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Celebrating Success

LSU Recognizes Fellowship Recipients
Celebrating Success

Dr. Drew Lamonica Arms (far left) pictured with the 2012 Goldwater Award Winners: (from left) Goldwater Scholar Carl Sabottke and Honorable Mentions Zachary Fitzpatrick and Tiffany Lemon. Photo by Stewart Humble.

This year, sixteen students from LSU received prestigious national fellowships.  Some are undergraduates, some are graduate students, and others are alumni — but they all bleed purple and gold.  The winners are as follows:

Carl Sabottke, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Carl Sabottke is an Honors LA-STEM chemistry junior with a perfect GPA and minors in Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Nuclear Science, and Psychology.  Sabottke has engaged in theoretical physics research with Dr. Dowling as well as computational biology research with Dr. Brylinski.  He also spent last summer working on code for continuous gravitational wave detection using the Hough transform at Sapienza University in Rome.

Sabottke hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience and to conduct research in theoretical neuroscience and teach at the university level. His desire is to ultimately use theoretical and computational models to help improve clinical treatments for neurological and psychological disorders. He has a particular interest in improving models and treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

"The Honors College and especially Dr. Arms were tremendously helpful with the fellowship process,” he said. “I don't think I could have won the Goldwater Scholarship without their amazing assistance."

Tiffany Lemon, Goldwater Honorable Mention

Tiffany Lemon, an Honors LA-STEM biochemistry junior, is an undergraduate researcher in Anne Grove’s Lab studying a multiple antibiotic resistance regulator (MarR) protein. Last summer, she interned at Harvard University's Ragon Institute investigating CD8+ T cell functions in HIV Controllers.  Lemon plans to spend six months in France working at the Pasteur Institute researching virulence factor accessory proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 

"Applying for the Goldwater Scholarship through the Office of Fellowship Advising was one of the most challenging and beneficial processes I have ever undergone,” she said. “I learned how to project myself as a prime candidate … [and now] I am well-prepared to pursue other prestigious awards and fellowships."

Zachary Fitzpatrick, Goldwater Honorable Mention

Zachary Fitzpatrick, an Honors LA-STEM student, works with Dr. Arnold Feldman as a nationally certified phlebotomist and electrocardiogram technician at The Feldman Institute, a comprehensive pain management clinic and surgery center.  He also works with Dr. Jolene Zheng in the LSU Food Science Department, where he studies Parkinson’s disease and metabolic dysfunctions, and he recently developed a novel proposal for a gene therapeutic agent for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, which earned him the Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention. 

To further execute his gene therapy proposal, Fitzpatrick will work with HHMI Investigator Dr. Katherine High, a world-renowned medical scientist, at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia during the summer and fall semester of 2012.  Fitzpatrick is a sophomore pursuing a degree in biochemistry with minors in chemistry and political science, and he anticipates attending medical school to become a medical scientist after graduation from LSU.

Corey Landry, (not pictured) Goldwater Honorable Mention

Corey Landry is an Honors LA-STEM sophomore majoring in biological engineering and researching biocompatible nanofiber coatings for implantable medical devices. This summer and fall, Landry will be participating in a research internship at the Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC) in Leuven, Belgium, utilizing his research experience to develop a biocompatible coating capable of improving and sustaining the function of neural probes used in both fundamental neuroscience and clinical treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

Landry also serves as an English tutor to the growing community of religious and political refugees placed in Baton Rouge by the United Nations. After obtaining a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, he will pursue a career that combines biomedical research, engineering design, international collaboration, and community service.

Jacob C. Cooper, Udall Scholarship Honorable Mention

Jacob C. Cooper is a junior majoring in Biology and extensively studies ornithology in his free time. He has worked various bird-related jobs in Texas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Louisiana and Ecuador, and is currently studying abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The Udall Scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, economics, and other related fields. Cooper was recently selected as an honorary Udall Scholar, and is planning on attending grad school after his senior year at LSU.

"Through the Honors College, I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to apply for fellowships that I would not have even heard of otherwise,” he said. “Even while studying in a foreign country, I was able to receive excellent support and advice from the faculty at home.”

Jonathan Lambert, NOAA Hollings Scholarship

Jonathan Lambert, a coastal environmental science and marine biology major, researches storm surge in the Coastal Flooding Research Group of the Department of Geography and Anthropology.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings (Hollings) scholarship program is designed to increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities.  The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance for full-time study during the 9-month academic year; a 10-week, full-time internship position during the summer at a NOAA facility; and, if reappointed, academic assistance for full-time study during a second 9-month academic year.

Lambert is currently serving as Vice-President of Planning to Achieve Collegiate Excellence (PACE) in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). The Madisonville native will be interning this summer at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, MD investigating greening in higher latitudes. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. after graduating.

“Dr. Arms was an incredible resource and mentor during the fellowship process,” he said. “She pushed me to understand myself and my goals further and pinpoint my academic and professional interests.”

Lauren Oliver, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Lauren Oliver is a senior in Biological Sciences and in the LA-STEM Research Scholars Program who has conducted research at the LSU Museum of Natural Science with Dr. Christopher Austin since her freshman year. Oliver just completed work on her Honors Thesis, which reveals cryptic diversity in New Guinea. She has also done undergraduate research at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and at the School for Field Studies in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to research, Oliver has volunteered as an education assistant at BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo for the past three years. In the fall, she will attend graduate school at the American Museum of Natural History and pursue a Ph.D. in Comparative Biology.

Amanda Achberger, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Amanda Achberger is a graduate student at Louisiana State University pursuing a Ph.D. studying the microbial ecology in subglacial environments. She received her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from LSU, where she was awarded numerous honors, including: the Amborski Microbiology Award, an American Society for Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship and a spot in the HHMI Summer Undergraduate Research program. 

In 2009, Achberger also participated in an interdisciplinary field research team, which traveled to Antarctica to retrieve glacial ice samples for microbial analysis.  She will return to Antarctica in November of 2012 as a member of the WISSARD project, which aims to drill into and sample one of Antarctica’s subglacial lakes.

Valerie Derouen, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Valerie Derouen is a first year Master of Natural Science student in the Museum of Natural Science majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Education. She was just awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to research the systematics of batfishes under Dr. Prosanta Chakrabarty. Derouen has plans to pursue a career in informal science education, mainly within the life and environmental sciences.  Currently, she is one of the chapter coordinators for the EnvironMentors program at LSU, she volunteers in the education department at BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo, and she is also writing the K-12 activity book that will accompany the new fish exhibit in the Museum of Natural Science.

Anna Normand, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Anna Normand graduated in May 2011 from the Honors College and Department of Chemistry as a University Medalist.  She is currently studying wetland biogeochemistry as a Ph.D. graduate student in Soil and Water Science at the University of Florida, and recently received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which provides three years of personal funding.  

Wetlands have always been Normand's passion; she organized wetland restoration volunteer trips at LSU and has recently taken on the role of Wetlands Club President at UF.  This summer she celebrated her graduation with a 60-day European trip including 30 days of backpacking and sea kayaking in the pristine outdoors of Northern Norway and then joined LSU Hidden Treasurers study abroad in Eastern Europe.  

"Applying for the NSF Fellowship required personal reflection about my life motivations,” she said. “I encourage students to apply for nationally competitive awards because of the reflection, research, and writing experience that are professionally beneficial and personally rewarding." 

Luke Meyer Browne, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Slidell native Luke Browne graduated from the School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU and is now a Ph.D. student studying the ecology of tropical plant-animal interactions in Jordan Karubian's laboratory at Tulane. He recently returned from taking the Organization for Tropical Studies tropical biology class in Costa Rica and will be traveling to Ecuador this summer to continue his field research on seed dispersers and seed predators.

“Being awarded the NSF GRFP is a great honor, and it wouldn't have been possible without the knowledge and support I received from LSU and Tulane,” he said.

Aubrey Thibaut, Fulbright Scholarship

Honors College alumna Aubrey Thibaut graduated last May with degrees in International Studies and Political Science and minors in Chinese, French, and Asian Studies. She won the Honors College Thesis Award for her thesis on the nongovernmental groups effecting change in China, and she was also a University Medalist.

Thibaut will use her Fulbright Scholarship to travel to Taipei, where she plans to research the effects of globalization vis a vis attitudes towards learning English in city high schools. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Asian Studies, earn a Master’s degree in International Relations, and increase her fluency in Mandarin.

Hannah Manuel, 2012 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship

Hannah Manuel has been selected to receive a 2012 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship.  The NDSEG Fellowship is sponsored and funded by the Department of Defense (DoD). Her application was selected by the DoD from over 3,000 applications that were received this year.  The NDSEG Fellowship will cover her tuition and required fees for three years at any accredited U.S. college or university that provides advanced degrees in science and engineering. 

NDSEG selections are made by the Air Force Research Laboratory/Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFRL/AFOSR), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program Office (HPCMO).  The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) administers the NDSEG Fellowship.

Other winners include:

Tel Rouse, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Charles Allen Smith, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Carlos Chavez, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship


Story by Elizabeth Clausen, LSU Honors College

For more information, contact the Honors College at 225-578-8831