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Ogden Honors College Graduate Awarded Ford Fellowship

May 2016 graduate Mollie Smoak awarded prestigious fellowship

Mollie Smoak, a May 2016 graduate in biological engineering from Lafayette, La., has been awarded a fellowship in the 2016 Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs competition administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Smoak is one of 60 students awarded a fellowship as part of the predoctoral competition.

Smoak, a 2015 Goldwater Scholar and 2016 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, was a member of the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College and LA-STEM Research Scholars Program at LSU. She graduated as a CxC Distinguished Communicator and plans to attend graduate school at Rice University in bioengineering.

“We congratulate Mollie on her many impressive achievements and accomplishments while she was at LSU,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “We look forward to watching her career from this point forward and wish her the best of luck in all her endeavors. She is a testament to the opportunities students have at LSU to conduct undergraduate research and compete on a national stage for prestigious awards and fellowships.”

Through its fellowship programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties. Administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine since 1979, these programs provide fellowship support at the predoctoral, dissertation and postdoctoral levels. Eligibility is limited to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program who can demonstrate superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

The Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs offer approximately 60 predoctoral awards, 35 awards for dissertation research and 24 postdoctoral awards each year.

LSU College of Engineering
Founded in 1908, the LSU College of Engineering offers 11 undergraduate degree programs and confers approximately 650 bachelor’s degrees per year, ranking it in the top 10 percent nationally for graduates. Faculty members engage in education, research and commercialization with a strategic focus on research indigenous to Louisiana: energy, manufacturing, natural & built infrastructure, computation and biotechnology. For more information about LSU's College of Engineering, visit

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 Honors College typically admits the top 10 percent of incoming LSU freshmen, and 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.

LA-STEM Research Scholars Program & NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Initiative
The Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or LA-STEM, Research Scholars Program and Bridge to Doctorate Initiative are managed by the LSU Office of Strategic Initiatives. OSI’s vision is to support the high achievements of LSU students, faculty and staff through education, mentoring and research. LA-STEM provides comprehensive training to scholars in preparation for doctoral programs. Bridge to Doctorate encourages and supports underrepresented students to pursue STEM Ph.D. degrees.

Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations