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Spring 2010



In this issue:


Message from the Dean


Honors Family,

Nancy Clark, Ph.D



As we start a new year, we face great challenges.  Our state and our nation are coming out of a dramatic economic downturn that has affected every facet of our society including higher education.  Colleges and universities across the country face reduced budgets without hope of ever recovering previous levels of state support.  While LSU is no different, our university remains the Flagship institution of the state, and Louisiana's best hope for leading the economic diversification and expansion of the state.  The Honors College - building on a solid record of excellence, community, and leadership - remains one of the most valuable resources on the campus, attracting and supporting the future leaders of the next generation.

During our Fall Awards Ceremony, the accomplishments and aspirations of our students were celebrated.  We recognized our newest Truman Scholar, Micaela DeGruy, who plans a career in global public service.  More than ten Honors College students received Tiger Athletic Foundation research stipends to support their thesis research and more than 60 students received Sophomore Honors Distinction.  We are so proud of all of these students.

In this newsletter, you will meet some of our other outstanding students, as well as the Sternberg Professor for 2010.  Professor James Stoner has taught Honors College classes for more than 15 years.  Without such exceptional faculty, we could not provide our students with the rich educational experiences they enjoy in the Honors College.

We are committed to retaining the highest caliber of excellence at the Honors College and we appreciate your support in helping us to do so.




Sternberg Professorship Recipient: Dr. James Stoner

Dr. James Stoner



Dr. James Stoner, recipient of the Sternberg Professorship 

The LSU Honors College is proud to announce Professor James R. Stoner, Jr. (Ph.D., Harvard University) as the 2010 recipient of the Honors College Sternberg Professorship.  Named in Honor of Lea Sternberg, former co-owner of Baton Rouge-based Goudchaux's/Masion Blanche, the Sternberg Professorship is the most prestigious award given to faculty at the Honors College.

As the current head of LSU's Political Science Department, Dr. Stoner specializes in political theory, English common law and American constitutionalism.  He is the author of Common Law Liberty: Rethinking American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 2003) and Common Law and Liberal Theory: Coke, Hobbes, and the Origins of American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 1992), as well as numerous articles and essays focusing on the political arena.  In addition to researching American political thought and political development, he continues to work on a book tentatively titled "Resisting Judicial Supremacy," a study of the political and constitutional thought of St. Thomas More.

Dr. Stoner as taught at LSU since 1988 and has chaired the Department of Political Science since 2007.  When asked to comment on the receipt of this award, he said,

"I'm very honored to have been chosen Sternberg Professor for the coming year, both because of the donors' longstanding and generous support of the Honors College at LSU, and because previous occupants of the chair include faculty who modeled for me what devotion to learning and excellence in instruction really mean."

Dr. Nancy Clark, Honors College Dean also said that she is, "very excited to have this outstanding professor on board.  He has shown incredible dedication to the Honors College for over 15 years and we are privileged to have him."




Fall Graduates

Fall 2009 Graduates

(From left to right) Thomas Kutter, Jessica Brinson, Rachel Scott, Carly Burt, Jerry Trahan 


Each semester the Honors College graduates a small group of students out of sequence with the academic year.  Last semester, four Honors College students completed their Honors College requirements and graduated from LSU.

These students, and highlights from their undergraduate careers, include: Jessica Brinson who graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Physics and a minor in Mathematics; Rachel Scott who received a degree in accounting and has accepted a full time position with the accounting firm Postlethwaite & Netterville as she prepares for her Certified Public Accountant certification; Carly Burt who graduated summa cum laude in International Studies with a concentration in Global Diplomacy and minors in both English and Spanish; and Samia Rahman who explored the vast world of touch screen technology as part of her senior thesis project, while finishing her degree in Electrical Engineering and achieving summa cum laude honors.  Congratulations to all of our December graduates.

Honors Awards Ceremony

Awards Ceremony, Fall 2009

Dean, Clark welcomes honorees

The Honors College gathered recently to recognize the outstanding achievements of its students at the annual Awards and Recognition Ceremony.  The awards received by students exemplify the tenets of the Honors College -- excellence, community and leadership by honoring those who have excelled both academically and in the community.

Major awards received include:

  • Micaela DeGruy received the national Harry S. Truman Scholarship, with Amanda Morlas and James Stowe recognized as finalists.
  • Brandon Boyd and James Hostetter both received honorable mention for the national Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
  • Emily Plauché received the Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship.
  • Justin Piche and Laura Baker received the John Hardy Blue Scholarship.
  • Claire Biggs (Freshman), Stewart Humble (Freshman), Anna Normand (Sophomore), Lauren Fogarty (Junior), Sarah Burns (Junior), Yunan Yuan (Senior), and Michael Rhea (Senior) were recognized as the 2009 Honors College Outstanding Students.
  • Lauren Fogarty and Jennifer Kornuta received the Honors College Service Award.
  • John Milligan and Meghan Spell were recognized for their acceptance into the Law School Early Admission Program (LEAP).
  • Julianne Dunlap and Mary Parish were recognized for their acceptance into the SECAC Global Leadership Program for Spring 2009 and Spring 2010, respectively.
  • Colette Burke, Julianne Dunlap, Lacy Hebert and Aubrey Thibuat received the Starmount Life Insurance Study Abroad Scholarship.
  • Carly Burt, Katie Hamel, Chelsea Lewis, Shawn Lin, Margaret Looney, Madeline Peters, Wedad Rahman, Michael Richard, Katherine Smith and Katelyn Wannage received the TAF Thesis Research Scholarship.


World AIDS Day Film Screening, December 1, 2009


On December 1, 2009, Honors College students gathered for a film screening to commemorate World AIDS Day.  It is a chance to raise public awareness and breakdown some of the unwarranted stigma that surrounds HIV.  The theme for 2009 focused on the reality of HIV today.  And the Band Played On, the film shown at the event, follows the scientific detective work and the infighting that went on at the CDC, the NIH, and the Pasteur Institute in the 1980s to identify the HIV virus in a very realistic portrayal of the science of the early days of the pandemic, based on the book by Randy Shilts.

Conversations of Cross-Cultural Differences in the Classroom

Dr. Roland Mitchell

Dr. Roland Mitchell begins his lecture on Cross-Cultural Differences in the classroom


As part of the Black History Month series, and in association with the African American Cultural Center, Dr. Roland Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice, presented his research on effective cross cultural interaction in service learning settings to Honors College and students.  Dr. Mitchell’s presentation explored how race affects the transfer and communication of knowledge, in and out of the classroom, between educators and their students.  Following the presentation, students were engaged in a group discussion focused on our understanding of race relations as an evolving topic.

“Our students were challenged to consider how people talk about race in settings that we don’t normally think about, like classrooms and everyday conversations,” said Student Activities Coordinator Mark Dochterman.

“I think the presentation opened a lot of eyes and if nothing else started a lot of valuable conversations.”



Honors College Student Spotlight


Mary Fenwick Parish, an Honors College freshmen, has been selected as the LSU representative for the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium (SECAC) to attend the Global Leadership Program at Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The program focuses on the social and political dynamics of Northern Ireland through studying its history and current issues and by participating in community service.  She is also participating in IFSA Butler's Peace and Conflict studies program which provides a $8,500 scholarship, further teaching on the histories of Northern Ireland, and the unique opportunity to live with an Irish host family. Congratulations!

Senior landscape architecture major Garrett Wolf is currently working on a Landscape Architecture Capstone Project for his senior thesis.  He is developing a remediation plan and design strategy for the existing Operable Mining Unit in Butte, Montana. The current mining area encompasses over 5,000 acres and includes one of the most toxic bodies of water in North America, the Berkeley Pit.  His design will encompass removing all harmful wastes from the site, and designing the site to fulfill the needs of a post-mining Butte, including parkland, residential expansion and economic development.

Sarah Adele Miller, a senior accounting major, has emerged as one of the top student leaders in her field.  Sarah has served as president, vice-president of Membership, and Financial Literacy Credit Group Leader of LSU’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter.  She helped lead the organization to receive the national Best Practices Championship in 2008 and regional Best Practices Championship in 2009.  She also serves as the assistant director of Finance in LSU’s Student Government, and as Special Events Coordination in VLSU.  Last year, Sarah was named a Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus Young Woman of Excellence.  Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in public accounting.>/span>




Alumni Spotlights

Michael Rhea

Michael Rhea


Michael Rhea graduated from the LSU Honors College last spring, 2009 double majoring in International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Anthropology.  He successfully completed his undergraduate honors thesis that explored the right to appoint counsel in civil trials.  He was then accepted into the Louisiana State University Law School where he started in the fall.  At the end of his first semester of law school, he ranked first in his class.  When asked about his future aspirations, he remarked, "I have some preliminary interests in immigration law, environmental law, civil and human rights, and working with non-profit organizations.  I believe," he says, "that as long as I focus on helping people and maintaining a human element in my work, I believe my career path will find me."

Zack Godshall

Zack Godshall

After graduating from the LSU Honors College, Zack Godshall acquired an MFA in Film Directing (UCLA, 2005) and returned to his native South Louisiana where he continues to live and work.  With an ongoing interest in the stories and people of Louisiana, Zack has combined his background in literature, photography, and film to produce a unique and sensitive view of his subject matter.  His first feature film, Low and Behold, an Official Selection of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, weaves fiction with non-fiction to create an unflinching yet touching story of friendship and loss in post-Katrina New Orleans.  Zack recently completed another film, God's Architects, a documentary film that tells the stories of several divinely inspired builders.  He is now currently teaching at LSU while he works to produce Lord Byron, a fictional film about an aimless man in search of the good life.