McNeese State University students Emilee Whitaker of Lake Charles and Micah Chevannes of Katy, Texas, were named the inaugural Outstanding Graduates for spring 2023.
McNeese Student Government Association (SGA) and the McNeese Alumni Association worked together to create the Outstanding Graduate Award. Students are nominated on the basis of scholarship, leadership, service and excellence with a personal touch and also the nominee’s impact on the college or on campus.
“This award seeks to spotlight the incredible students at McNeese,” explained Sam Gil, McNeese SGA president.
Each of the six colleges at McNeese selected one undergraduate and graduate student in their final semester. A committee from the McNeese Alumni Association selected one undergraduate and one graduate student for the award.
Whitaker, a graduate student nominated by the College of Business, will receive a Master of Business Administration degree. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in management with concentration in human resources at McNeese in May 2022. She is a McNeese President’s Honor List recipient, a member of several organizations within the college and a graduate assistant.
The Burton College of Education nominated undergraduate Chevannes, who completed a Bachelor of Science degree in three years. She is involved in athletic training for McNeese Athletics, participates in many organizations, is on the President’s Honor List and is a member of several community organizations in the region. Chevannes plans to pursue a master’s degree.
Other nominees include Barrett Mann, from Anacoco, and Kevin Tripeaux II, from Baton Rouge, nominated by the College of Agricultural Sciences. Mann is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in natural resource conservation management. Graduate student Tripeaux will receive a Master of Science in environmental and chemical sciences degree.
The College of Business nominated undergraduate student Madison Yates, Lake Charles. Yates will receive a Bachelor of Science degree.
The College of Liberal Arts nominated undergraduate student Mark Portier, Houma, and graduate student Mariah Lee from Corsicana, Texas. Portier will graduate with a Bachelor of Music while Lee will receive a master’s degree in criminal justice and plans to attend law school.
The College of Nursing and Health Professions nominated undergraduate student Kennedy Cooley, DeRidder, and graduate student Jacie Folse of Lake Charles. Cooley will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in radiologic sciences and Lee will complete a Master of Science in Nursing with a nursing education concentration.
The College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics nominated undergraduate student Toluwanimi Atewogbola, from Lagos, Nigeria, and graduate student Michael Reed, Lake Charles. Atewogbola will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a concentration in pre-medicine. Reed will receive a master’s degree in mathematical sciences with a concentration in statistics.
The winners of the Outstanding Graduate Award will be honored at commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 12.