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Student Spotlight: Shyrece Celestine

The Ogden Honors senior talks about her LSU experience

We're big fans of Ogden Honors College student and Lake Charles native Shyrece Celestine. The kinesiology major has completely embraced the Honors experience, from studying abroad to writing her thesis, and is also an Ogden Honors College Advocate, which means she helps recruit high-achieving students to the College.

Why did you choose LSU, and what drew you to the Ogden Honors College? 

LSU was not my first choice. Growing up I had no idea LSU had an Honors College. I thought that it was just a huge athletics-centered institution framed with sorority and fraternity rows.  But my other options did not work out and LSU gave me the most money for school, so I went for it. I found out about the Honors College while on a campus tour. My mom convinced me to apply, and the rest is history.

Tell us about your study abroad experience. Where did you go? What did you study?

I was fortunate enough to study abroad twice. I participated in the LSU in the French Alps program and studied at the University of Sydney for a semester. I took French classes for my minor while in the Alps. It was immersion-based, consisting of presentations, internships, and blog posts. The experience helped me become more fluent and confident in my French communication skills. It also gave me insight into French culture and history that I never would have learned otherwise. Studying in Sydney was a completely different experience because I was on my own. The highlight was being able to discover my strengths and develop as a person because I was living outside my typical constraints from home. Overall, studying abroad has changed me for the better because it forced me to think differently and really appreciate people’s strengths, including my own, and what they have to offer.

Can you tell us about your thesis project? Do you think writing a thesis is valuable?

My thesis is called “The Effects of Gaze Eccentricity on Stepping in Adults with Peripheral Neuropathy.” We are collecting data on young adults, older adults, and adults with peripheral neuropathy. It’s a condition that, due to nerve damage, leads to a loss of sensation in the distal parts of the body. It’s typically caused by diabetes or infection and causes a reduction in spatial perception and balance. I have been working on the project for only a few months, and it has already changed my life. It has been challenging to say the least, but I can already tell it will be worth it. The experience I have with the equipment, faculty, and other students is invaluable. My director pushes me to think critically and take responsibility for the research and analysis of the project.

What are your academic and professional goals?

I intend to take a year off and attend massage therapy school after graduation. Once the year is up I plan to attend physical therapy school and eventually become a physical therapist for athletes.

How has being in the Honors College enhanced your LSU experience? 

I LOVE THE HONORS COLLEGE! It has opened doors and given me opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. My peers sharpen me, and my Honors professors make me think outside the box. I am definitely a higher quality, well-rounded student because of the Honors College.

What has been your favorite experience at LSU?

One of my favorite experiences is probably Honors Welcome Week. From learning choreography, to Move-in Day, to Community Bound, Honors Welcome Week is a blast and probably one of the most rewarding weeks of the year.