Two LSU juniors are among the handful of students from across the country selected for one of the nation’s most prestigious scholarships this year.
Michael Beyer, of New Orleans, has been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman scholar, and Lafayette native Mollie Smoak has been named a Barry M. Goldwater scholar, the university announced this week.
Both are enrolled in the LSU Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College.
The Goldwater scholarship promotes students who want to be scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
Katie Hogan, a junior from Choudrant, received an honorable mention in the Goldwater competition.
Smoak is a biological engineering major and minors in chemistry and biological sciences. She has led multiple projects investigating bone-engineering techniques and participated in a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic last summer, researching the cellular mechanisms that contribute to cardiac dysfunction.
Her goal is to develop low-cost medical devices and procedures to repair limbs and limb function after injury.
“This recognition is a testament to the talent of our undergraduates and the quality of our biological engineering program,” Rick Koubek, dean of the LSU College of Engineering, said in a news release.
Beyer, a political science major, is an equal rights advocate who works with Equality Louisiana and Louisiana Progress. The Truman scholars program promotes public service.
Beyer said his goal is to eventually work to address health disparities in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Through the Truman scholars program, he will spend this summer working on federal health politics in the LGBT outreach arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“I think Michael Beyer is exactly who the Truman Foundation had in mind when they established this prestigious scholarship,” Ogden Honors College Dean Jonathan Earle said in a news release. “His impressive work at LSU seamlessly combines research, academics and activism. I have no doubt that Michael will change the world for the better.”
Beyer is LSU’s 10th Truman scholar since 2003. Only 58 students were named Truman scholars this year.