Eight students will be honored during Spring 2014 Commencement ceremonies as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association’s Outstanding Graduates.
Every spring and fall semester, deans from eight academic colleges each nominate a student as an Outstanding Graduate, based on leadership, scholarship and service. A selection committee of the Alumni Association interviews the candidates and selects one to receive the overall award. The overall Outstanding Graduate will be announced during the Spring Commencement General Assembly on Saturday, May 17, at the Cajundome.
Here’s a look at this semester’s Outstanding Graduates.
Jacob Broussard is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of the Arts. He is a visual arts major with a concentration in painting. Broussard has a 3.89 GPA, has been on the Dean’s List, and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He received the Spark Student Scholarship, the Marvin and Anne Dubose/Lafayette Art Association Endowed Scholarship, TOPS Performance Scholarship, the Distinguished Freshman Scholarship, and the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts Scholarship. His work has been displayed at numerous art shows and exhibitions, including the University of Louisiana System’s “Academic Summit Invitational Student Exhibition,” “The Big Easel Preview Show,” and “Under 30: Louisiana’s Fresh Crop of Talent.” He’s a member of the Lafayette Art Association. In Summer 2013, Broussard participated in the Study Abroad Program at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy. He has donated some of his artwork to help raise awareness and funds for the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana; the American Cancer Society; and Eve Ensler’s V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women. He has volunteered with drama development camps for children, and served as a director and drawing instructor at the Toasted Canvas summer art youth camp. An assistant speech and debate coach for Teurlings Catholic High School, Broussard has chaperoned and judged local and national tournaments. His future plans include attending graduate school. Broussard is the son of Todd and Sondra Broussard of Carencro, La.
Peyton Hargrave is the Outstanding Graduate for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.
She is an accounting major with a 3.90 GPA, and has been on the President’s and Dean’s lists. Hargrave is a member of the Beta Alpha Psi Honor Society. At regional meetings for Beta Alpha Psi, Hargrave placed first in the strategic planning competition and second in the inspiration competition. She was nominated as Outstanding Sophomore and Outstanding Junior for the honor society. Hargrave was awarded the TOPS Performance Scholarship, Zigler Foundation Scholarship, MCOBA Scholarship, Department of Accounting Scholarship, Jay Gremillion Memorial Endowed Scholarship, Regions Bank Scholarship, and Bank One Scholarship. She has been a member of the Student Government Association; Sigma, Sigma, Sigma sorority; and UL Lafayette Accounting Society. She was also a SOUL Camp student mentor. Her community service includes working with the United Way of Acadiana’s “The Big Event;” the American Cancer Society; Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Project Homeless Connect in Baltimore, Md.; and TOPSoccer, a program for young athletes with disabilities. Hargrave participated in the UL Lafayette Study Abroad Program in San Jose, Costa Rica, in the summer of 2013, and Florence, Italy, in the summer of 2012. She plans to work as an auditor with a CPA firm. Hargrave is the daughter of Vicki Ryder of Lake Arthur, La.
Kacie Breaux is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Education.
An elementary education major with a 4.0 GPA, she has been on the President’s List and recognized at Honors Convocation. Breaux has been a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi honor societies. Her scholarships include the Valedictorian Scholarship, the Jesse and Irma Jewel Endowed Scholarship, and the Hoag Scholarship. In 2012, Breaux was awarded the College of Education’s Outstanding Sophomore Award and, in 2013, was nominated for the college’s Outstanding Junior Award. As a member of the Teacher Prep K-12 Student Support Services, she was recognized as a Student of the Year for 2013. Breaux was nominated for Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and participated in the Louisiana Education Research Association conference. Breaux has performed community service for the Autism Society of Acadiana, Acadiana Heart Association and March of Dimes. She taught catechism, and was a counselor at Summer Bible Camp for St. James Chapel, where she has been a lector. She has helped organize toy drives, and served as a tutor in the University’s Teacher Prep lab. She would like to teach third grade, and also wants to pursue a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at UL Lafayette. Breaux is the daughter of Mary and Bryant Breaux of Abbeville, La.
Matthew Hartley is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Engineering.
An electrical engineering major with a 4.0 GPA, he has been on the President’s List. He has been a member of the Eta Kappa Nu, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, and Blue Key honor societies. Hartley was awarded a Student Government Association Scholarship, UL Lafayette Alumni Association Scholarship, Hiram Russell Mason Memorial Scholarship, and Mac Hays/Teche Electric Supply Endowed Scholarship. He has served as president and vice president of the student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was president of Eta Kappa Nu, a senator for the Student Government Association, and vice president of the Louisiana Engineering Society. Hartley was a member of the Electrical Engineering Student Advisory Board and Phi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. As a member of the UL Lafayette Robotics team, he helped design and program an autonomous robot for competition in the 2014 regional IEEE tournament. Hartley has volunteered for Festival International de Louisiane. He has worked on community service projects for Habitat for Humanity, Taylor Trudeau Cycle for Life, Rebuilding Together Acadiana, St. Joseph Diner, and Faith House of Acadiana. In 2013, he was selected for a summer research internship with the Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He also completed an internship with Raven Research and Development in Lafayette, La. Hartley has been accepted into graduate programs at the University of Michigan, Stanford, Cornell, and the University of Washington. He is the son of Sonia and Steve Hartley of Lafayette, La.
Kristen Armstrong is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of General Studies.
She is a general studies major with a concentration in applied sciences. Armstrong has a 3.89 GPA, and has been on the President’s and Dean’s lists. She was named one of the University’s Student-Athletes of the Year for 2012-13. Armstrong represented the volleyball team as the 2013 Ragin’ Cajun of the Year. She was also a member of the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s All-Academic List. Student-athletes must attain a 3.5 or better GPA to be eligible for the conference academic honor. Armstrong participated in a literacy tour of local elementary schools, where she read from the book “Born to be a Ragin’ Cajun.” The community service project is designed to help young students cultivate an interest in reading, leadership and athletics. Students are encouraged to develop a balanced lifestyle, with equal emphasis on academics and physical activity. Armstrong also served as a coach for local youth volleyball players. She will attend veterinary school at Louisiana State University in the fall. Armstrong is the daughter of Judy and Tim Armstrong of Prairieville, La.
Maria Rachal is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts.
She is French and history major with a minor in business. Rachal has a 4.0 GPA, and has been on the President’s List. Rachal is a member of the UL Lafayette Honors Program and the Blue Key Honor Society. She received a Student Government Association Scholarship; Baton Rouge Area Foundation Scholarship; Alida Poret Memorial Endowment Scholarship; Perrin, Landry, deLaunay, Dartez and Ouellet French Immersion Scholarship; and Ella Mae B. Perrin Memorial Endowed French Immersion Scholarship. Rachal was a member of Ragin’ Cajun Catholics and Ragin’ Ambassadors. Her community service includes working with the United Way of Acadiana’s “The Big Event,” the National Down Syndrome Society, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, Ragin’ Cajun Catholics, the Dreams Foundation of Acadiana, and the Association Louisianaise des Clubs Francais des Ecoles Secondaires, or the Louisiana Association of High School French Clubs. Rachal attended a summer immersion program at Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia. She also volunteered for the Catholic Urban Project, spending six weeks in Detroit and two weeks in Rio de Janeiro assisting the poor. She also works with student-athletes as an academic coach. After graduation, Rachal will begin a temporary summer job as a campground manager at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. She hopes to then participate in the Teaching Assistant Program In France for a year. She is the daughter of Paul and Catherine Rachal of New Roads, La.
Meredith Boustany is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.
A dietetics major with a 3.70 GPA, she has been on the President’s and Dean’s lists, and was nominated for Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She has been a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Boustany was a recipient of a TOPS Performance Scholarship and Transfer Student Scholarship. She is a member of the Pre-Professional Society, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Louisiana Dietetic Association. She served as president and treasurer of the UL Lafayette Student Dietetics Association. In 2012, the organization sponsored her trip to the National Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Philadelphia. Boustany was lead peer mentor for the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences. She is working with Dr. Juan Fukuda, researching influenza vaccinations for pediatric patients. Boustany has been active in community service, working with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the ALS Association, Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired, St. Joseph Diner, Faith House, and Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. In 2012, she traveled to the Dominic Republic on a medical mission. She has been accepted into the physician assistant program at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. Boustany is the daughter of Alfred and Patricia Boustany of Lafayette, La.
Kristy Langlinais is the Outstanding Graduate for the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
A biology major with a 4.0 GPA, she has been on the President’s List and is a member of the University Honors Program and the Blue Key Honor Society. Langlinais received the TOPS Performance Scholarship, UL Lafayette Centennial Scholarship, UL Lafayette High School Valedictorian Scholarship, Dr. Bernard and Marie Lahasky Scholarship, and Student Government Association Scholarship. She has been a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, the Pre-Professional Society and a Ragin’ Cajun Catholics’ Focus Missionary. In 2011, Langlinais was an ambassador for the Student Alumni Association. In 2010, she served as public relations chairperson for the Junior National PanHellenic Council. Langlinais has performed community service work with Girl Scouts of America, Habitat for Humanity, Prevent Child Abuse America, St. Pierre’s Center for the Arts, Family Christian Center, Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has volunteered at Iberia Medical Center, Iberia Rehabilitation Hospital and the Pediatric Therapy and Learning Center. She is active in her church as a music minister and retreat team member. Langlinais plans to enroll in the occupational therapy program at the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. She would like to return to the Lafayette area for a career as an occupational therapist. She is the daughter of Justin and Monica Langlinais of Erath, La.