Nicholls Recognizes Hall of Famers & Outstanding Graduate Students at Awards for Excellence Program

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls State University Alumni Federation inducted 16 graduates to its Hall of Fame at the Awards for Excellence ceremony on March 22, 2023. 

Alumni or students who faculty and staff feel have distinguished themselves and the University through academic and extra-curricular achievements are nominated for the Hall of Fame honor. Only students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who graduated in the summer or fall commencements of 2022 and those who will graduate in spring 2023 were eligible for consideration. This award represents not only scholastic achievement but also service-oriented excellence. 

The 2023 Hall of Fame Recipients were: 

Matthew Badeaux, Houma,
Biology, Pre-Med/Pre-Dentistry
Annelise Henry, Houma, 


Meghan Belanger, Houma,
Mark Hue, Thibodaux, 


Victoria Bourgeois, Thibodaux,
Chemistry, Pre-Med
William Lanier, Thibodaux, 

Biology, Pre-Med/Pre-Dentistry

Megan Chaisson, Cut Off,
Business Administration, Pre-Law
Renee Rasid, Larose, 

Allied Health Sciences

Taylen Daigle, Rayne,
Taylor Roussel, Houma, 


Caroline Delaune, Vacherie,
Management, Human Resources
Trevor Tabor, Gray, 

Mass Communication

Courteney Dufrene, Raceland,
Abby Talbot, Prairieville,
Political Science
Sara Guillot, Pierre Part,
English, Children’s & Young Adult Literature
Bryce Whittington, Raceland,
Mass Communication

The 2022-2023 Outstanding Graduate Students were selected by graduate faculty, department heads and deans from their respective departments or colleges and represent the very best in their programs. The Nicholls Alumni Federation Awards and Scholarship Committee then selected the overall recipient for the Outstanding Graduate Student Award based on the student’s academic and service record during their time in graduate school. Only students who graduated in the summer or fall commencements of 2022 and those who will graduate in spring 2023 were eligible for consideration. 

Shasta Kamara, a Master of Science in Marine & Environmental Biology candidate from Logan, Ohio, is the recipient of the 2022-2023 Nicholls State University Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

“Shasta is an inspiring student that is committed to lifelong learning. She has done the equivalent work of three thesis research projects, volunteered as a teaching assistant, provided her time helping other graduate students and volunteered her time for community events,” said Professor and Department Head for Biological Sciences Dr. Quenton Fontenot. “Shasta has excelled in the classroom and seeks to gain knowledge, not a grade. Her work ethic and ability to take initiative has led to her success and she will continue to excel along her career path.” 

After obtaining her master’s degree at Nicholls, she plans to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and pursue her doctoral degree. She has been accepted to the university and was awarded a fellowship. Shasta hopes to help early career scientists to develop their skills and knowledge in biology and ecology by going into academia, teaching and leading a lab of her own as the principal investigator.

The 2022-2023 Outstanding Graduate Students were: 

Trevor Adams, Houma College of Business Administration
Renee’ Kincy, Thibodaux College of Nursing
Shasta Kamara, Logan, OH Department of Biological Sciences
Claire Justus, West Monroe Department of Mathematics
Stephen Billiot, Dulac Department of Psychology, Counseling, & Family Studies
Katie Lasserre, Thibodaux Department of Teacher Education

The Nicholls State University Alumni Federation seeks to foster, protect and promote the University’s welfare and to strengthen ties with its alumni. To learn more, visit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 27, 2023

MEDIA CONTACT: Jerad David, Director of Communications, 

985.448.4303 or

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