BATON ROUGE - Fifty-seven LSU student-athletes earned degrees in the spring commencement ceremonies held Friday on campus. Six student-athletes graduated with honors, led by track and field's Laura Carleton who earned her management degree in three years and is graduating as a University Medalist with summa cum laude honors.
On the track, Carleton has been a leader of the Lady Tigers in the middle distance events as she has scored six points this year at the SEC Championships with a sixth-place finish in the mile at the SEC Indoor meet and a sixth-place finish in the 1,500 meters at the SEC Outdoor meet. She is set to compete at the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career as she has qualified to run both the 1,500 meters (4:23.21) and 5,000 meters (16:41.09) at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds to be held in Bloomington, Ind., next weekend.
Carleton is joined by 14 other track and field graduates, including former NCAA 100-meter dash champion Kelly Ann Baptiste, who was the catalyst for LSU's outdoor national championship run during her senior season in 2008.
A third round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders in the recent NFL Draft, left tackle Joseph Barksdale was one of nine football players to participate in the commencement exercises. Josh Dworaczyk, a fifth-year senior offensive lineman for the 2011 season, received his diploma in general studies along with Barksdale. Punter Derek Helton, a two-year starter, graduated with a degree in sport administration.
One other notable football graduate was Justin Vincent, the MVP of the BCS National Championship Game during the 2003 season, who earned his degree in communication studies.
The swimming and diving team graduated 12 student-athletes, including 2010-11 co-captains Clint Hallum and Shanna Spears who earned degrees in Information Systems & Decision Sciences and Microbiology, respectively.
Women's basketball players Katherine Graham and Latear Eason as well as 2009-10 senior Andrea Kelly received their diplomas Friday. Named to the 2011 SEC All-Defensive Team, Graham graduated with a degree in sport administration, while Eason earned her degree in communication studies and Kelly took home her diploma in biological sciences.
Megan McChrystal, four-time All-SEC member and two-time All-America, is one of three women's golfers to graduate Friday, but she is unable to attend ceremonies because she is competing with the team at the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas.
Softball 2010 senior and NFCA First Team All-America Kirsten Shortridge earned her degree in elementary education, and current seniors Jessica Mouse and Tiffany Shaw both received diplomas in sport administration.
Andrew Loupe and John Peterson of the men's golf team both earned degrees in sport administration, and the two 2010 All-Americans are currently competing with the golf team at the NCAA Virginia Tech regional in Blacksburg, Va., trying to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships for the second straight season.
Volleyball senior Brittney Johnson, a candidate for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award, graduated with a degree in accounting. Johnson is a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.
A 2009 senior on the soccer team and three-time All-SEC recipient, Chelsea Potts graduated with a degree in finance, and 2010 senior gymnast and All-America Kayla Rogers graduated in biological sciences.
Also receiving degrees with honors were swimmer Laust Helmig (economics - summa cum laude), track and field's Ken Ehrhardt (biological sciences - summa cum laude), track and field's Lauren Saucier (kinesiology - magna cum laude), swimmer Brooke Barnett (kinesiology - cum laude) and track and field's Alan Sticker (kinesiology - cum laude).
Swimming and diving six-time All-American Julius Gloeckner headlined the list of Tigers who earned master's degrees, receiving his diploma in business administration. Six others earned advanced degrees from the Graduate School - former gymnast Jade Jenkins Bryan (human resource education), swimmer Vanessa Duenas (kinesiology), swimmer Connor Farber (business administration), volleyball's Rachel Pittman (human resource education), track and field's Jeffrey Wiggins (education) and track and field's Adam Wilcox (kinesiology).
Below is the complete list of graduates, their sport and their field of study:
Laura Carleton*, Track & Field, Management
Clint Hallum, Swimming & Diving, Information Systems & Decision Sciences
Laust Helmig**, Swimming & Diving, Economics
DJ Howard, Football, Management
Brittney Johnson, Volleyball, Accounting
Lindy LaBauve, Women's Golf, Economics
Megan McChrystal, Women's Golf, Management
Chelsea Potts, Soccer, Finance
David Roberts, Men's Tennis, Accounting
Brooke Barnett****, Swimming & Diving, Kinesiology
Amanda Carreno, Soccer, Kinesiology
R.J. Gillen, Football, Sport Administration
Katherine Graham, Women's Basketball, Sport Administration
Armanti Hayes, Track & Field, Sport Administration
Derek Helton, Football, Sport Administration
Liann Kellman, Track & Field, Sport Administration
Andrew Loupe, Men's Golf, Sport Administration
Jessica Mouse, Softball, Sport Administration
Jonathan Nixon, Football, Sport Administration
Abby Oberthier, Women's Golf, Sport Administration
John Peterson, Men's Golf, Sport Administration
Clayton Rotz, Men's Golf, Sport Administration
Lauren Saucier***, Track & Field, Kinesiology
Tiffany Shaw, Softball, Sport Administration
Kirsten Shortridge, Softball, Elementary Education
Alan Sticker****, Track & Field, Kinesiology
Lamar Weeks, Swimming & Diving, Sport Administration
Todd Burford, Swimming & Diving, Mechanical Engineering
Josh Cusimano, Track & Field, Mechanical Engineering
Michael Florek, Track & Field, Construction Management
Sean LeNeave, Swimming & Diving, Petroleum Engineering
Patrick Lipoma, Football, Biological Engineering
Eric Zeller, Swimming & Diving, Construction Management
Humanities and Social Sciences
Kelly Ann Baptiste, Track & Field, Psychology
Joseph Barksdale, Football, General Studies
Josh Dworaczyk, Football, General Studies
Latear Eason, Women's Basketball, Communication Studies
Clay Harris, Baseball, History
Nathan Schreiber, Swimming & Diving, Communication Studies
Jacob Simmons, Track & Field, General Studies
Samia Stokes, Track & Field, Psychology
Jonathan Thomas, Track & Field, Political Science
Justin Vincent, Football, Communication Studies
Lauren Ybarzabal, Track & Field, Sociology
College of Science
Kylie Adamek, Women's Tennis, Biological Sciences
Ken Ehrhardt **, Track & Field, Biological Sciences
Andrea Kelly, Women's Basketball, Biological Sciences
Jordan Newell, Football, Biological Sciences
Kayla Rogers, Gymnastics, Biological Sciences
Shanna Spears, Swimming & Diving, Microbiology
Graduate School (All Master's Degrees)
Jade Jenkins Bryan, Gymnastics, Human Resource Education
Vanessa Duenas, Swimming & Diving, Kinesiology
Connor Farber, Swimming & Diving, Business Administration
Julius Gloeckner, Swimming & Diving, Business Administration
Rachel Pittman, Volleyball, Human Resource Education
Jeffrey Wiggins, Track & Field, Education
Adam Wilcox, Track & Field, Kinesiology
*University Medalist & Summa Cum Laude
**Summa Cum Laude
***Magna Cum Laude