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Ogden Honors, chemistry junior Cale Locicero named 2022 Goldwater Scholar

LSU junior Cale Locicero has been named a 2022 Goldwater Scholar, making him the 39th in LSU’s history. The scholarship program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. The Metairie native was selected from a pool of 1,242 students nominated by 433 institutions. 

Locicero is an Ogden Honors College student studying chemistry in LSU’s College of Science with goals of pursuing a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and conducting research in new organic reaction development for applications in the biomedical sciences and drug discovery.

“Students like Cale show us that when you take control of your education and pursue your passions you can do meaningful and important work as an undergraduate,” noted Ogden Honors College Dean Jonathan Earle. “I’m glad the Goldwater Foundation recognized Cale’s contributions to and potential in his field. I am certain he will make revolutionary strides in biomedical science.” 

Currently, Locicero is conducting synthetic organic chemistry research with Dr. Rendy Kartika which focuses on developing a refined, stereoselective method for creating α-Quaternary α’-Hydroxyketones. "Cale is an outstanding chemistry major that I have had the privilege of teaching and mentoring at LSU.  He excels in the classroom and is very passionate about organic chemistry research.  In my lab, he is developing new organic reactions to construct allene-containing cyclic ketones with complex stereochemistry.  This class of molecules serves as value-added synthetic building blocks that can be further assembled into complex organic molecules of biological and pharmaceutical significance," said Rendy Kartika, LSU’s Director of Undergraduate Studies for Chemistry.

Locicero is also a Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-LAMP) Scholar. The program is aimed at substantially increasing the number and quality of minority students enrolling in and completing baccalaureate degrees in STEM. 

“I am incredibly proud of Cale and delighted that he was chosen for this prestigious honor. He is an exemplary LS-LAMP scholar, who like many students, has had to adjust to life since the pandemic,” said Tyrslai Williams-Carter, Assistant Dean of Mentorship, Education, & Research for Strategic Initiatives of the Graduate School. “Undaunted, Cale rose to the challenge of preparing himself for undergraduate research through independent learning, when hands-on experiences were not feasible. He also enrolled in graduate-level courses to expand his chemistry knowledge, thus it was no surprise that he quickly excelled as a researcher in Kartika’s lab group. He is proof that passion, diligence, and preparation, when coupled with opportunity, truly pays off.”

“I’m grateful to the Goldwater Foundation for this award and how I can use it to accomplish my career goals,” said Locicero.

 

LSU Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College

The Ogden Honors College, established in 1992, is a vibrant, diverse and prestigious community located at the heart of LSU. The Ogden Honors College provides students with a curriculum of rigorous seminar classes, as well as opportunities for undergraduate research, culminating in the Honors Thesis. Its focus on community service, study abroad, internships and independent research helps today’s high-achieving students become tomorrow’s leaders.

Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-LAMP)

The Louis Stokes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Pathways and Research Alliances: Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-LAMP) is a comprehensive, statewide, coordinated program aimed at substantially increasing the number and quality of minority students enrolling in and completing baccalaureate degrees in STEM and subsequently going on to pursue graduate studies in STEM disciplines. LS-LAMP is one of the many National Science Foundation alliance programs nationwide. Led by Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LS-LAMP comprises fourteen institutions and one research facility.

The LSU LAMP Program recruits and financially supports academically talented minority students pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines who strive to obtain STEM PhDs. The goal of the program is to holistically support students by providing academic enrichment and professional and personal development that cultivates well-rounded students who can significantly impact the scientific community. LS-LAMP Scholars attend monthly seminars and individual mentoring sessions, excel academically, conduct undergraduate research, and engage in community service.
Learn more at: lsu.edu/lamp.