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Nicholls inducts 16 into Hall of Fame

THIBODAUX – Sixteen students were named to Nicholls State University’s Hall of Fame at the Nicholls Alumni Federation’s annual Awards for Excellence reception. This is the highest honor bestowed upon a student at Nicholls.

Pictured from left on the top row are Dr. Eugene Dial, vice president for student affairs and enrollment services; Ugochukwu Ezema; Ron Sapia; Alex Barnes; Caitlin Morris; Tessie Rachal; Brandon Gil; Johnathan Wise; and Christopher Monier. Pictured from left on the bottom row are Debbie Raziano, director of alumni affairs; Dr. Carroll Falcon, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Crystal Robichaux; Kristi Ledet; Michelle Becnel; Olinda Ricard; Erin Ballantyne; Janee Rogers; Sara Taylor; Amy Shows; and Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president.

Pictured from left on the top row are Dr. Eugene Dial, vice president for student affairs and enrollment services; Ugochukwu Ezema; Ron Sapia; Alex Barnes; Caitlin Morris; Tessie Rachal; Brandon Gil; Johnathan Wise; and Christopher Monier. Pictured from left on the bottom row are Debbie Raziano, director of alumni affairs; Dr. Carroll Falcon, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Crystal Robichaux; Kristi Ledet; Michelle Becnel; Olinda Ricard; Erin Ballantyne; Janee Rogers; Sara Taylor; Amy Shows; and Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president.

During the selection process, a committee reviews resumés illustrating the students’ scholarly and extracurricular performance. One-half of the basis for selection is academic achievement, and the other half is involvement with student activities. The committee recommends a list of finalists to the university president, who makes the final selection each year for the Nicholls Hall of Fame.

The 2009 honorees are Erin Ballantyne of Slidell; Alex Barnes of New Orleans; Michelle Becnel of Thibodaux; Ugochukwu Ezema of Kingston, Jamaica; Brandon Gil of Schriever; Kristi Ledet of Thibodaux; Christopher Monier of Thibodaux; Caitlin Morris of Raceland; Tessie Rachal of Amite; Olinda Ricard of Baton Rouge; Crystal Robichaux of Raceland; Janee Rogers of Cut Off; Ron Sapia of Raceland; Amy Shows of Thibodaux; Sara Taylor of Houma; and Johnathan Wise of Magnolia, Texas.

Ballantyne, a graduating communicative disorders senior, is president of the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association and former president and membership director of Phi Mu Fraternity. She also served on the Greek Advisor Selection Committee, Blue Ribbon Task Force Committee and Residence Hall Association.

Barnes, a graduating government and criminal justice senior, is president of the Student Government Association and campus student sergeant for University Police. A former chaplain for Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Barnes served as vice chair for the Council of Student Body Presidents and president of the Interfraternity Council. He is a former Mr. Nicholls as well as an active member of the University Scholarship Committee.

Becnel, a graduating biology senior, won second place at the Louisiana Academy of Science Convention and has earned a place on the President’s List several times. She is former vice president of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and former secretary and treasurer of the Geomatics Society.

Ezema, a graduating biology senior, is vice president of the Nicholls International Community and a Student Government Association senator. A former ambassador for the NAACP, disk jockey for KNSU and homecoming king, Ezema was also a member of Young Democrats and the Pre-Professional Medical Association.

Gil, a graduating biology senior, is president of the Honors Student Council. The recipient of several scholarships – including the Louisiana State Board of Supervisors Academic Scholarship and Allen and Helena Dusenbury Scholarship – Gil is also a member of the Biology Society and the Pre-Professional Medical Association.

Ledet, a Summer 2008 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, was homecoming queen in Fall 2006 and worked several semesters as a student employee in the Office of Purchasing. She was assistant publicity director for the Student Programming Association as well as honor council chair and spirit chair for Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority. Ledet also served on the Panhellenic Council and Nicholls Association of Student Nurses.

Monier, a graduating English senior, has earned a place on the President’s List several times. He is vice president of Students of Language; French tutor for the Tutorial and Academic Enhancement Center; writing consultant for Writing Across the Curriculum; and Editor of Honors Poetry Journal. Monier is also a member of the English Society and winner of the George C. Morris Book Award.

Morris, a graduating biology senior, was public relations officer and Louisiana state vice president for the Honors Program as well as student vice president of the Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council. She was also a microbiology lab research assistant and a supreme court justice for the Student Government Association.

Rachal, a graduating biology senior, has earned a place on the President’s List several times and is currently vice president of the Honors Program Council. A microbiology lab research assistant and former immunology lab research assistant, she was active in the Biology Society and “I Am Worth It” program.

Ricard, a Fall 2008 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, is former president of the Student Government Association, student board member of the University of Louisiana System Student Advisory Council and executive board member of the Council of Student Body Presidents. A former Ms. Nicholls, Ricard also served as coordinator for Diversity Week.

Robichaux, a graduating mass communication senior, has earned a place on the President’s List several times. She is former editor of The Nicholls Worth, financial secretary for Catholic Daughters and courtesy chair for Delta Zeta Sorority. Her numerous scholarships include the Doucet Reporting Award Scholarship and the Bonnie Toups Wells Feature Writing Award Scholarship.

Rogers, a graduating communicative disorders senior, is Songfest chair and former secretary for Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority as well as treasurer and former historian for the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association. She was president and recruitment counselor of the Panhellenic Council, a homecoming court nominee and entertainment committee member of the Student Programming Association.

Sapia, a graduating government and legal assistant studies senior, is president of the Lafourche Parish Youth Council, senator-at-large for the Student Government Association and chair of the SGA Judiciary Committee. Vice chair and former chair of the Parking Policy Subcommittee for Special Events Parking, Sapia is also a member of the Athletics Council the Instructional Technology Support Committee.

Shows, a graduating business administration senior, is advertising manager for The Nicholls Worth, former president of Delta Zeta Sorority and former senator for the Student Government Association. A member of the GREEN Club, Shows also served as a voting delegate at the Delta Zeta national convention, social chair for Catholic Daughters and student representative on the Official Ring Committee.

Taylor, a graduating management senior, has earned a place on the President’s List several times. She is former president of the Society of Human Resource Management, former assistant director of Free Enterprise Week and former secretary of Delta Zeta Sorority. Taylor was also a member of the Order of Omega and the homecoming court.

Wise, a graduating biology senior, is vice president and grand master of ceremonies of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. A former treasurer and senator for the Student Government Association, he is also a phlebotomist at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center and a member of the Pre-Professional Medical Association.

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