The LSU Women's Center has named its 2020 Esprit de Femme Award recipients: Kia Bickham, Morgan Lamandre, Michelle A. Massé, Karen Stagg, Alma C. Stewart, Beverly Brooks Thompson, Iam Christian Tucker and Erin Monroe Wesley. The 2020 Men Who Champion Women honoree is Roderic F. Teamer Sr. Students Tyler Hunt and Revathi Menon will receive the Esprit de Femme Student Leadership Award.

The award presentation, delayed because of the pandemic, will be held on Thursday, April 22, as a hybrid event on LSU’s campus. 

Bickham is a strategic community engagement specialist. She served as political director for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ reelection campaign and was the political director for the Mike Bloomberg presidential campaign in Louisiana.

Lamandre is the legal director of Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response, a local nonprofit sexual assault center. She has served on task forces to address sexual assault in Louisiana and has drafted and testified in support of several bills that address sexual violence before the Louisiana Legislature.

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Massé is the founding director of Women’s and Gender Studies at LSU, president of the Women’s Caucus for the Modern Languages, and represents higher education on the Governor’s Commission on Women's Policy and Research Commission. Her scholarship focuses on intersections among gender, psychoanalysis and fiction, and she has received many grants for furthering research in these areas.

Stagg has served as executive director of Connections For Life for 13 years. Connections is a nonprofit reentry program for formerly incarcerated women. Stagg is an LSU graduate and has also worked as a healthcare operation executive. She serves on several boards supporting reentry for women.

Stewart is the founder and president of the Louisiana Center for Health Equity, a nonprofit organization she established in 2010 to address disparities in health and health care, with a focus on wellness and community health. She is a registered nurse, former career state civil servant, an entrepreneur and avid advocate.

Thompson is the managing director for Carter Global, an international fundraising advising and philanthropic management consulting firm. She is a published academic and practitioner in the field of philanthropic leadership. She was the director for Forever LSU: The Campaign for Louisiana State University, raising more than $798 million.

Tucker is president of ILSI Engineering, a female, minority owned civil engineering firm. She is a member of the nonpartisan advocacy group African American Women of Purpose and Power.

Wesley is the southeast vice president of government and public affairs at Cox Communications, overseeing governmental and public affairs efforts in Louisiana, Florida and Georgia. Prior to joining Cox, she served as special counsel for Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Teamer is director of diversity programs and business development at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana. He is also a member of LSU’s National Diversity Advisory Board. He is active in supporting civic and community organizations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The student leadership award to Hunt and Menon honors LSU students who exemplify the ideals and principles of the Esprit de Femme Award.

Friendship Force visits Hemingbough

Pamela Ravare-Jones, head of the International Relations Commission for Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, spoke to the Friendship Force of Baton Rouge on March 19 at Hemingbough gardens south of St. Francisville.

Jones, who also serves as assistant chief administrative officer for the Division of Human Development and Services, explained some of the activities the mayor's office handles in regard to international relations. The mayor regularly welcomes groups visiting Friendship Force from other countries.

The group of 24 toured Hemingbough's gardens and amphitheater, followed by a meal at The Francis Restaurant in St. Francisville. To learn more about the group, visit

'Irish in Hollywood' topic for Lagniappe Club

Liz Caputo spoke about "The Irish in Hollywood" to the GFWC Lagniappe Woman's Club on March 15 at Broadmoor United Methodist Church.

Members were reminded it's Woman's History Month. Pat Quartararo announced applications would soon be available for the club's annual scholarships. The club continues to support Metanoia, a home for young women rescued from sex trafficking. Gynne Klimavicz asked that the club collect books, coloring books and crayons for young girls living there.

Upcoming conventions were discussed, including that the state convention will be a one-day meeting on April 10 in Melville. The national convention, originally scheduled for Toronto, has been moved to Atlanta in late August. Louisiana will host the regional meeting in mid-October. GFWC will celebrate its birthday in April, which is National Federation Month.


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