LNLFSR Scholarship Winners – 2020

Congratulations to these students, and we expect to see these scholarships help them with their
education and leadership development that will eventually lead them down a career path that
will benefit the Green Industry. Thank you!

Michael Taylor Bryant – Foret/Meadows/Owings Scholarship
Taylor grew up in a small town called Elgin about an hour outside of Austin, Texas in the
beautiful, dry climate that the area is famous for. After graduating high school in 2012, he went
to Texas A&M to study electrical engineering. After learning the error of his ways, he followed
his passion to the department of horticulture at A&M, which he graduated from in 2017 with a
BS in Horticultural Sciences. He immediately entered into the landscaping industry with SSC, a
service contractor for Texas A&M. He worked there for two years as the supervisor over the
grounds around the George Bush Library and Museum on A&M’s main campus before deciding
to continue his education. He is currently working on his Master’s degree in Landscape
Horticulture at LSU, where he is researching soil remediation of lead.

Kelsey Shoemaker - Ira Nelson Scholarship
Kelsey is a native of Alexandria, LA. She graduated from Lakeview High School in Campti, LA in
2017, and is currently a junior majoring in Agricultural Business with a concentration in Plant
Science at Louisiana Tech University. Kelsey was introduced to agriculture during her FFA career
and found her love of plants through working on a Nursery/Landscape team that won the
Louisiana FFA state competition and 7 th place at the national competition. At Louisiana Tech,
beyond a perfect GPA, Kelsey relates plant science theories to practical applications and has
participated in landscape designs and maintenance projects, including working as the student
groundkeeper at the university President’s home. Through taking on tough challenges, Kelsey
has gained hands-on experience in landscaping, teamwork, and demonstrated leadership.
Kelsey will continue her journey in the field of plant science and with the nursery and landscape
industry, and she is the recipient of this year’s Ira Nelson Scholarship.  

Cheston T. Schayot – LNLFSR Scholarship
Cheston is a native of Slidell, LA and graduated as salutatorian from the First Baptist Christian
High school in 2013. He has previously attended Southeastern Louisiana University and LSU for
his undergraduate studies, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in LSU’s Horticulture
program. Cheston has extensive experience in landscaping and tree care from a business he had
before coming to the graduate program. He has carried his talent, skills, and professional work
ethic to schoolwork and his research. Maintaining a GPA at 4.0, he is also learning synthesis and
extraction techniques for his lab work, gained experience in greenhouses, and has worked as a
teaching assistant for the ‘Survey of Arboriculture’ course.

Eman Eldakkak - LNLFSR Scholarship
Eman is an international student at Southern University pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the Urban
Forestry Program. She is originally from Misrata, Lybia. Before coming to the US, Eman worked
as a teaching assistant at Tanta University in Egypt while working on her Master’s degree. At
Southern University, Eman is conducting research on live oak tree canopy UVA/UVB transfer in
urban environment, which will foster a better understanding of the benefit of tree canopy in UV
protection, as well as assist in tree planting, management, and tree health evaluation. Besides
fulfilling her research goals with a commitment to urban forestry profession in the future, Eman
also enjoys family time with her husband and their lovely kids.

Daniel T. Cooke - LNLFSR Scholarship
Dan is a native of Shreveport LA and graduated from the Caddo Magnet High School in 2000.
Dan has an undergraduate degree in botany, and is currently a graduate student at the LSU
Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, as well as a graduate assistant at the Hilltop
Arboretum. Before coming to LSU, Dan worked in the film industry in Hollywood and elsewhere
procuring plants, designing and installing sets for atmospheric effects in the films. He has
brought extensive experiences and knowledge on plant materials to this current program at
LSU. On top of course work and designing projects, Dan has maintained a 3-acre Cajun Prairie
inspired meadow at the arboretum, and was instrumental in founding Meadow Keepers, an
organization to establish and develop meadow with student volunteers.

Kacie Martin - LNLFSR Scholarship
Kacie graduated from Franklinton High School in 2017 and is currently a junior studying
Horticulture Science at LSU. Kacie is passionate about horticulture, the industry, and servicing
the ever changing consumer demands. She has enjoyed learning as well as applying what she
learned into her work, either as an intern at the Hammond Research Station or a student
worker for faculty research projects. With her leadership skills, Kacie has served as an officer for
the Horticulture Club on campus, as Social Chair to run the social media for the organization,
and assist the Baptist Collegiate Ministry maintain and improve their international student
ministry. She also has served as a student ambassador for the College of Agriculture, and more
recently, as a Les Voyager for the college. Kacie hopes to continue her learning in Horticulture
Science, and plan to intern at a major nursery this year.