In this issue:
Honors College Advisor Named LSU Advisor of the Year
The upcoming Fall semester will bring about five hundred new faces to the Honors College, and for a brief time, a new hand at the tiller of the College while Dean Nancy Clark takes a well-deserved sabbatical to complete her book on the history of South Africa. As for yours truly, I call myself a “new hand,” but in fact I have taught in the Honors College almost every autumn since I was an assistant professor. This year I am looking forward to being on the team for Honors 2000 “The Individual and The Community.” The class reading list includes Michael Sandel’s Justice and Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun. The first is based on a much-celebrated course at Harvard and the latter is a story—sometimes heart-warming, sometimes bone-chilling—of one man’s experience in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Continuing the tradition we started last year, Eggers will be our keynote speaker at our fall convocation on Wednesday, August 25. Mark you calendars and come join us.
This past spring was filled with accomplishment by and recognition for our students. In this enews you will meet such accomplished students as Juniors Tyler Crosby and Anna Normand. Crosby was named a 2010 Goldwater Scholar, one of only 278 students from across the country receiving this honor, and Normand became LSU’s second Udall Scholar as 1 of only 80 recipients selected from across the country. But our recognition has not been limited to our students. Honors College Senior Academic Advisor, Michael Blandino, was named LSU’s Advisor of the year. We are very proud of all of our recipients.
Travel and study abroad have long been integral to the Honors experience and this year was no exception. In May the Honors College again took a group of rising sophomores to China for a 3 week immersion into the Chinese culture complete with Mandarin language classes and a trek up the Great Wall. Our students also participated in individual study abroad programs including trips to Italy focused on Italian film making and to Nepal working to prevent human trafficking.
This fall our incoming students were chosen from among 5500 applicants, from around the country and globe, and we anticipate they will be one of the strongest incoming classes to date. Again, I am honored to serve as the Acting Dean and look forward to hearing from and meeting many of you while I am here.
Honors College Juniors Tyler Crosby and Daniel Lum Awarded Goldwater Scholarship and Honorable Mention
Tyler Crosby LSU Honors College junior of Bush, La., has been awarded a prestigious, nationally competitive Goldwater Scholarship by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, and LSU Honors College junior Daniel Lum of Clinton, La., received Honorable Mention. The Goldwater Scholarship can be used to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. “The university is exceptionally proud of these students for being distinguished for their commitments to science, math and engineering,” said LSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Astrid Merget. “This impressive recognition on a national stage honors both the sterling scholastic achievements of these fine students and further proves to the nation the academic excellence and competitiveness of LSU.” Crosby, a 2010 Goldwater Scholar, is a biological engineering major who will graduate from LSU in May 2011. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a combined M.D./Ph.D. and conduct clinical research into genetic therapies for diseases. Lum, a Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention, is a physics major who will graduate from LSU in May 2011. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in physics and conduct research in quantum optics and teach at the university level.
“We are very proud of all of our award recipients,” said Nancy Clark, dean of the LSU Honors College. “They competed on a national level and won. At the Honors College, we are committed to retaining the highest caliber of excellence, and I believe these students not only showcase how remarkable they are but also how remarkable this university is.”
Board of Trustees of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation awarded a total of 278 scholarships for the 2010-11 academic year to sophomores and juniors in the United States.
The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,111 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. One hundred fifty-six of the Scholars are men, 122 are women and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. Seventeen scholars are mathematics majors, 199 are science and related majors, 53 are majoring in engineering, and nine are computer science majors. Many of the scholars have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering and computer disciplines.
Honors College Junior Anna Normand Named Udall Scholar
Honors College junior Anna Normand of Opelousas has been named an Udall Scholar by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. Normand becomes LSU’s second Udall Scholar, joining 2007 recipient Nita Clark, a native of Baker.
“We are very proud of Anna, and all of LSU’s national award recipients this year,” said Nancy Clark, dean of the LSU Honors College. “They competed on a national level and won. At the Honors College, we are committed to retaining the highest caliber of excellence, and I believe these students not only showcase how remarkable they are but also how remarkable this university is.”
Normand, a chemistry major who will graduate from LSU in May 2011, is active in environmentally focused public service. She regularly participates in the annual Acorns for Hope bike ride across Louisiana, planting live oak saplings as she rides. She also created Louisiana Marsh University, a service trip that brought 30 LSU students to plant beach grass on Grand Isle. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in environmental science, concentrating on wetland science and policy, and then work for Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, or CPRA.
A 14-member independent review committee selected 80 students from 63 colleges and universities on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy; leadership potential; and academic achievement. Fifty honorable mentions were also named. The Udall Scholarship provides up to $5,000 for the student’s junior or senior year. Honorable mentions receive a $350 award. Since 1996, there have been 1,155 Udall Scholarships awarded.
“These students are the future environmental and tribal leaders of our world and the Udall Foundation is proud to help them advance their education,” said Terrence L. Bracy, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Udall Foundation.
The 80 Udall Scholars were selected from a record 537 candidates nominated by 256 colleges and universities.
Michael Blandino named LSU Advisor of the Year
LSU recently named the Honors College's Director of Student Services, Michael Blandino, the Alumni Association Advisor of the Year for 2010. The award honors individuals who are actively making substantial contributions to the improvement of academic advising.
Blandino began as an advisor in the Honors College in 2000 moving up to Coordinator and, last year, to Director. In his role, he oversees the advising of all 1,500 Honors College students, manages the advising staff, and develops a custom advising management system.
When asked about Michael, Dean Nancy Clark said, "Michael embodies the best attributes of an advisor; combining professionalism, knowledge, commitment and concern."
Blandino was honored at the annual Faculty Awards Reception in the Noland LaBorde Room of the Lod Cook Alumni Center.
Thirty-Two Earn College Honors, Six Earn Upper Division Honors Distinction
The LSU Honors College graduated 141 students at the university’s 271st commencement exercises this Spring. Among these students, 32 achieved the college's highest recognition - College Honors (completing a Senior Thesis project and finishing 32 hours of Honors course credit maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.5) and 6 achieved Upper Division Honors Distinction (completing a Senior Thesis project and a minimum of 12 hours Honors course credit maintaining a 3.5 GPA). Additionally, the Honors College gave special recognition to students who successfully completed and defended an undergraduate thesis.
On Tuesday, March 16, the LSU Honors College and the Forever LSU campaign recognized longtime supporter Roger Houston Ogden at a special ceremony at the historic LSU French House.
Ogden's vision and generosity toward the Honors College's students, faculty and staff was most recently exemplified by his gift to create a $1 million professorship, providing endowed support to the dean of the Honors College. Named the Roger H. Ogden Deanship, this gift was given in honor of Ogden's son, Roger Hadfield "Field" Ogden.
A 1968 business graduate of LSU, Ogden has provided a lifetime of service to the university, beginning with his role as president of the Student Government Association and continuing into his professional life through his involvement with multiple colleges at LSU.
In addition to the Honors College, Ogden has also supported the E. J. Ourso College of Business and the College of Art & Design. A member of the LSU Board of Supervisors from 1991-2004, Ogden also served as the board's chair from 2003-04. In 1998, he was elected to the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction.
"As Louisianans, one of the most important things we can do for the future of the state is to support the flagship university and, in particular, the Honors College," said Ogden. "The number one investment we can make is in our youth, who will inherit the reins of leadership of the state. The LSU Honors College is our best bet for keeping the very best and brightest in Louisiana. It is these youngsters who qualify to go to the Harvards, Stanfords or Dukes that we most desire to keep in Louisiana; and who, together with LSU, will lead this state to unimaginable heights in this new century."
Created in 1992, the LSU Honors College is a four-year residential college comprised of 1,500 of LSU's highest achieving students. The college has a selective admissions program, requiring a minimum of a 30 ACT score and 3.5 grade points average, and serves students in all majors. The LSU Honors College serves this diverse student population with dynamic interaction through outstanding instruction, innovative research and public service.
"The goals of the LSU Honors College go beyond academic excellence," said Nancy Clark, dean of the LSU Honors College. "The Honors College experience fosters community and develops leaders in an environment that challenges and enlightens. There is certainly no better example for our students and faculty to emulate than Roger Ogden, who consistently provides the type of leadership that impacts learning across LSU's campus. Roger is a person who believes in our university community and he strengthens our Honors College in profound and meaningful ways."
Ogden resides in New Orleans and currently owns Ogden Development and Investments, which specializes in commercial real estate development. He is also a founding partner of Stirling Properties.
For five consecutive years, the Honors College has selected twenty Honors students to attend a three week learning tour of China. Departing on May 24, the group began their Chinese immersion at Tongji University in Shaghai studying cross-cultural communication and the Mandarin language. (Watch the students practicing Mandarin tones "Ahhhh. AhhHHH. AHHhhhHHH. AHH!")
"What made the experience with LSU unique, was the opportunity to befriend and converse with Chinese students in the universities we were partnered with. One of my favorite experiences was being able speak to the college students from Shanghai and Beijing. Conversing with Chinese people my age not only made me realize how different our lives were, but also how we retain such similar values," said Honors College student Carolyn Mierl.
From Shanghai, the students went on day trips to Yangzhou and Suzhou followed by several days in Xian and finally Beijing. The Honors College China trip gives students the opportunity to experience one of the world's oldest civilizations with an up close look at the second largest and fastest growing economies.
"I will never forget my friends Sun Li from Shanghai and Evelyn from Beijing. We were three girls the same age, with similar tastes in music, television, American poets, and boys, but going through life on very different spectrums of government, living conditions, and opportunities. Prior to visiting China, I did a research project on Mao Zedong’s “One Child Policy” in our HNRS 3100 class, but I was still amazed when both of my friends admitted to actually being the only child in their family...I understood the One Child Policy’s causes and effects, benefits and consequences; but all was forgotten when Sun Li asked what it was like to have a big family and to have a younger sister to share my life with," said Mierl.
Shell Oil Co. & Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Project Partner with LSU Honors College on wetland grass planting and beach clean up at Grand Isle State Park
On Saturday, March 20 more than 100 LSU Honors College students worked with volunteers from Shell and the Barataria-Terebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) to plant vegetation at Grand Isle State Park.
For many Honors College students, this service project was the culmination of a process that began in August. Before arriving on campus in the fall of 2009, the incoming class of Honors students participated in the Honors Shared Read Program by reading Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast. Mike Tidwell, author of Bayou Farewell, addressed the incoming class at Honors Convocation and challenged them to help solve Louisiana’s coastal land loss problem. Throughout the fall semester, the students discussed coastal erosion in Honors 2000, a course designed to help students think about large-scale environmental crises. With the help of Shell and BTNEP, and the LSU Department of Residential Life, these same Honors students got the chance to do something about coastal land loss on March 20. Participants spent the morning planting wetland grasses in sustainable areas in the park while the afternoon was dedicated to cleaning garbage and debris from the beach. At day’s end, 4,200 individual grasses were planted and 14 cubic yards of debris was removed from the beach.
According to Mel Landry, Public Involvement Coordinator of BTNEP,
“We certainly feel the event was beneficial to BTNEP, Grand Isle State Park, the Town of Grand Isle, and the countless members of our communities that rely on Grand Isle for protection and recreation. The students did an amazing job in both the planting and debris removal portions of the day.”
When the plants were in the ground, the garbage was off the beach, the volunteers were cleaned up, and the buses departed Grand Isle it was obvious to everyone that participated, there is more than one way to spend an amazing day on the beach.
Zeitoun, written by Dave Eggers, was selected for the 2010 Shared Read for Honors College incoming freshmen
Zeitoun, a national bestseller written by Dave Eggers, for this year’s Shared Read for incoming Honors College freshmen. Zeitoun tells the true story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a successful Syrian immigrant and New Orleans resident, who decides to stay in New Orleans to protect his property as Hurricane Katrina approaches. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Zeitoun helps to rescue survivors caught in the flood before being illegally imprisoned as a suspected terrorist.
The Honors College Shared Reading program is designed to introduce new students to the academic and intellectual culture of the Honors College through a common reading experience. The program also gives new students the opportunity to meet faculty members and other new freshmen. All incoming students are required to read Zeitoun before arriving on campus in August and to attend an Honors College Convocation on August 25, where Dave Eggers will address the Honors College community. Copies of Zeitoun will be available in the LSU Bookstore during Spring Invitational, April 14-16.