Twelve outstanding LSU seniors were recognized in the spring as the Tiger Twelve Class of 2014. The award recognizes current, full-time students, who are seniors, have a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.5, and have best demonstrated the seven basic principles outlined in LSU’s Commitment to Community, a statement of the mutually agreed upon expectations for each LSU community member established by students, faculty and staff in 1995.
The Office of the Dean of Students held a ceremony to honor the Tiger Twelve Class of 2014 on Saturday, April 26, in the Rotunda of the LSU Business Education Complex.
The Tiger Twelve Class of 2014 includes:
De André Beadle, a native of Houston, majoring in sociology and minoring in political science. While at LSU, Beadle was selected to be a Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar and a participant-turned-facilitator and mentor in the Summer Scholars Program. He served as president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and co-founded the Student Government Black Caucus. Beadle was also a member of the Leadership LSU Class of 2014 and the Black Male Leadership Initiative Class of 2010. Beadle will pursue a Ph.D. in sociology/criminology beginning in fall 2014, and hopes to work in juvenile advocacy focusing on mentoring, instilling the value of community service and assimilating youth back to their communities.
Arielle Brown, a native of Norco, La., majoring in psychology and minoring in African & African-American Studies. In her time at LSU, Brown has served as a Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar and her research has provided a better understanding of internalized racism and self-esteem of African-American students at two universities. She has served as the president of the Impact Movement at LSU, which coordinated food distribution to families in New Orleans and Atlanta. Additionally, she volunteered as a Big Buddy program mentor and as a Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center phone counselor. Brown will pursue a Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in fall 2014. She will be studying racial factors, specifically color-blind racial ideology, in educational achievements and attitudes.
Alex Cagnola, a native of Lafayette, La., majoring in biological engineering and minoring in business administration. During his time as an LSU student, Cagnola was a researcher and peer mentor in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program. He has been an active member of the LSU Greek community, serving on the Greek Board of Directors managing a large Habitat for Humanity build during Greek Week, as a senior team member of the Greek Leadership Institute and as philanthropy chairman of his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. Cagnola also served as a senator in LSU Student Government. Cagnola will be working in San Antonio as a drilling Engineer for U.S. Enercorp LTD. He also plans to attend graduate school to attain master’s degrees in petroleum engineering and business.
Shaely Cheramie, a native of Lockport, La., majoring in psychology. While at LSU, Cheramie was a strong advocate for students with hearing impairments. She founded the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Club at LSU, served on the Louisiana School for the Deaf Foundation Advisory Board, provided applied behavior analysis therapy for children with hearing and language impairments and was a mentor and volunteer for Deaf Focus Service LLC. Cheramie also served on the Students Against Destructive Decisions. National Student Leadership Council, and taught preschool at Parkview Baptist School. Beginning in fall 2014, Cheramie will pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., with the long-term goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.
Catherine Fontenot, a native of Basile, La., majoring in biological sciences and minoring in leadership development and international studies. At LSU, Fontenot has worked as a clinic volunteer with Volunteer Health Corps, where she helped bring healthcare to those without access, while also serving as president of the Alpha Epsilon Delta honor society at LSU for pre-medical students, where she implemented a new service program. She also worked to advocate for gulf states and coastal issues by serving in the Louisiana Service and Leadership Program, as well as the Equity and Inclusion Campaign. After completing an internship in Washington, D.C., through the Harry S. Truman Foundation, Catherine hopes to attend medical school. She plans to work in under-resourced communities in Louisiana and around the world to increase access to healthcare and decrease rates of HIV/AIDS.
Nathan Irby, a native of Shreveport majoring in marketing and minoring in entrepreneurship. Irby is currently working with the Office of the Baton Rouge Mayor-President and local employers to place 100 at-risk youth in summer internships in their chosen field. He also served as a fellow of the Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute at LSU, where he worked with a start-up solar company that leased solar panels to low-income families. Irby also served on the Greek Board of Directors at LSU, as the director of the Greek Leadership Institute, and in several positions planning the LSU Greek Life annual EMPOWER Greek leadership development program. Irby will be working in management consulting for the oil and gas industry working with Trenegy, a Houston based consulting firm. He will begin his role as an analyst in June.
Johnny Johnson, a native of Lafayette, majoring in architecture. During his time at LSU, Johnson served as LSU chapter president and Louisiana undergraduate representative to the ninth district council of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He also served as secretary and graphic designer for National PanHellenic Council and as a facilitator for the LSU Greek Life annual EMPOWER Greek leadership development program. Johnson was also lead choreographer for Legacy Dancers, a student dance group that performs for several LSU community events. Johnson plans to relocate to Houston, where he will start an internship and seek full-time employment with a healthcare architecture office.
Morgan Matchett, a native of Baton Rouge, majoring in mathematics and minoring in leadership development. Matchett served in several leadership positions, including president, for Volunteer LSU; as a team leader for the CHANGE Break: Peru alternative service break program; as a Youth Volunteer Corps Team Leader for Capital Area United Way; and in the Center for Student Missions in appointments in San Francisco Bay and Denver. Matchett was also a student researcher and member of the Advisory Board for the LA-STEM Research Scholars Program. Matchett will be attending graduate school this fall at Florida State University, where she will study higher education & student affairs. She will work in their Center for Leadership & Social Change as the graduate assistant for community engagement.
Taylor Parks, a native of New Roads, majoring in psychology and communication studies. Parks served as the LSU Student Body Vice President during the 2013-14 school year. Through her time at LSU, she served as an LSU Ambassador, during which she served as an orientation chair, orientation leader and small group leader for STRIPES, an intensive orientation and college transition program. Parks was a research assistant to LSU Department of Psychology Assistant Professor Alex Cohen and conducted 90 hours of experiments aimed at better understanding symptoms of individuals with schizophrenia. Parks will pursue a Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Texas A&M University beginning in fall 2014.
Shelby Pursley, a native of Winter Springs, Fla., majoring in biological engineering and minoring in chemistry. Pursley served as president of the LSU College of Engineering College Council and the Biological Engineering Student Organization, where she ensured the longevity of the organization and adapted the organization to be a strong community group for both biological engineering students and staff. She also held positions in the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and in the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for women. Pursley conducted research as one of the Chancellor’s Future Leaders in Research and read with primary school children as a member of Volunteers in Public Schools. Pursley will pursue a Ph.D. in bioengineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, beginning in fall 2014.
Tuan Tran, a native of New Iberia, La., majoring in biological sciences and minoring in psychology and chemistry. During his time at LSU, Tran participated in a variety of programs that have in common their service to the community. Tran served in several positions, most recently as executive vice president of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Society; as the president of the College of Science College Council of LSU Student Government; and as vice president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at LSU. Tran was also an LSU Ambassador, recruiting and providing orientation to new LSU students, and as a resident assistant. He was part of the Leadership LSU Class of 2014 studying adaptive leadership. Tran will be attending the LSU Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in New Orleans starting in fall 2014.
Emily Watkins, a native of Bossier City, La., majoring in English, concentrated in secondary education. While at LSU, Watkins has focused involvement and service on education. She served as director of summer activities and group leader for students from under resourced schools in the LSU Honors College’s Focusing On College and Unlimited Success organization; as an intern for Kids Hope, where she mentored underprivileged students; as a reading buddy at Highland Elementary School; and as the civic and social awareness chair of Volunteer LSU. She also ministered to students through Reformed University Fellowship. Watkins will relocate to Kansas City. Mo., after graduation where she will teach high school English.
Tiger Twelve is an honor that has been presented to 12 seniors by the Office of the Dean of Students yearly since 2003.
The Office of the Dean of Students transforms lives by facilitating opportunities and experiences to discover, engage and learn in a diverse, inclusive and just community while promoting social responsibility. Visit http://www.lsu.edu/tigertwelve for more information about the LSU Tiger Twelve.