is a good person. He has a good working relationship with the coaches and the players. “His use of personnel is excellent. He makes effective use of his players and never expects them to do things they can’t do. They believe in Dave and they believe in the plan. That’s why they enjoy playing for him. “He has team approach to defense. His approach is sound. He is a hard worker and a good person. “Not many coaches have all of those qualities.”

Matt Canada Canada is equally as creative in his workshop, constantly trying to stay ahead of defenses. Two of his signature seasons are legendary — 2003 at

Northern Illinois, his first as an offensive coordinator, and 2016 at Pittsburgh. The Huskies were 10-2 in 2003 and beat Alabama. Pittsburgh had major wins over Clemson (43-42) and Big Ten champion Penn State (42-39).Canada showed the tape of that Clemson game to the LSU staff when he interviewed for the job as Coach O’s offensive coordinator. Canada’s new offense is something to behold. It has more shifts, more spreads, and more motion than any of the multiple offenses that have ever been seen in Tiger Stadium. Canada’s offense at Pittsburgh ranked tenth nationally in scoring. He likes to spread the defense. So, there are four and five wide receiver sets, insuring nickel and dime defensive coverages. There are pre-snap shifts and motion. Unbalanced lines. Multiple tight ends. Counters. Misdirection. The jet sweep. Pulling linemen. The tackle eligible (pass). Canada likes to keep the defense off balance. Just like his opposite number —defensive coordinator Dave Aranda — he wants to put his best athletes in a position to make big plays. He has some athletes that would be effective in any offense — Derrius Guice, is a one-of-a-kind runner and D.J. Chark, whose speed can rip a defense on the jet sweep or the deep pass. And there’s another — quarterback Danny Etling — who could hold the key to the successful execution of the offense this season.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

“LSU’s coordinators are mirror images. Both coaches are constantly tinkering to improve their respective systems.”

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Locker Room

By Doug Moreau Photo by Chris Parent/LSU Athletics

Oh, Canada! We asked Doug Moreau, a member of the LSU radio broadcast team for forty-four years and a 1965 All-America receiver for the Tigers, to share his thoughts about Coach Matt Canada and his offensive system.

My perspective is that of an observer. Those who coach football are far more knowledgeable than I in analyzing the “X’s and O’s” of the game. Change has been the nature of the game since I played in college and in the NFL. The offensive and defensive systems are always changing, more quickly now than ever, because of the talented coaches and the access and use of modern technology, but the team that ends up with more points when time has expired still wins. And scoring points is the focus of Coach Matt Canada’s offense. The most impressive thing about Canada’s approach is that he keeps it simple. That allows his players to learn and understand it. His system lets him to adapt to the players he has available and build an offense around the skills that they possess. Simple. Comprehensive. Flexible. Those are the hallmarks of a Matt Canada offense. He is meticulous in evaluating the assets and liabilities of his players, and recognizing his own strengths and weaknesses is the starting point for what his offense will become. To assess those abilities and combine them into a functional system is extremely complicated, but Canada does it year after year. The Canada system evaluates the skills of his players and adapts his basic system to most efficiently use those skills. An obvious strength is his ability to understand the strength of his players. He chooses tools that are capable of achieving a specific purpose. What will the LSU offense look like? It may differ from game to game – or from play to play. By rule, the offense must have at least Matt Canada unveils a new offense this fall. seven players are on the line of scrimmage. Will they line up in a spread formation but run a lot? Or throw a pass from a bunch formation? Canada excels in that his offensive set might look one way when the team lines up for a play then change before the snap to something different because of shifts and “Simple. Comprehensive. motion. Both before and after the snap, there may be motion and misdirection – often Flexible. Those are the using a jet sweep motion to make the defense move, even when it is only a fake. And hallmarks of a Matt then because of alignment, there a tackle may become an eligible receiver. All of this is Canada offense.” done to disrupt the defensive plan, to set them back on their heels, to make them flow in the wrong direction, to confuse them. There is a heavy dose of the “jet sweep” look, which may end up being a jet sweep, or just the shifting of alignment, or just “eye candy,” meant to confuse the defense and force them to make adjustments just before the snap of the ball. The idea is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the defense, and create a situation in which an offensive strength gets matched up against a defensive weakness. All of this keeps the goal in mind – to score points. And the method of achieving the goal is to create the best opportunities to be successful – the mismatches which give an advantage to the offense. So what will it look like? We don’t know yet. If we knew, so would our opponents, and that would give them the advantage. But whatever is does look like, Canada’s history suggests that the result will be fun to watch and productive for the Tigers’ offense. The mystery has created great interest for all of us who love LSU football. And based upon the imaginative success he has enjoyed in his coaching career, Canada’s version of the team’s offense in the 2017 season should be fascinating and fun to watch.

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All profits made by LSU alum’s Mach Flynt, Inc. from Geaux Vineyards sales will be donated to the LSU Alumni Association

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Locker Room

Walker to Miss 2018 Season

Tiger pitcher Eric Walker.

Pitcher Eric Walker will miss the 2018 baseball season. He will be recovering from reconstructive surgery to repair a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow. Walker was one of the key pitchers in the Tigersdrive to the SEC championship and LSU’s return to the College World Series in 2017. He compiled an 8-2 record and a 3.48 ERA en route to a stellar season which included Freshman All-American and Freshman All-SEC honors. “Had Eric not become hurt, there is no telling how the finals of the CWS could have turned out,” Coach Paul Mainieri said. “He’s an outstanding young man with great leadership ability, and I have no doubt he will meet this challenge in his life as he does every other challenge. He will return to our team better than ever for the 2019 season.” Caleb Gilbert and Zach Hess are two lettermen that pitching coach Alan Dunn will evaluate during fall practice, along with a large class of freshmen and junior college additions.

An Unforgettable Team LSU won the SEC Tournament. The Tigers got back to the College World Series. Two of their goals for 2017 were accomplished. When they returned to Omaha, however, the Tigers lost one of their best pitchers, Eric Walker, to injury. They were not the same without him. Still, the Tigers fought their way out of the loser’s bracket, beating the nation’s No. 1 team — Oregon State — twice in two days behind the pitching of Jared Poche and Alex Lange. By the time LSU got to the championship series, Paul Mainieri’s Tigers faced pitching-rich Florida with only relief pitchers available. At this point, LSU couldn’t overcome the obvious advantage. Reliever Russell Reynolds was scheduled for three innings in game 1. By the fourth inning, his control faltered, and the Gators prevailed, 4-3. Poche, the Tigers’ all-time winningest pitcher, yielded two unearned runs to the Gators in game 2, and Florida found closer Zach Hess less intimidating the longer he pitched. The Gators won game 2, 6-1, for the NCAA championship. Game 3 and LSU ace Alex Lange were not to be. Second place has a hollow sound. But if you saw these Tigers play, you remember their fight, their resourcefulness under pressure, and you’re sorry the baseball season had to end. You won’t forget this team.

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Burns Turns Pro Sam Burns, LSU’s eleventh AllAmerica golfer, will soon start playing on the PGA tour. His collegiate career was filled with high profile honors, and he received the 2017 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award, the first Tiger golfer so honored. He helped lead the United States to a decisive victory at the Arnold Palmer Cup in June as the Americans defeated the Europeans by a score of 19.5-11.5 at Atlanta Athletic Club to reclaim the cup. Burns finished with a 1-2-1 record in match play highlighted by a 2-and-1 victory over Europe's Stuart Grehan when Team USA took full control of the competition. We wish Burns luck on the pro tour. His trophy case has a few names who did rather well.

Sam Burns will soon start playing on the PGA tour. Photo by Gary McCullough/LSU Athletics Communications

Locker Room is compiled and edited by Bud Johnson, retired director of the Andonie Sports Museum and a former LSU Sports Information director. He is the author of The Perfect Season: LSU's Magic Year – 1958.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Locker Room

Mikiah Brisco Wins NCAA 100 Meters

Mikiah Brisco won the 2017 NCAA 100 meter title and now joins the select company of LSU’s legendary sprinters. Photo by Bryan Wayne/LSU Athletic Communications

Mikiah Brisco sped past Olympic athletes to win the 2017 NCAA 100 meter title. She now joins the select company of LSU’s legendary sprinters. When Brisco approached the starting blocks for the NCAA women’s 100 meter finals at Eugene, Ore., in June, she was aware of the competition. There stood Oregon’s Deajah Stevens and Ariana Washington, members of the U.S. Olympic team last August, now ready to thrill the home crowd at Hayward Field. Brisco flipped the script with a personalrecord best time of 10.96 to win her first NCAA championship and dash the hopes of Oregon’s olympians. She became the Lady Tigers’ seventh NCAA champion in the 100 meters. It was the second-fastest winning time for an LSU sprinter at the national meet. Dawn Sowell’s collegiate-record time of 10.78 at the 1989 NCAA championships was faster. Brisco is tied for fourth on the school’s all-time 100 meter list with Kimberlyn Duncan. LSU’s Lady Tigers finished the meet tied for seventh with 32 points. Rebekah Wales got a fifth place finish in the javelin for four points. Brisco’s win and Aleia Hobb’s fifth-place finish in 100 meters gave the Lady Tigers a badly needed lift after a disqualification in the 4x100 relay semi-finals.

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Kymber Payne and Jada Martin had fifth-place finishes in the 400 hurdles and the 200 meters. The 4x400 relay team ran the fourth-fastest time in school history, racking up a third place finish with a time of 3 minutes, 26.99 seconds.

LSU Men’s Streak Continues The LSU men also wound up tied for seventh in the NCAA championships, scoring 20 points. The Tigers finished in the top 10 in this meet for the 20th consecutive year, the longest streak in the nation. Coach Dennis Shaver has to be pleased with that. Like the Lady Tigers, the LSU men suffered an unexpected setback in the NCAA meet. The Tigers dropped the baton on the second exchange in the 4x100 relay in the NCAA championships, missing the opportunity to defend their title. But seniors Nethaniel Mitchell-Blake and Michael Cherry saved the day for LSU. They scored 17 of the Tigers 20 points. Mitchell-Blake finished sixth in the 100 meters and second in the 200 meters. Cherry closed fast in the final 200 yards to wind up third in the 400 meters. Hammer thrower Johnnie Jackson beat his previous best of 231-2 by four feet to finish sixth in the NCAA meet. He won the weight throw title in the NCAA indoor championships in March.

LSU Softball Eliminated in WCWS Photos courtesy LSU Athletics

Savanna Jaquish, All-America catcher.

Bailey Landry, All-America outfielder.

Beth Torina has taken the LSU softball team to the Women’s College World Series four times in six seasons. It has become a bittersweet voyage. Only five teams have done that during the same period. The Tigers have had to be satisfied with third place. LSU and UCLA were among the final eight finishers in the past three years. Torina's Tigers are acknowledged as one of the nation’s best softball teams. They finished the 2017 season ranked sixth nationally. Winning three of four regionals on the road is the kind of progress that most would point to with pride. Getting close, making progress, earning recognition is not enough for Torina. She is resolved to reach for a national championship every year. It is the only way she can put to rest the pain of seeing other teams celebrating while hers is downcast. The trips to Oklahoma City have been an annual goal for LSU softball. “It's a huge honor to have been (t)here for the past three years in a row,” Torina said, “and just everything that this city pours into this event and the NCAA and all the people that make it happen, just a huge honor to be a part of it.” Torina is grateful for making the trip with some committed young players. Savanna Jaquish is the lone LSU player to win All-America honors four times. Bailey Landry won first team All-America this season.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017





L. Leighton Hill (1952 MD-NO), Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, was honored with the naming of the L. Leighton Hill Lectureship in Pediatric Nephrology. The inaugural lecture was held in January. Dr. Hill headed the RenalMetabolic Section at Baylor and RenalMetabolic Service at Texas Children’s Hospital for thirty-five years, and he served as dean of admission at Baylor for ten years.


George Flick (1963 BACH AGR, 1966 MAST AGR, 1969 PHD AGR), Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Technology, was

Degrees BACH Bachelor’s Degree MAST Master’s Degree PHD Doctorate SPEC Specialist DVM Doctor of Veterinary Medicine JD Juris Doctorate (LSU Law School) MD Medical Doctor (LSU School of Medicine) DDS Doctor of Dental Science (LSU School of Dentistry) Colleges/Schools AGR Agriculture A&D Art & Design C&E Coast & Environment H&SS Humanities & Social Sciences SCI Science BUS Business HS&E Human Sciences & Education ENGR Engineering M&DA Music & Dramatic Arts MCOM Mass Communication SCE School of the Coast & Environment SVM School of Veterinary Medicine SW Social Work

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inducted into the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame. Flick formed the Commercial Fish and Shellfish Technologies group and carved out Virginia Tech's place in Virginia's Sea Grant Consortium. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and received the Myron Solberg Award, given to the person who has been instrumental in bringing academia, industry, and government together to solve food industry problems, from IFT. John Shalett (1969 MAST HS&E) was elected chair of the State Board of Social Work Examiners.


Daniel Adams (1978 BACH M&DA), professor of music at Texas Southern University, had his article “Chaos, Ritual, and Proportion in Rolf Wallin’s Stoneware for Percussion Ensemble” published in the Journal of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, Volume 64, No. 2, Spring 2017. Adams has served on the Texas Southern faculty for almost thirty years and resides with his wife, Olga, in Houston. He holds a master’s degree in music from the University of Miami and a D.M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. David R. Cassidy (1972 BACH H&SS, 1975 JD), an attorney in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, is listed in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Corporate/M&A.

Gregory D. Frost (1977 BACH H&SS, 1981 JD), an attorney in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, is listed in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Healthcare. Regina Hatcher (1977 BACH SCI), executive director of the Blake at The Grove, received the 2017 Advocate of the Year Award, the highest service recognition given by the Louisiana Assisted Living Association. Eve B. Masinter (1979 BACH H&SS, 1982 JD), an attorney in the New Orleans office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, is listed in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Labor & Employment. Van R. Mayhall, Jr. (1971 JD), an attorney in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, is listed in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Corporate/M&A. Joseph C. Pike (1979 BACH A&D), president of the Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based architectural firm of Pike - McFarland - Hall Associates, Inc. (PMH) in June announced the twenty-year anniversary of the establishment and co-founding of PMH. The firm maintains a general

practice of architecture and has had multiple projects published in national publications including American School and University and Learning By Design magazines, as well as publication in County Focus magazine, a publication of the South Carolina Association of Counties. E. Fredrick Preis, Jr. (1971 BACH BUS, 1974 JD), an attorney in the New Orleans office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, is listed in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Labor & Employment.

Claude F. Reynaud, Jr. (1974 BACH BUS), an attorney in the New Orleans office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, is listed in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Litigation. Dana Robert (1977 BACH H&SS), the Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission at Boston University (BU), was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAAS), the first BU School of Theology (STH) faculty

member to be so chosen. The founding director of the Center for Global Christianity & Mission at STH, Robert has trained generations of doctoral students from all over the world, many who have gone on to become academics, teachers, and religious leaders in the United States, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. While at LSU, she was legislative vice president of the Student Government Association (now Student Government). Michael Scarborough (attended January 1974-December 1975) and his work are featured in a short film, Michael Scarborough: An Artist for All Seasons, produced in conjunction with his

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Tiger Nation

summer exhibition at the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia, Pa., “Smooth: Mangle Boards of Northern Europe and Contemporary Concepts.” View the film at watch?v=iFAp5dWg-80


Robert L. Atkinson (1980 BACH H&SS, 1983 JD), an attorney in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, is listed in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Healthcare. Riley Etheridge, Jr. (1983 BACH H&SS), a former senior executive at Merrill Lynch, joined the advisory board of LifeYield, a software company that helps forward-thinking financial firms, advisers and investors through offering digitally enhanced advice. Most recently, Etheridge was managing director and head of client segments and advisor development for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, where he was responsible for the strategy and management of the Private Banking and Investment Group and led the Goals-Based Wealth Management strategy team. Charles Favors (attended 1984) was named to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Sustainability Council. Favors is vice president of the LSU SoCal Alumni Chapter. Franklin Foil (1987 BACH H&SS) was selected to serve as an appellate judge at the Navy and Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals in Washington,

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D.C. Foil currently serves as a judge in the U.S. Navy Reserve, where he also is a captain. He has been a trial judge in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps since 2013 and a naval officer for twentysix years. As an appellate military judge, he will be responsible for reviewing all Navy and Marine Corps cases appealed worldwide. He graduated from Loyola University Law School in 1991. Foil is a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. R. Marshall Grodner (1983 BACH H&SS, 1990 JD), an attorney with McGlinchey Stafford in Baton Rouge, was inducted as president of the Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys for a two-year term. The appointment follows his election as treasurer of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers (ACCFL). He is a Fellow and past Regent in ACCFL and previously served as the organization’s content chair. Melissa Juneau (1981 BACH HS&E, 1983 MAST HS&E), executive director of Emerge Center, received a John W. Barton, Sr., Excellence in Nonprofit Management Award from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. The award, which honors the philanthropic legacy of John W. Barton, Sr., is given annually to two individuals each year who have significant experience and leadership accomplishments in the Baton Rouge nonprofit sector. Barrye Panepinto Miyagi (1989 BACH H&SS, 1992 JD) joined Taylor Porter, Baton Rouge, as a partner, practicing in the areas of general litigation, toxic tort defense, Medicare compliance, and

alternative dispute resolution. She attended Harvard Law School’s Professional Instruction for LawyerMediation Workshop and has served as the attorney-chair on medical and accounting review panels. Miyagi currently serves on the Theatre Baton Rouge Board of Governors. Idella Washington (1985 MAST HS&E) served as president of the Louisiana Library Association, president of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians, as a guest lecturer at LSU, participated on numerous committees, and presented at many workshops during her more than thirty-seven years of library experience.


John T. Andrishok (1993 BACH BUS, 1997 JD), an attorney in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, is listed in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Construction. Virginia Bailey (1994 MAST HS&E), now retired, was the librarian and evening supervisor at Lower Columbia College, Longview, Wash., from 1994 to 1998 and was the research and access services librarian at Abilene Christian University from 1998 to 2012. Kennon Supple Breaux (1996 BACH BUS) was promoted to senior director of finance and accounting at Community Coffee Company in Baton Rouge. Breaux joined Community Coffee in 2014 as director of accounting and treasury and previously worked for a Fortune 500 engineering, construction, and manufacturing company. She began her career in public accounting with

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Tiger Nation

Ernst & Young and Arthur Andersen. She is member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Louisiana Society of CPAs. Edmund J. Giering, IV (1990 BACH H&SS, 1994 JD, 2005 MBA), general counsel of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, was recently appointed to the Louisiana Bar Foundation Board of Directors representing Philanthropic Community-at-Large for the 2017-2018 term. Emily Black Grey (1997 BACH H&SS, 2000 JD), an attorney in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, is listed in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Healthcare. Grey, manager of the firm’s health care section, was reappointed to a third term as the vice chair of the American Health Lawyer’s Association Hospitals and Health Systems Practice Group. Joseph Moses (1994 BACH A&D), men's and women's cross country/ track and field head coach at Xavier University of Louisiana, was selected by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association as Louisiana Coach of the Year in women's track and field. It was the second time in three years Moses took the honor. Moses coached his team to the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's team championship, its fourth in five years, and it is his twelfth award at the state level. In cross country, Moses has won the women's award six times and the men's honor four times.

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James “Jamie” F. Pasley (1999 PHD H&SS) was named dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Park University in Parkville, Mo. He served the previous nine months as the interim dean. Pasley began his career at Park in 2006 as associate professor before being promoted to the rank of professor of political science, a position he continues to maintain, in 2013. He was previously assistant professor of political science at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, visiting assistant professor of political science at Saint Leo University in Florida, and instructor of political science at LSU. He holds a master’s degree in defense and strategic studies from Missouri State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southwestern University in Texas.

Cathy Twigg (1997 BACH H&SS) and Pete Blumel, founders of the Rogue Initiative announced in May that the company will launch a satellite studio to develop interactive entertainment projects in Baton Rouge. The Rogue Initiative specializes in developing projects that incorporate traditional storytelling with interactive virtual reality through film, television, and video game productions. Baton Rouge operations will begin in November. Twigg, the chief production and content officer at Rogue, is an industry veteran who has worked at Dreamworks Feature Animation, Sony Pictures Television MTV Films, New Crime Productions, and Bandeira Entertainment. She is an adviser to the LSU Digital Media Arts and Engineering program.

Cheryl Payne (1994 BACH BUS), an independent contract CFO/controller, received the 2017 Women to Watch Experienced Leader Award from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee and the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants (LCPA) Women's Initiatives Committee. Payne is a current board member and the standards of excellence chair of Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Baton Rouge, serving as adviser to the River Road Recipes committee. She is involved with LCPA’s Baton Rouge Chapter, serving as the business and industry committee chair, and with Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, as house corporation treasurer and co-president of the Baton Rouge Alumnae Club. She was named a Baton Rouge Business Report “Forty Under 40” in 2011 and received an LSU Greek Excellence Award in 2010.

Joseph Zanco (1992 BACH BUS), executive vice president and CEO of Home Bank and parent, Home Bancorp, Lafayette, La., received the 2016 National Public Service Award from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPS). Zanco is a past board member and past president of the Society of Louisiana CPAs Acadiana Chapter, a member of the board of directors and past chairman of One Acadiana, vice chair of the Board of Trustees for Lafayette General Health finance committee, and founder of Lead the Change Now, a movement focused on inspiring personal responsibility and serving others. He is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette and was recently named Junior Achievement of Acadiana’s Business Person of the Year.


Jessica Cormier (2001 BACH BUS), of Prairieville, La., received the 2017 Women to Watch Emerging Leader Award from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA) Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee and the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants (LCPA) Women's Initiatives Committee. Cormier, a fraud, forensic, and litigation services manager at HORNE, serves on the firm’s personnel committee and is involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives. She serves on the board of the LCPA Baton Rouge Chapter and is a 2014 graduate of the AICPA Leadership Academy and a member of the AICPA Young Member Leadership Committee.

Jake Credo (2008 BACH H&SS, 2011 MPA), a senior inspector with the U.S. Marshal Service’s Investigative Operations Division’s Technical Operations Group, received a Top Cop runner-up award from the National Association of Police Organizations, recognizing his selfless acts of bravery, courage, and outstanding service to his communities. The Top Cops are nominated by fellow officers and selected from hundreds of nominations. Thirty-four awards were presented this year. Credo was selected for his efforts leading the Eastern District of Louisiana’s Gulf Coast Task Force with a team of more than twenty task force officers from local, state, and federal agencies that had an arrest rate of more than 800 fugitives annually in thirteen parishes and for the critical

lifesaving efforts he provided to a fellow police officer who was shot in the line of duty in New Orleans. Anna Dearmon Kornick (2008 BACH MCOM) will serve as communications council director on the 20172018 Junior League of New Orleans Board of Directors, with responsibility for coordinating and disseminating information about the organization’s events, businesses, and community projects. Kornick and her husband, Scott (2007 BACH HS&E) reside in Chalmette, La.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Tiger Nation

Jim Lyons, Jr. (2006 BACH BUS) was promoted to chief operating officer of First National Bank (FNB) in Lafayette, La. An active member of his community, he is secretary/treasurer and chair-elect of Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana, serves on the boards of the Acadiana Red Cross and Beaver Club, is treasurer of Acadiana Health Education Center, and is chair-elect of the Louisiana Bankers Education Council. Lyons earned an M.B.A. from the University of New Orleans and is a graduate of the LSU Graduate School of Banking. He began his career in New Orleans with Hancock Bank before joining FNB.

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Elizabeth McCollister (2005 BACH BUS) was named chief marketing officer and will join the executive team at Louisiana Business, Inc. (LBI). She has served as an account executive with InRegister and senior account executive for 225 Magazine. Prior to joining LBI in 2008, she worked at a Los Angeles-based media, sales, and marketing firm. In 2012, McCollister received an Excellence in Sales & Marketing Award from the Sales and Marketing Executives of Greater Baton Rouge. She is a past board member of the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society and served as volunteer for the Bella Bowman Foundation and a mentor at Thrive Academy Charter School.

Alexandra Mercante (2007 BACH SCI), a Laboratory Leadership Service Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch. In her role at CDC, she investigates how to make food safer through PulseNet, a national network of laboratories that solves outbreaks of foodborne disease. Mercante earned a doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics from Emory University. Emily Eskew Shaumberg (2005 BACH BUS, 2006 MAST BUS) is serving a two-year term as assistant treasurer of the Junior League of New

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Orleans Board of Directors. Shaumberg, a Certified Public Accountant, is a senior tax specialist for Entergy Services, Inc. She and her husband, Kris, reside in New Orleans with their children, Margaret and Quinn. Nick Speyrer (2004 BACH BUS), founder and president of Emergent Method, a Baton Rouge-based management consulting firm, was selected as a member of the Committee of 100 for Economic Development for 2017. He began his career as a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and later worked as a consultant with SSA Consultants. He is president of Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge Board of Directors and a member of the E.J. Ourso College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. Speyrer was recognized as a Baton Rouge Area Volunteer Activist in 2016,and Emergent was named Company of the Year by the Baton Rouge Business Report and Junior Achievement in 2017. Liz Talley ( 2001 BACH A&D) was named associate at Mayer/Reed design firm in Portland, Ore. Talley joined the firm in 2001 as a visual communications designer and was a project manager at Mayer/Reed since 2011. She has demonstrated design leadership in wayfinding and experiential graphics planning and design with a focus on economic development and user experience. Melissa Tyler (2002 BACH MCOM) joined the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter as its first development director. Tyler most recently served as the director of development

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for Magnolia Community Services. She was previously the annual fund manager at the University of New Orleans.


Danielle Borel (2011 BACH BUS), an associate in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, and member of the firm’s health care section, was appointed vice chair of the American Bar Association Health Law Section, Distance Learning Committee. She was appointed to three additional positions in the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division – the Membership Board, chair of the Health Law Committee, and liaison to Health Law Section (Membership). Logan de la Barre-Hays (2014 BACH H&SS) was named a finalist for the 2017 Presidential Management Fellows (PMF), a program administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Presidential Management Fellows are chosen based on their leadership skills, their future career goals and their interest in working in federal public service. To become an official fellow, a finalist must obtain employment with the federal government within one year of being selected as a finalist. She received dual master’s degrees from Columbia University and the London School of Economics in international and world history in 2016. She hopes to join the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service officer. John Doiron (2013 MAST SCI) is completing a two-year residency for specialty training in medical physics at Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. Doiron learned about medical physics after receiving his bachelor’s degree and beginning his work as a radiotherapy support engineer. He received a bachelor of science degree in

biomedical engineering from at Louisiana Tech University. Serena Fisher (2014 PHD HS&E) was promoted to manager of organization and talent development at the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., training leaders and conducting needs assessments. Felicia Goldsmith (2010 MAST SCI, 2014 PHD SCI) was named a Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The fellowship, which prepares top-quality educators for many of Georgia’s most underserved public schools, awards the recipient with $30,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a yearlong classroom experience. In return, recipients commit to teach for three years in the urban and rural Georgia schools that most need strong STEM teachers. Goldsmith will attend Georgia State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology from Tulane University in 2008. Chris McCollough (2012 PHD MCOM), an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga., earned top teaching paper honors from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's Public Relations division for work he presented at the organization’s national meeting in August. The paper, "Competition and Public Relations Campaigns: Assessing the Impact of Competition on Quality of Projects, Partners, and Students," is a study of the effectiveness of a class project that exemplifies key components of the university’s mission. McCollough

holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication from Virginia Tech University. Jalen Mills (attended 2012-2015), cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles, has invested in DailyPay, a financial solutions company that reduces employee turnover through instant access to wages. The technology empowers underserved Americans to take control of their financial well-being. DailyPay is Mills's first tech startup investment. Mills, who was raised by a single mom in the Dallas area, was named a 2015 AllAmerican by CBS Sports and was drafted by the Eagles in 2016.

years experience in print media with such outlets as Dallas Morning News, the Waco Tribune Herald, and The Advocate in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. She and her husband, Kyle Whitfield (2009 BACH MCOM), welcomed daughter Maya in January 2017. The family resides in Baton Rouge.


BENGALS Leslie Thornhill Killian (2000 BACH BUS) and husband Matt, along with big brother and sister Case and Gemma, of Katy, Texas, proudly announce the birth of their daughter, Ruby Marie, born on Jan. 29, 2016. Proud Tiger grandparents are Richard "Rick" (1975 BACH ENGR) and Jane (1974 BACH HS&E) Thornhill, of Baton Rouge. Ruby looks forward to attending her first LSU game with Nana, Papa, Mommy, and Daddy very soon!

Ellen Zielinski Whitfield (2010 BACH MCOM), a former student writer for LSU Alumni Magazine, has joined JKS Communications as an assistant literary publicist. Whitfield has more than seven

SHARE YOUR NEWS Share news of your new job or promotion, your wedding, honors, awards, new babies, and other

celebrations with fellow alumni. To submit an item and photos for publication, e-mail or call 225-578-3370.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Tiger Nation



Berry-Eleazar – Camille Eleazar (2014 BACH H&SS) and Austin Berry (2014 BACH HS&E) were married at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Baton Rouge on June 3. The ceremony was followed by a reception at the Lod Cook Alumni Center, and the couple honeymooned in the Dominican Republic. Camille is in the audiology doctorate program at the LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans and will complete her residency at the LSU Health Sciences Center- Shreveport. Austin is in his second year of medical school LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport.

Trahan-Godfrey – Sarah Godfrey and Chris Trahan exchanged wedding vows on May 6 at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Baton Rouge. A reception at the Lod Cook Alumni Center followed the ceremony, and the newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Kauai and Maui, Hawaii. Sarah teaches at Parkview Baptist School. Chris is employed by Performance Contractors and is enrolled in the LSU Flores MBA Program.

Photo by Jen Menard

To book your special event visit

62 LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017

Mayeux-Manner – Luke Mayeux

(2008 BACH MCOM) and Tracey Manner (2009 BACH MCOM) were married on May 27 in a beach ceremony at Turtle Inn Resort in Placencia, Belize. The groom's parents, Louis Mayeux (1973 BACH H&SS) and Anne-Marie Meehan (1975 MAST H&SS, 1979 PHD H&SS), live in Atlanta. The bride's parents, Terry and Pam Manner, live in New Windsor, Md. The newlyweds live in Brooklyn, with careers in Manhattan. Luke works for Major League Baseball's Advanced Media, and Tracey is vice president of fashion and business development for THINK PR.

Corbin-O’Hara – Zachary Charles “Zach” Corbin (2012 BACH BUS) and Dr. Kathleen Taylor “Kat” O’Hara (2013 BACH SCI, 2017 DDS) were married on June 17 at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. Following the ceremony and reception, the couple departed for a two-day “minimoon” in Miami, Fla. Zach plans a surprise honeymoon for Kat later this year. The newlyweds live in Dallas, where Zach is the senior franchise market manager for Raising Cane’s, and Kat is in the first year of the pediatric residency program at Texas A&M College of Dentistry. The bride’s father is Patrick J. O’Hara (1976 MAST H&SS, 1992 JD). Photo by Joey Bordelon with Modern Heart Photography

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Tiger Nation

Tigers in Print Luis A. Escobar (Alumnus-By-Choice) Statistical Intervals: A Guide for Practitioners and Researchers (John Wiley & Sons) The book’s target population includes scientists, researchers, statisticians, engineers, managers, and others who often need to draw conclusions from limited data. Statistical Intervals: A Guide for Practitioners and Researchers shows how to compute a large class of intervals, demonstrate their practical applications, and clearly state the assumptions that one makes in their use. The book provides numerous references and a great deal of technical details for the proposed methodology. Ronlyn Domingue (1993 BACH MCOM, 2003 MAST H&SS) The Plague Diaries: Keeper of Tales Trilogy Book 3 The epic conclusion to the Keeper of Tales Trilogy brings together the cryptic prophecy in The Mapmaker’s War and the troubling mysteries in The Chronicle of Secret Riven, leading to an unforgettable reckoning between lies and truth. We are all born made of gold. Secret Riven, the mystically gifted heroine who now represses her uncanny telepathic power, works for the mysterious magnate Fewmany as an archivist in his private library. There, she stumbles upon the arcane

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manuscript that had vanished following her mother’s untimely death. She suspects the manuscript contains a profound secret, and she is yet unaware of its link to a thousand-year-old war and her own family’s legacy. She must confront the questions haunting her and depart on a quest to find the truth about herself, her dead mother, and her fate – to unleash a Plague of Silences meant to destroy – and transform – the world as all have known it. Matthew A. Gallagher (2015 BACH HS&E) The Influence of Man Written as subjective nonfiction, The Influence of Man is a succinct analysis of the influence mankind has had on the world, and how paradigm shifts – in individual thought and national priority – are essential to sustaining a positive influence. Covering comprehensive, hot-button topics – this book is sure to provide value and insight to a wide variety of readers, namely those who seek a greater understanding of the world around them, those who admire philosophical thought and sense of purpose, and those who enjoy the exploration of human progress and the factors that contribute to it.

Roger Johns (1978 BACH H&SS, 1983 JD) Dark River Rising (Minotaur Books) Baton Rouge Police Detective Wallace Hartman is investigating the gruesome murder of a local drug kingpin when a DEA agent with his own interest in the homicide threatens Hartman’s control of her case. After a government scientist with ties to the victim goes missing, Hartman finds she needs the agent’s federal connections as much as he needs her local insight, so they form an uneasy alliance. Meanwhile, the killer lurks in the shadows with an agenda no one saw coming, and as Hartman closes in he proves ready, willing, and able to shatter her world to get what he wants. Drew Ann Long (1991 BACH BUS) Game Changer: The Remarkable Story of Caroline’s Cart (Whitecaps Media) Game Changer: The Remarkable Story of Caroline’s Cart shares the story of a mom who simply needed to buy groceries but couldn’t manipulate a shopping cart and a wheelchair at the same time. Determined to find a better way, Long set out to create a new standard for one of the country’s largest industries. Eventually she succeeded, through a crazy, faith-challenging, remarkable journey that drew her into the worlds of engineering,

manufacturing, finance, patent law, and the corporate boardroom. Marty Mulé (1971 BACH MCOM) Game of My Life: LSU Tigers Memorable Stories of Tigers Football (Sports Publishing) A continuing and ongoing drama, LSU football has been marked by a string of improbable victories and sometimes valiant defeats. Game of My Life chronicles more than thirty-five of the greatest players as they tell the story of the game that meant it all. The book features vivid and poignant singlegame stories from some of the most remembered Tigers games of the past eight decades. Readers will relive the fingertip catches, the bone-crunching hits, and the epic touchdowns through the eyes – and from the memories – of the LSU players themselves. The words of Tigers such as Jim Taylor, Billy Cannon, Tommy Hodson, Carlos Carson, Matt Mauck, Rohan Davey, JaMarcus Russell, Marcus Spears, and Jarvis Landry are all part of this storied collection that has become a musthave for any true Tigers fan and Bayou football lover. Steven Rabalais (1982 BACH MCOM, 1985 JD) General Fox Conner: Pershing’s Chief of Operations and Eisenhower’s Mentor (Casemate Publishers) John J. Pershing considered Fox Conner “a brilliant solider” and “one of

the finest characters our Army has ever produced.” In the early 1920s, Conner transformed his protégé Dwight D. Eisenhower from a struggling young officer on the verge of a court martial into one of the American army’s rising stars. Eisenhower acknowledged Fox Conner as “the one more or less invisible figure to whom I owe an incalculable debt.” From humble beginnings in rural Mississippi, Conner became one of the army’s intellectuals. As the nation began to awaken to international dangers in the 1930s, President Roosevelt offered Fox Conner the position of army chief of staff, which he declined. Poor health prevented Conner’s participation in World War II, while others whom he influenced, including Eisenhower, George Patton, and George Marshall, went on to fame. Lee Trepanier (2000 MAST H&SS, 2001 PHD H&SS) A Political Companion to Philip Roth (University Press of Kentucky) Throughout his career, Philip Roth delighted in controversy but often denied that he sought a role as a public intellectual. His statements and vigorous support of suppressed writers in communist Czechoslovakia, however, tell a different story. In A Political Companion to Philip Roth, established and rising scholars explore the myriad political themes in the author’s work. Several of the

contributors examine Roth’s writings on Jewish identity, Zionism, and American attitudes toward Israel, as well as the influence of his work in other countries. Others investigate Roth’s articulation of the roles of gender and sexuality in U.S. culture. This interdisciplinary examination offers a more complete portrait of Roth as a public intellectual and cultural icon. Not only will it fill a gap in scholarship, but it will also provide a broader perspective on the nature and purpose of the acclaimed writer’s political thought. Dede Wilson (1959 BACH MCOM) Under the Music of Blue (FutureCycle Press) Dede Wilson accomplishes what few poets attempt. She wrestles grief to the ground, turning it into song. Her poems are unflinching. From “... the shawl of darkness / the collar of grief,” she awakens you “... to branch and birdsong / the measure of bells.” She translates a pesky ringing in the ears to “... secrets the kettle is begging to spill / Apples singing as they’re peeled.” Though her lovely, lyrical lines ring of courage, she is quick to remind you “... how I break at the knees.” This collection translates an ordinary life into a life lived under the stars. Unforgettable.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Tiger Nation

In Memoriam John James Capdevielle (1942 BACH H&SS) passed away on June 17, 2017 Commissioned through LSU ROTC and a U.S. Army veteran, he served in the Army Air Corps as an observer in the Rolling 89th Division. He was inducted into the LSU Military Hall of Honor in 1998. He was director of the Office of Men’s Housing at LSU for thirty-five years. Capdevielle was a member and former commander of the Baton Rouge American Legion Nicholson Post #38 and associate director of the organization’s Boys and Girls State programs in the 1950s and 1960s. A member of the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Theta Xi, he received the Order of the Azure Star on his seventy-fifth year of membership, and the fraternity presents an LSU scholarship in his name to outstanding students. Capdeveille was active with several University organizations, among them, Omicron Delta Kappa, Cadets of the Ole War Skule, the LSU War Memorial Commission, and the LSU Military Museum. He met often with fellow retirees for Saturday-morning coffee and quarterly dinners to reminisce, tell stories, and solve the problems of the world, especially those involving LSU sports. Capdevielle volunteered for twenty-three years at the Lod Cook Alumni Center and was exceptionally proud of the presentation of a University chair at the time of his volunteer retirement on his ninety-fifth birthday.


Rebecca Stephenson Boudreaux, 1968 BACH M&DA, May 25, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Hilda Babin Breaud, 1945 BACH AGR, June 11, 2017, Ventress, La.

Carolyn Patrick Boyet, 1960 BACH HS&E, April 20, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Harvey Jerome Dupuy, Sr., 1948 BACH ENGR, May 8, 2017, New Orleans, La.

William Charles Broadhurst, 1963 JD, May 21, 2013, Crowley, La.

John Berton Gremillion, 1949 MAST HS&E, 1954 PHD HS&E, June 16, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Peggy Peter Chalaron, 1964 BACH HS&E, 1971 MAST HS&E, July 6, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Jeff D. Hughes, Jr., 1949 BACH AGR, June 29, 2017, Bogalusa, La.

Raleigh Lee Cox, 1965 BACH ENGR, June 10, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Thomas D. Pyburn, 1949 BACH ENGR, founder of the SoCal LSU Alumni Chapter, May 25, 2017, Los Angeles, Calif.

Paula Hopper Denham, 1964 BACH HS&E, 1967 MAST HS&E, June 23, 2017, Denham Springs, La.

Betty Sue Cooter Richardson, attended 1948-1949, June 21, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Francis J. Genusa, Sr., 1963 BACH HS&E, May 5, 2017, Monroe, La.

Vernon Joseph “Coon” Schexnaydre, 1948 BACH H&SS, 1952 MAST HS&E, June 18, 2017, Gonzales, La.

Launnie H. Ginn, 1965 BACH BUS, June 2, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Parker Haile St. Amant, 1949 BACH BUS, May 20, 2017, Lafayette, La.

Maureen Mitchell Gordon, 1966 BACH HS&E, June 1, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Mary “Bebe” McCain Johnson Sill, 1941 BACH HS&E, June 6, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Margaret Elizabeth Morgan Griffith, 1962 BACH HS&E, May 8, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.


Dorothy Diane Forbes Kaufman, 1965 MAST HS&E, 1979 CEDS HS&E, July 4, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Carl Earl Austin, 1954 BACH ENGR, June 20, 2017, Stillwater, Okla. Virgil J. “VJB” Brady, 1958 BACH BUS, May 11, 2017, Baton Rouge, La. William A. “Bill” Brookshire, 1959 MAST ENGR, 1961 PHD ENGR, April 21, 2017, Lufkin, Texas James Fairfax Cole, 1954 BACH H&SS, June 24, 2017, New Orleans, La. James W. “Bill” Dimmick, 1951 BACH BUS, Dec. 30, 2016, Lake Charles, La.

Sandra W. Godail, 1963 BACH H&SS, May 3, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Romaine Kupfer, 1966 MAST H&SS, April 8, 2017, Powell, N.Y. Margart Cobb “Meg” Laughlin, 1969 BACH H&SS, July 12, 2017, Miami, Fla. Joe Almond Morgan, 1964 MD-NO, June 11, 2017, Baton Rouge, La. Thomas “Tommy” Neck, Sr., 1962 BACH HS&E, May 8, 2017, Monroe, La. Wanda Bailey Soileau, 1962 BACH HS&E, June 23, 2017, Katy, Texas

Rosalyne B. Dobbs, 1954 BACH H&SS, June 1, 2017, Baton Rouge, La

Donald Ray Weber, 1967 JD, May 9, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Richard Wayne Eckmann, 1978 DDS, May 30, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.


John Bennard “J. Ben” Meyer, Jr., 1950 BACH ENGR, June 30, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

William Ray Aaron, 1970 JD, June 18, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Charles E. Riquelmy, 1951 BACH BUS, April 22, 2017, Houston, Texas

Nadezda “Nita” Ammon, 1979 BACH H&SS, May 29, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Jacques Lamar “Jack” Savoy, 1953 BACH ENGR, 1960 MAST ENGR, June 30, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

James Todd “Jimmy” Bartkiewicz, 1979 BACH AGR, May 25, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.


Cleveland L. Boudreaux, 1973 BACH AGR, June 14, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Pierre Eugene Bagur, III, 1963 BACH H&SS, 1993 MAST H&SS, June 2, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Robert Newman “Bob” Bradford, attended LSU 1973-1978, May 2, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Jack Ronald Bankston, 1963 MAST HS&E, May 3, 2017, Denham Springs, La

Gary L. Ferguson, 1975 BACH H&SS, 1979 MAST HS&E, June 5, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Claude Wilbur Bookter, 1960 BACH H&SS, June 5, 2017, Baton Rouge, La. Marian

Eugene “Dale” Fleniken, 1973 BACH H&SS, May 10, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Byford Leroy Beasley, 1973 BACH, BUS, 1975 JD, June 23, 2017, Baker, La.

If you would like to make a gift to the LSU Alumni Association in memory of a family member, friend or classmate, please contact our office for additional information at 225-578-3838 or 1-888-746-4578.

66 LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017

Elizabeth “Liz” Holley Mims, 1972 BACH HS&E, Baton Rouge, La. Glen N. Montz, 1970 PHD SCI, April 27, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Burl Kenneth “Ken” Sloan, 1984 BACH H&SS, BACH 1985 SCI, May 21, 2017, Freeport, Fla.

Herrise Morrison, 1976 BACH H&SS, 1983 MAST HS&E, June 17, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.


Edmond Wade Shows, 1972 BACH H&SS, 1975 JD, May 6, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Joshua David Kent, 1994 BACH HS&S, July 6, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Hines Amile Turcotte, Jr., 1970 BACH ENGR, June 9, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Mandy Jeansonne Poche, 1999 BACH BUS, June 24, 2017, Paulina, La.


Brenda Joyce Bennett Saxon, 1990 BACH HS&E, May 28, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Lance Ramon Brignac, 1983 BACH ENGR, May 16, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.


Leonard “Lenny” Cardenas, III, 1984 BACH H&SS, 1987 JD, June 28, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Julie Elizabeth Deshotels Jardell, 2001 BACH BUS, Lafayette, La.

Michael C. Higginbotham, 1981 BACH H&SS, May 12, 2017, Gonzales, La. Ronald Paul Hillman, 1982 BACH BUS, June 7, 2017, Baton Rouge, La. Wilmon “Butch” Little, attended 1982-1984, May 26, 2017, Gonzales, La.

2010s Denis R. Hebert, 2015 BACH H&SS, May 12, 2017, Baton Rouge, La. Lucas James Moulder, 2016 BACH H&SS, June 27, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

Melissa Baugh Parrino, 1983 BACH AGR, July 1, 2017, Baton Rouge, La.

David H. Culbert Professor Emeritus of History May 20, 2017 Baton Rouge, La.

Leo F. Gentry Alumnus-by-Choice April 23, 2017 San Diego, Calif.

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


Tiger Nation

By Sarah Black Photos courtesy LSU Alexandria Athletics

Larry Cordaro, head men’s basketball coach at LSU of Alexandria.

“We’ve definitely set the bar high for future players and for years to come.”


Larry Cordaro: Building a Championship Team What if I told you a story about a basketball coach? One, who in his first three years as a head coach, has come away with three Red River Athletic Conference Coach of the Year awards, the 2015 Don Meyer NAIA Coach of the Year award, the 2017 NAIA Coach of the Year award, three Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches small college coach of the year awards, and the 2016 HoopDirt NAIA National Coach of the Year award. Oh, and did I mention the .905 winning percentage? The man who holds all of these honors is LSU of Alexandria head men’s basketball coach Larry Cordaro (2002 BACH BUS, 2004 MAST H&SE). In the program’s first three years, Cordaro has taken a team that didn’t exist before 2014 and made it into an NAIA powerhouse with an overall record of 86-9 and an undefeated record at home. That record includes three Red River Conference titles, three trips to the NAIA national tournament, and one trip to the NAIA Final Four. But it wasn’t always this easy for Cordaro. Like many coaches, he has worked for his share of programs including working his way up from a student assistant at LSU under John Brady to being a graduate assistant and director of basketball operations for the Tigers. From Baton Rouge, Cordaro took the intensity and attention to detail he learned under Brady and applied it to his first assistant job at the University of Texas-Arlington, where he became one of the youngest college coaches in the country at age twenty-four. After a stop at Southeastern Louisiana University, the Ruston native came to Alexandria ready to take the reins on a brand new program. “I really didn’t know much about LSUA,” said Cordaro. “If anyone could accomplish a lot with a little, I thought it would be me. I’ve always had to prove myself, time and time again. I came in with my sleeves rolled up and an open mindset. I respected the fact that it was a fresh start and an opportunity to put my name on something.” Cordaro come to LSUA not only with a blueprint to build a championship quality team but also with the mindset that he cares just as much about his players succeeding off the court as on it. “My coaching philosophy is to love our players and to teach them the importance of good habits while impacting their lives for the future. We want our players to compete extremely hard and put the team first. I tell recruits that a good coach will improve your game, but a great coach will improve your life,” Cordaro said. Cordaro takes the mantra of his three C’s – court, classroom, and community – and lives it every day. When not coaching his players on the court or checking on them in class, he has his team giving back to the community. “We are on a platform where we can serve and be an example to others,” said Cordaro. “The community has really embraced us with loads of support, and we want to give back anytime we can.” Even with a strong foundation in place, Cordaro continues to work tirelessly recruiting and mentoring players who will carry on the winning tradition built in Alexandria. “I am proud of what we have built with the community and campus. It’s special to have built a program that is so admired and respected. We’ve definitely set the bar high for future players and for years to come.” Sarah Black is director of university relations at LSU Alexandria.

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Everybody Got To Feel Like Somebody By Blake Couch

Blake Couch (1979 BACH H&SS) and wife Annette (1983 BACH H&SS) celebrate daughter Sarah’s graduation from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2016.

“To know you’re alive is to feel like somebody.”

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Alumni Professor Emeritus Edwin O. Timmons was a bearded, bespectacled man, but only slightly professorial. Once a week he would talk – for about three hours – and he always left you wanting more. It was the best college course I ever took. Timmons started teaching Psychology of Adjustment in the 1960s. It was one of those big auditorium affairs, with hundreds of students (and unenrolled onlookers) – very popular, and for good reason. He was an engaging, entertaining speaker, not really a lecturer but a storyteller, and a teller of truth. And one day, in the fall of 1977, as he had done every semester for many years, he led the bravest among us on a journey into the unknown. The state hospital at Pineville, across the Red River from Alexandria, La., is one of only two state-run inpatient mental health facilities in Louisiana today. It opened in 1906, as the Louisiana Hospital for the Insane. Its official name today is the Central Louisiana State Hospital. The resident population there peaked in 1959 at 3,128. The deinstitutionalization movement in mental health care was just getting under way. By 1977 the residents numbered 850; today it’s fewer than 100. Timmons developed many themes over the course of a semester, themes he would return to year after year. He spoke at length of the human personality as an onion, with layer upon layer of defense mechanisms, behavior patterns, habits good and bad. He repeatedly used the phrase “everybody got to feel like somebody.” It seemed intuitively, universally true, an axiom of the human condition, but what did it mean? It’s been said that if you can remember One Thing – a concept, an idea, or even just

a fact – from every class you took in school, you can call yourself educated. Some classes, of course, are more memorable than others. “The somebody I have to feel like is different from you.” It was that One Thing. We carpooled up that day, from Baton Rouge to the wooded grounds at Pineville. We shared our fears on the way there: How do you make small talk with patients in a mental institution? Turns out it’s the same way you do with anybody else. One thing Dr. T emphasized was that we were not going to study or observe or otherwise behave as psych majors might, but rather just to visit some folks in their home. We were going to visit some people who had problems like we all do; they were people trying to live their lives, just like us. So what did it mean? It didn’t mean “everybody got to feel like somebody” – a VIP, a big shot. To feel like you exist at all is enough; that you’ve been somewhere or done something or touched someone else, or even angered someone. To feel like somebody is to have an effect that is known in the world, to leave something behind, to make ripples on the pond. To know you’re alive is to feel like somebody. The essential unknowability of another person, any other person, melts away when you shine a light on that which motivates us all. Their otherness stops getting in your way. The impulse to judge them withers and fades. The Facebook commentator trying to impress, the self-published vanity author, the headline-grabbing politician, the lost-cause picketer, that guy who just cut you off in traffic or slipped into your parking space at the grocery store – all got to feel like somebody. And so do you.




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Renee Horton: NASA Engineer By Laura Odenwald Photo courtesy NASA

“Every single day I walk into the factory, I realize I’m putting my footprints in history.”

Renee Horton (2002 BACH ENGR), lead metallic/weld engineer for the Space Launch System (SLS) at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, is assigned to a special rocket that will one day take humans into deep space to explore places like Mars. As lead, Horton works with the materials review board to oversee anything metallic on the rocket or dealing with the weld. This rocket is the largest, most powerful rocket that NASA has ever built, but for Horton, it’s less about individual milestones and more about the historical significance. “Almost every single thing we’re doing is the first of its kind,” Horton said. “Every single day I walk into the factory, I realize I’m putting my footprints in history,” she said. In her five years at NASA, Horton has been awarded six group achievement awards. After earning her electrical engineering degree at LSU, she became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in materials science with a concentration in physics from the University of Alabama, graduating in 2011. But success did not come easily. Behind her career is a story of personal trials, triumph, and determination. From an early age, she dreamed of being an astronaut. She enrolled in LSU Air Force ROTC when she was seventeen years old and during her initial physical and screening discovered she had a hearing impairment. She could not continue, and her dreams of becoming a pilot – and eventually an astronaut – were dashed. Horton dropped out of school and decided to focus on having a family. She had two boys, born two years apart. With her third child, a girl, things began to change. “I remember holding her and thinking, ‘I need to change the world for her,’” Horton recalls. With a renewed sense of purpose, Horton decided to return to school to pursue a degree. She visited the LSU Speech, Language, Hearing Clinic and Renee Horton. underwent a specialized test that precisely identified her hearing loss. She could hear at very low and very high frequencies but not well in the speech range. “The people at the hearing center really changed how I saw myself and what I could do with the proper accommodations,” Horton said. With a better understanding of her disability, Horton re-enrolled at LSU, this time majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in math. My love for STEM was always there, but after I accepted my disability – owned my disability, took responsibility for it, and made it mine – I realized that I could actually pursue STEM and since then I’ve just been on a path upward,” she said. Horton attended school year-round and finished her bachelor’s degree in two years. Since graduating and earning her Ph.D., she has spent her free time serving as a motivational speaker, mentor, and role model for young adults. According to Horton, she will forever be grateful for the second chance she feels LSU gave her. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be grateful enough for being able to get back in school, for [LSU] being able to help with my hearing, to be able to make me more successful,” she said. “They gave me back the edge to be able to compete. It wasn’t just about the degree; it was about the edge to be truly competitive in what I love.” Laura Odenwald is assistant manager of digital marketing in the College of Engineering.

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Packages available including tickets, accommodations, transportation, and tailgate party. For more information, contact Emily Berniard at 225-578-5612. Register online at

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017



Tiger Nation

Lance Person’s Belle Lutte

By Ed Cullen

“What did I get [at LSU]? The Quadrangle. The murals in Allen Hall. The ghosts of Robert Penn Warren and T. Harry Williams.”

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The books Lance Person’s Belle Lutte Press has published get reviews that include the words “captivating” and “compelling.” The reviews he likes best say Belle Lutte’s books are “well-written.” Outsiders look at Person (2010 BACH H&SS) and see another Don Quixote weaving among the windmills of “big publishing houses.” Person, twenty-eight, is as skilled with the literary lance as he is the thumbed nose. “I took a writing test to become a Lance Person of Belle Lutte Press. Photo by Michael Barnes/Austin-Statesman submission reader for Granta magazine,” he said from his home in Austin. “I saw a lot turned down that could have been published somewhere else, and I’m sure it was.” The old American publishing houses have their place, but they are profit oriented. They end up publishing a mixture of literature and schlock, Person thinks. “A lot of the big publishers are only interested in publishing stuff they know will sell or something in a particular genre,” the former practicing lawyer said. Is the idea to try to publish good novels until one of them makes the publisher and the writer big bucks? “The books I publish don’t need to hit the jackpot,” he said. The idea is to publish a few, outstanding books each year that “will continue to sell and build up a catalog of great work,” Person said. Frances Fincke Person, a nurse and Person’s wife, “100 percent encourages any risks,” but her job doesn’t support Belle Lutte Press. The little press has investors and sales – and money saved from Person’s lawyering days. The promise of financial success doesn’t motivate the Eunice, La.-born editor. Person is quick to say he’s not a writer. He’s an editor. A good one, he thinks. He went through 1,000 submissions before publishing Vince Wheeler’s The Things of Man and followed that with Jim Naremore’s The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts. He pays his authors’ advances – not enough to live on, but he pays. Three novels are in the works for this year. In the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards, The Things of Man won a silver medal for Best Midwest Fiction, and The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts won a bronze for Best First Book Person studied creative writing as an undergraduate at LSU. His first degree was in English with a specialty in creative writing. Then, he earned a law degree from Washington and Lee. By 2013, he was practicing commercial litigation in Baton Rouge where he discovered he didn’t want to practice law. So, why law school? “It was just my romantic idea about the practice of law,” he said. “The war of words I was looking for was more in literature than in law.” At Belle Lutte, Person, readers, copy readers, and developmental editors (hired on a per-book basis) go “through tons of edits and multiple beta readers.” The betas, hired for their love of literature, offer general opinions of a book before publication. Alpha and beta, as applied to non-professional, pre-publication readers, are terms that migrated from the computer software world. In the computer biz, “alphas” and “betas” are savvy folk who try out new software. Beta readers, in a sense, are trying out books before paying-readers see the books on shelves at the bookstore or online. For Person, belle lutte means to struggle beautifully. “Being from Acadiana, I thought it apropos.”

He’s happy with the move to Austin two years ago. “Austin seemed to be a hub of innovation for literature,” he told the Austin American-Statesman. “It’s clearly got a burgeoning literary scene. Also, I felt the people of Austin would get what we are shooting for.” Who at LSU influenced him? “Jack May. American literature. Coming of age. May’s love and passion for every single work. It was as though each work was the best thing he’d ever read. And Randolph Thomas. He taught creative writing. For me, he was the window into the writing community. He’s a writer. He demanded … hard work. He respected all forms of writing.” What did LSU give Person? “What did I get? The Quadrangle. The murals in Allen Hall. The ghosts of Robert Penn Warren and T. Harry Williams. My friends took classes in the new buildings on the outskirts of campus. I wanted to walk the halls where those guys walked. It made me want to live up to the people who went before me.” Ed Cullen, an LSU journalism graduate, is author of Letter in a Woodpile, a collection of his essays for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” He is retired from the Baton Rouge Advocate where he wrote the Sunday column “Attic Salt.”


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Tiger Nation

Tigers Around the World

Photo Op – Craig Sewell Johnson (1994 BACH BUS, 1996 MPA), standing center, joined members of the LSU track and field team at The Pot Smoker BBQ in Columbia, S.C., while the team was in town for the SEC Championship track meet. Johnson recently joined OnCourse Learning as business development manager - local, state, and federal governments and associations.

Marathon runner Brittney Belvin shows off her medals, including her newest – the Six Star Finisher Medal.

Chancellor Emeritus James Wharton (1962 PHD SCI), left, was on hand to watch grandson Alex Hadskey, center, walk across the stage to receive his Bachelor of Science degree at the College of Agriculture diploma ceremony on commencement day in May. Also pictured with the new alum are brother Beau Hadskey (2014 BACH ENGR), family friend Lundon Caillouet, and mom Sherri Hadskey.

76 LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017

Six Star Finish – Brittney G. Belvin (2006 BACH H&SS) ended a seven-year quest in February, completing the Abbott World Marathon Majors in Tokyo, Japan. She is one of fewer than two thousand runners from around the world who have completed all six races. The majors include New York, Chicago, Boston, Berlin, London, and Tokyo. “I received a Six Star Finisher Medal after I finished Tokyo, as well as a certificate with my times from the six races printed on it – and my name is now on the moving wall, representing the U.S.A.,” writes Brittney. “In Boston I ran for the DanaFarber Cancer Institute in memory and honor of friends and family, and I raised $16,498.”




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LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


A Treasure Returned

Tiger Nation

World War II veteran Sgt. Ray Odom (1949 BACH ENGR), of Farmerville, La., was reunited with a treasured keepsake earlier this year – the dog tags he lost while serving overseas.

World War II veteran Ray Odom and Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere.

Coach O sent an autographed football to mark the occasion.

Odom enlisted in 1943 as a teenager and served as a bomber mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Corps, working Ray Odom’s dog tag. alongside the British Royal Air Force. “We operated under the name 388th Bomb Group, and that was B-17s,” Odom said. Forward seventy-four years: A man on a metal-detecting hunt in eastern England found the tags and asked the Royal Air Force for help in returning them to the owner, Odom, who resides at Arbor Rose Assisted Living in Farmerville. Arbor Rose administrator Matt Durham arranged for family, friends, and media to be on hand on in February when the dog tags were placed in Odom’s hands. Making the presentation was Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, 8th Air Force commander, Barksdale Air Force Base, Shreveport, La. "To have this opportunity to return his dog tags after seventy years is not only cool but also provides great inspiration for our young airmen who serve today," Bussiere said. Odom summed it up: "Being honored like this today – I never even dreamed of it. I'm proud that somebody had the foresight to get them back to me. And I'd like to thank them.” Story details courtesy KTVE, El Dorado, Ark.

Breakfast Buddies – Breaux, visiting from Canada, enjoys breakfast with his buddy Mike at The Cook Hotel in July.

CLASS OF 1967 REUNION Reconnect with friends and classmates during a fun-filled day of activities.

September 28-29, 2017 • Lod Cook Alumni Center For information, contact Brandli Roberts at 225.578.3852 or

78 LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017

The families of brothers Paul and Terry Brown, from left, Paul (1995 BACH H&SS), Lisa (1993 MAST HS&E), Helen, Clara, Henry, Alice, Auburn (1993 BACH H&SS, 1995 MAST H&SS), Gus, and Terry (1993 BACH H&SS).

Dr. Alan Cason (1981 MD-NO), Dr. Rob Muller (1981 MD-NO), Lane Mestepey (2005 BACH HS&E), and Dr. Bob Owens (1975 MD-NO).

The LSU Traveling Tigers were all smiles as they boarded a charter plane bright and early to cheer on the LSU baseball Tigers in Omaha.

Tigers in Omaha – Hundreds of LSU fans from across the country – many of them with the LSU Alumni Association’s sports trip – traveled to Omaha to cheer for the Tigers at the 2017 College World Series in TD AMERITRADE Park.

To travel with us visit

Band Reunion September 22-23 2017 LSU VS. SYRACUSE For More Info, call (225) 578–3838 or register at for hotel reservations, call 225-383-2665 and ask for the band reunion rate

LSU Alumni Magazine | Fall 2017


LSU Alum Soars to New Heights

Tiger Nation

By Nicki Button Photo by Mark McKelvey

Today, airplanes get us from A to B. With more stringent TSA regulations, summer thunderstorm patterns, and increasingly congested airports, air travel has lost its charm. Most of the time, flying is a major pain in the rear end. But for LSU alum Edward Montiel (2016 PHD SCI), an astronomer and federal contractor at NASA, flying is pure magic (or actually, science). One airplane in particular, named SOFIA, is serving a bigger purpose for him. He has looked out of the windows of this plane to see breath-taking displays of the Northern Lights, and he has used the onboard telescope, using infrared spectrography, to visualize stars and planets at levels of detail not possible with any other telescope bound to Earth’s surface. This is no ordinary airplane. Read about Montiel’s life in the stratosphere at http://lsuscienceblog.squarespace. com/blog/

LSU alum Ed Montiel sits with instrument control on SOFIA, NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.

Nicki Button, a geology and geophysics graduate student and College of Science communications graduate assistant, writes for The Pursuit, the College of Science blog.

LSU BOUND – “My son, Jon, is starting school in August,” writes mom Carolyn Streva, of Las Vegas. “I’m so excited and proud – hence the attached pic . . . when you are in Vegas and have the famous icon!” The LSU Alumni Association, in partnership with LSU Undergraduate Admissions, distributes LSU BOUND yard signs to incoming first-year students to put a visual face on the scope of national recruitment. Carolyn Streva, an Alumna-by-Choice, is secretary of the Sin City Tigers and a member of the LSU Family Association.

Going for the Gold – At age 101, Julia

Jon Streva proudly displays his LSU BOUND sign.

101-year-old Julia Hawkins won gold in June at the National Senior Games in Birmingham. Photo courtesy Runners World

Hawkins (1938 BACH HS&E) made history at the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Ala., in June. She ran in the 50- and 100-meter dashes and in the cycling road race, the oldest ever to compete in the 50- and 100-meter sprints at the Senior Games – and the first person over 100 who has tried. She was the oldest female athlete competing in the games. Hawkins is the widow of Professor Emeritus of Petroleum Engineering Murray Hawkins.

WHAT’S YOUR VOLUNTEER PASSION? Send a photo of yourself “in action” and tell Tigers Around the World how and why you share your time and talents with others.

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