Celebrating Excellence in Research,
Education and Innovation

College Salutes 2017 Hall of Distinction Honorees

The LSU College of Science will induct four new members into its Hall of Distinction during a banquet and ceremony on Friday, March 31st. This year's class includes LSU Professor Emeritus in Geology & Geophysics Jeffrey Hanor, LSU Professor Emeritus in Chemistry Neil Kestner, LSU alumnus and NASA research scientist Donald Kniffen, and Director Emerita of LSU's Center for Academic Success and retired chemistry professor Saundra McGuire.

"We are looking forward to celebrating the outstanding achievements of this year's honorees. They are leading educators, mentors and researchers who continue to make significant contributions to their fields," said Cynthia Peterson, dean of the LSU College of Science and Seola Arnaud and Richard V.  Edwards Jr. Professor. "On behalf of the College of Science faculty, students and staff, I salute this year's honorees and their remarkable work." > More

Above, left to right: Donald Kniffen, Neil Kestner, Jeff Hanor and Saundra McGuire

Kermit Murray
Chemistry Faculty Named 2017 LSU Rainmakers

The Office of Research & Economic Development, in collaboration with the Campus Federal Credit Union and the Council on Research, has recognized Rendy Kartika, Donghui Zhang and Kermit Murray among this year's LSU Rainmakers. This award highlights faculty who show outstanding research, scholarship and creative activity for their respective rank and discipline. Assistant Professor Rendy Kartika received the Emerging Scholar Award, Associate Professor Donghui Zhang received the Mid-Career Scholar Award and Roy Paul Daniels Professor Kermit Murray received the Senior Scholar Award. Click here for a complete list of the 2017 Rainmakers

LSU Celebrates Women's History Month

LSU celebrates women making history all year long by honoring our world-class faculty, students and staff at the forefront of discoveries in the field, lab or classroom. A sampling of the university's outstanding women scientists are featured on a web site highlighting their research work. Three women scientists in the College of Science are also featured on a set of trading cards (below).

Dr. Karen Crosby, professor of engineering at Southern University and NSF program administrator, and Nicki Button, geology PhD student, led breakout session with girls from LSU Laboratory School.

Honoring STEM Trailblazers

College of Science and College of Engineering Host Hidden Figures Revealed: Realizing the Dream

In celebration of Women's History Month the LSU College of Science and the College of Engineering hosted Hidden Figures Revealed: Realizing the Dream, a day-long celebration of phenomenal women scientists. The event drew more than 400 high school girls to the LSU Union Theater to watch the Academy Award nominated movie the morning of March 17th. The movie was shown again the evening of the 17th for more than 800 members of the Baton Rouge community.

The day also included breakout sessions and a panel discussion with noted women scientists, engineers and educators from LSU, Southern University, the East Baton Rouge School District and industry. A special  guest for the evening showing was Michele Sanders, a STEM teacher and granddaughter of Dr. Katherine Johnson, the NASA research mathematician featured in the Hidden Figures movie. Click here to watch a video of Sanders talking about her grandmother.

This event was sponsored by the President's Office, Office of Equity & Diversity, LSU Women's Center and IBM. > More  

Top photo: Hidden Figures panelists Judy Wornat, Michele Sanders, Cynthia Peterson, Zakiya Wilson-Kennedy (moderator), Karen Crosby, Michelle Clayton, Latoya Bullard-Franklin. Right photo: Michele Sanders, daughter of NASA research mathematician Katherine Johnson.

Check out photos from the #Hidden Figures Revealed event here.

Women's Center Announces 2017
Esprit de Femme Award Recipients

The LSU Women's Center will honor Women's History Month on Thursday, March 30, at its fifth annual Esprit de Femme Awards Sunrise Celebration. This year's awards ceremony will be held at Boudreaux's in Baton Rouge, beginning at 8 a.m. All proceeds will support the mission and initiatives of the Women's Center. This year's honorees include Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire, director emerita of LSU's Center for Academy Success and retired professor of chemistry, and Dr. Gresdna Doty, retired theater professor and wife of Dr. James Traynham, emeritus professor in the LSU Department of Chemistry. > More

More News & Events:
  • Polymers in Art Exhibit at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, March 4 - June 4
    Professor John A. Pojman of the LSU Department of Chemistry will co-curate with Elizabeth Weinstein, director of art interpretation at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Polymers in Art Through the Centuries to be on view March 4 - June 4, 2017 at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum (LASM). > More 
  • LSU hosts Nanodays at the Highland Road Park Observatory,
    Saturday, March 25, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Nanoscale structures, such as a single strand of DNA or gold nanoparticles in church windows, have existed in nature and been used long before scientists began devoting their studies to them. Recently, this innovative field of study has contributed to numerous discoveries such as advanced applications in energy, information storage and medicine. Because of its promising future, organizations across the country celebrate NanoDays, a nationwide festival of programs about nanoscale science and engineering. > More
  • LSU's Women in Science host Meet a Mentor, Tuesday, April 4, 5 p.m., ECE Rotunda
    Mentors from across STEM fields (academia, industry, government) will be set up at tables around the room. Students will get to meet and interact with potential mentors in a round-robin type fashion. Want to make the most out of this event? Check out these tips! 
  • 11th Annual International Astronomy Day, Saturday, April 29, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. 
    Every year since 2007, Highland Road Park Observatory has proudly taken part in this worldwide celebration of all things related to astronomy, physics, aeronautics and the American space program. This year promises to be the biggest successful International Astronomy Day ever! This event is free to open to all ages. Binoculars recommended
    after 7:30 p.m.  > More

  • The nomination deadline for the 2017 LSU 100 Fastest Growing Tiger Led or Owned Business Recognition is March 31st
    Simply visit and complete the short nomination form. LSU Executive Education will then send a follow up email to your nominee with instructions on how to complete the formal application.  The application process is simple for the nominee. Postlethwaite & Netterville, the LSU 100 accounting firm has created a secure online system for this process so that all applicants are assured that the information they supply is kept confidential.

"Make Your Science or Research Visual! 

Sketch or take a photo to show us what your science looks like, and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #MyScienceLooksLike... Sketch or photograph what science looks like for you, whether it's your favorite topic of study or what it looks like when you are conducting research. The best submissions will be featured on our Instagram @LSUscience and on our blog, and well as via the CxC Science Studio @LSUCxCScience on Instagram!" 


  Terry Bricker

Mette Gaarde

Kenneth Matthews

Kenneth Schafer

 Terry Bricker, Moreland Family Professor in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences, and colleagues at Palack√Ĺ University in the Czech Republic and at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio have solved a longstanding mystery in photosynthesis, a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy. Their findings are presented in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. > More

Mette Gaarde, professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has been selected by the American Physical Society (APS) as one of the Outstanding Referees for 2017, who has demonstrated exceptional work in the assessment of manuscripts published in the Physical Review journals. > More

Kenneth "Kip" Matthews, associate professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has been named a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. A distinct honor among the medical physics profession, an AAPM Fellow honors members who have made significant contributions through service, the advancement of medical physics knowledge based upon independent original research or development, medical physics educational activities, especially in regard to the education and training of medical physicists, medical students, medical residents and allied health personnel, and leadership in the practice of medical physics. > More

Researchers at LSU and Lund University in Sweden have demonstrated a new method to direct short bursts of x-ray light that uses strong laser pulses. Professor Kenneth Schafer leads the research team in the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy. This new method was reported in the journal Nature Photonics. > More


Honoring Top Flight Scholars

Top photo: Amy LeBleu and Harvey Shows. Above: Retired USAF Col. and NASA astronaut Fred Gregory  |  Photos courtesy of Mimi LaValle 

Hall of Fame Astronaut Fred Gregory Presents
Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Awards
to Amy LeBleu and Harvey Shows

Last week, retired U.S. Air Force Col. and NASA Hall of Fame astronaut Fred Gregory visited LSU to present Physics & Astronomy students Amy LeBleu and Harvey Shows with Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) scholarships. The ASF was created by the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts - Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton - to encourage students to pursue scientific endeavors and keep America on the leading edge of technology. > More

Col. Gregory was also a special guest at a morning session of the college's Hidden Figures Revealed event where more than 400 girls from local high schools watched Hidden Figures in the LSU Student Union Theater and engaged with inspiring women in science, technology, engineering and math.


Innovative Undergraduate Research 

Three College of Science Students Nominated for Goldwater Scholarship

Three College of Science students have been nominated for the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship. Caitlin Billiot, sophomore studying microbiology; John Paul Marceaux, junior studying physics; and Jackson Mierl, junior pursuing dual degrees in biology and philosophy, will compete with students from universities across the country for the chance to be named a 2017 Goldwater Scholar. Students must be selected through an internal competition at LSU in order to compete for the scholarship. > More

Above, left to right: Caitlin Billiot, John Paul Marceaux and Jackson Mierl

Disney Divas 

LSU Graduates Selected for Internships
at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Chemistry graduates Heidi Olivier and Cody Leegwater are spending their spring semester at the "Happiest Place on Earth" as interns at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The duo will be working under the direction of  Kent Semmen in the Department of Water Science. Their training in instrumental analysis, a strength of LSU's undergraduate program in the Department of Chemistry, will serve them well as they collect samples from animal exhibits and then analyze and treat the water according to their findings. > More



Awesome Photo Opp! 
The LSU College of Science is grateful to the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation for its loyal support of our students by awarding scholarships to our students in chemistry and geology and geophysics as well as in the College of Engineering.

Pictured with Mrs. Phyllis Taylor (center) are the 2015-16 scholarship recipients.

Dean Cynthia Peterson and Dr. Shirley C. Tucker

Guess Who Stopped By
the Shirley C. Tucker Herbarium at LSU?
Well, Dr. Shirley C. Tucker, of course!

The College of Science was pleased to welcome Dr. Shirley C. Tucker, LSU Boyd Professor Emerita, back to LSU. She stopped by the Herbarium for a visit earlier this month where she spent almost a week studying specimens including some of the approximately 120,000 specimens of vascular plants and bryophytes  acquired during the acquisition of the Tulane Herbarium.

In 2015, the herbarium was renamed in honor of Dr. Tucker for her contributions to science and generous endowment that now supports the herbarium and the plant systematics research.
Support Research  
and Scholarship at LSU

Join the LSU College of Science 
Dean's Circle

The Dean's Circle (DC) is a loyal group of alumni and friends who share a passion for advancing research and scholarship at LSU. Our DC provides the working capital needed to fund pursuits of the college including scholarships for first-year students, student organizations and educational travel expenses, faculty recruitment and recognition activities, and development initiatives that build alumni and community relations.

Dean's Circle membership recognizes the generosity of alumni and friends who make annual gifts of $1,000 or more to the Science Development Fund. For a gift of $250, alumni who have graduated within the last ten years may also become members.
To join by mail, make your check payable to "LSU Foundation-Science Dean's Circle" and mail your check to:  LSU Foundation,  3838 West Lakeshore Drive,  Baton Rouge, LA  70808.

New Dean's Circle Members

The College of Science welcomes the newest members to the Dean's Circle, Thank you for your contribution to the teaching and research activities in the college:
  • Mrs. Beverly S. Schalon, January 2017
  • Dr. Gil and Mrs. Susan Rew, January 2017
  • Mr. Larry M. and Mrs. Michelle G. Heimendinger, February 2017
  • Ms. Chisa Fujita, March 2017
  • Mr. Jerrel G. Gibson, March 2017
  • Dr. Stewart T. and Mr. Clarice H. Gordon, March 2017