University of Holy Cross graduation, UNO student wins Fulbright award, and other metro college news | Crescent City community news


UNIVERSITY OF HOLY CROSS: During its commencement ceremony May 15, the University of Holy Cross awarded 18 doctorates, 56 master’s degrees, 99 bachelor’s degrees and two associate degrees. Award winners were Lam Luu and Toi Monroe, the Father Basil Moreau University Service Award; and Ronicka Harrison Briscoe, the Ramesh Parikh Community Service Award

UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS: Wallace “Scout” Serpas, a student in the master’s program in Romance languages at the University of New Orleans, has received a 2022 Fulbright U.S. Student Program award from the State Department and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Serpas, who teaches Spanish at Jesuit High School, will be an English teaching assistant in Colombia for the 2022-23 academic year.

LEADERSHIP LSU: Among the 24 students in the spring cohort class for Leadership LSU, an annual program coordinated by LSU Campus Life, are: 

  • Harvey native Angelica Nguyen, a senior majoring in biological engineering
  • New Orleans natives Parys Labeaud, a senior majoring in marketing, and Natalie Richard, a senior majoring in kinesiology
  • Slidell natives C.J. Harrison, a senior majoring in journalism, and Kayli Smith, a junior majoring in public relations.

The curriculum of Leadership LSU is based in adaptive leadership through group discussion and extracurricular lectures with LSU and community leaders. 

UNO COMPUTER SCIENCE: James Wagner, a professor of computer science at the University of New Orleans, has been awarded a three-year, $158,000 Louisiana Board of Regents research grant to help detect internal threats on secure database systems. Wagner will set up a process for using digital forensics to detect malicious activities.

XAVIER UNIVERSITY: Xavier University of Louisiana is one of six historically black colleges and universities working with IBM to establish centers to prepare students for cybersecurity careers. The others are the Southern University System, North Carolina A&T State University, Clark Atlanta University, Morgan State University, South Carolina State University. Participants will have an immersive learning experience to expand HBCUs’ capacity to develop top talent in the cybersecurity sector. 

XAVIER UNIVERSITY: Transdev, one of the world’s largest public transportation contractors, has partnered with Xavier University of Louisiana to provide Xavier students with access to a summer internship program, a speaker series on career success, and career counseling. Transdev Regional Vice President Justin Augustine, a Xavier graduate, is chair of Xavier’s board of trustees.

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LSU COMMUNICATION: Distinguished Communicator medals have been awarded to 70 spring LSU graduates across eight colleges who are outstanding writers and speakers, with a strong command of visual literacy and technological communication. The awards are sponsored by LSU Communication across the Curriculum.

Among this spring’s 70 recipients are: 

  • Belle Chasse: Emily Kleefisch, early childhood education; and Alexia LaGrone, natural resource ecology and management 
  • Covington: Olivia Armond, construction management
  • Harvey: Grayce Mores, microbiology; Angelica Nguyen, biological engineering; and Calli Nguyen, biological sciences and interdisciplinary studies 
  • Lacombe: Bryce Humbrecht, architecture
  • Madisonville: Chad Wilkins, landscape architecture
  • Mandeville: Hayden Lake, architecture; Elizabeth “Grace” Stewart, finance; George Stokes, marketing; and Camille Wetekamm, mechanical engineering 
  • Metairie: Samantha Siliezar, architecture; and Kathryn “KK” Welty, child and family studies
  • New Orleans: Joseph Aguda III, biological sciences; Megan Marsalone, mechanical engineering; Natalie Morvant, industrial engineering; and Natalie Richard, kinesiology
  • Slidell: Alejandra Ham, biological engineering. 

LSU CIVICS: Angelica Nguyen, of Harvey, is one of 11 LSU seniors to graduate with Engaged Citizen Distinction, awarded by the university’s Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership. Collectively, the honorees have earned 138 service-learning credit hours and volunteered about 1,000 hours across their local communities during their academic tenure at LSU.

NUNEZ COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Nunez Community College in Chalmette is offering $500 scholarships to incoming freshmen to the fall 2022 semester. The “Take Flight” scholarships are available to any 2022 high school graduate living in Louisiana; to apply, visit The “We Give A Hoot About You” scholarships are available to 2022 graduates of Chalmette High School; to apply, visit Enrollment is open until classes begin Aug. 15. For assistance, call (504) 278-6467 or email

UNIVERSITY OF HOLY CROSS: National accreditation has been awarded to two academic programs at the University of Holy Cross: the bachelor’s nursing program and the radiologic technology program. 

NUNEZ COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Registration is open for the summer and fall semesters at Nunez Community College, 3710 Paris Road, Chalmette, and applications for institutional scholarships are being accepted through July 15. Summer classes begin June 1, and fall classes begin Aug. 15. Both terms will also offer two abbreviated mini sessions, which offer full credit in half the normal time. For course details, visit

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