McNeese Names Spring 2024 Outstanding Graduates

McNeese State University students Sam Gil, of Ville Platte, and Chrisnina Sutopo-Putri, of Lake Charles, were named the Outstanding Graduates for spring of 2024.  

The McNeese Student Government Association (SGA) and the McNeese Alumni Association worked together to create the Outstanding Graduate Awards. Students are nominated on the basis of scholarship, leadership, service and excellence with a personal touch and the nominee’s impact on the college or on campus.  

Each of the six colleges at McNeese may nominate an undergraduate and a graduate student in their final semester. A committee from the McNeese Alumni Association then selected one undergraduate and one graduate student for the award.  

Gil, an undergraduate nominated by the College of Liberal Arts, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with a concentration in public relations. Gil is a member of the McNeese Honors College, president of the Student Government Association and a student board member of the Louisiana Board of Regents. He was a governor’s fellow at the office of Gov. John Bel Edwards and a Rhodes Scholar finalist. 

Sutopo-Putri, a graduate student nominated by the College of Business, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and will earn a master’s degree in business administration. Sutopo-Putri has a recent solo paper, “Validity of Okun’s Law: Evidence from Indonesia” under review of the International Review of Business Economics. She plans to continue to be a CPA and pursue a doctorate degree in accounting. 

The College of Agriculture nominated Jude Braquet and Cutter Tonn.  

Braquet, an undergraduate student from Carencro, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture sciences with a concentration in animal science. Braquet competed nationally as a member of McNeese FFA and the American Meats Science Association. 

Tonn, a graduate student from Lacassine, will earn a Master of Science degree in environmental and chemical sciences with a concentration on environmental sciences. Tonn presented his thesis research, “Turtle Species Richness and Abundances with Crawfish/Rice Ponds in Southwestern Louisiana,” at the Louisiana Association of Professional Biologist Fall Conference. 

The Burton College of Education nominated Kennedy Mallett and Ciara Gilroy. 

Mallett, an undergraduate from Welsh, will graduate with two bachelor’s degrees, one in sports medicine and another in chemistry. Mallett is a member of the McNeese Honors College, Pre-Med Society, American Chemical Society and the Physical Medicine Society. 

Gilroy, a graduate student from Lake Charles, has maintained a 4.0 grade point average while earning her master’s degree in exercise science. She is a McNeese Cross Country athlete and has been listed on numerous academic honor rolls. Gilroy is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and received the Women’s Community Impact Student Athlete of the Year. 

Undergraduate Adepoju “PJ” Adetunji, of Nigeria, was nominated by the College of Business. He will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He is a member of the McNeese Black Male Initiative, Honors College and NAACP. He will work full-time as an analyst in the Global Banking and Markets division at Goldman Sachs. 

The College Nursing and Health Professions nominated Bailey Bujard and Henrietta Chambers. 

Bujard, an undergraduate student from Vinton, will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. She is a member of the McNeese Student Nurses Association and is a frequent volunteer for the organization and for events in her hometown. Bujard will start her career at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. 

Chambers, a graduate student from Jeanerette, is the nominee from the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Chambers will earn a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate. She is a nurse practitioner and wanted to provide mental healthcare to patients, in addition to primary care. 

The College of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics nominated Darcy Lavergne and Kailee Johnston.  

Lavergne, an undergraduate from Roanoke, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Lavergne is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, where she competed in Chem-E-Car international competition, is the president of the chapter and was the chair for the 2024 Southwest Regional Conference held at McNeese. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers. 

Kailee Johnston, of Sulphur, is the Outstanding Graduate nominee from the College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics at the graduate level. Johnston will earn a master’s degree in biology. She will present her thesis findings, two new tardigrade species and an update to the description of another at the Louisiana Academy of Sciences meeting. She plans to work in a clinical laboratory and eventually pursue a doctorate degree in molecular or cell biology. 

The Outstanding Graduate Award winners will be honored at commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 10. 

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