LNLFSR Scholarship Winners – 2023

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!

Margie Jenkins Scholarship - Dan Metzger
Dan is a native of Slidell, LA and is in his 4 th year of study for his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree at LSU. Working with real clients at the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architect, he contributed significantly to several local projects that improves the life and the environment of the local communities. He was selected as the 3 rd -Year Leadership Award for his school and also led his team to win a First Place Award in his School’s design charrette competition. He is currently working for a company in Austin TX for his spring/summer internship.
Ira Nelson Scholarship - Hamilton Trey Crockett
Hamilton was from Louisville, KY. She completed her B.S. degree from Virginia Tech in 2020 before coming to LSU to purse her M.S. degree. She is working with Dr. Raj Singh on early and accurate diagnosis and identification of plant diseases caused by Phytophthora through investigating a collection of over 500 isolates at the LSU AgCenter Plant Diagnostic Center.  Information she generated from this research will play a vital role in mitigating Phytophthora diseases challenges faced by LA nursery industry. Besides research, she served as the chair for the Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association Social Committee and held several events for the department.
Foret/Meadows/Owings Scholarship - Connor Luke Cavalier
Connor is a Baton Rouge native. He graduated from St. Michael The Archangel High School in 2018, and studied at University of Louisiana Lafayette before coming to LSU to pursue his B.S. degree in Plant and Soil Systems (Landscape Management). Connor has worked for Louisiana Nursery and currently works at the Burden Botanical Gardens assisting with the planting and maintenance of the Jackson and Perkins proprietary rose collection and the development of best practices for their propagation.
Sam Perino Memorial Scholarship - Baileigh Snow
Baileigh is from TN and is currently a Junior majoring in Agricultural Business with a concentration in Plant Science at Louisiana Tech University. In addition to performing at a high level in classes, Baileigh is a member of the LaTech Woman’s Bowling Team, has served as the president for Greenscape Club and as a member of the Block and Bridle Club, and has completed an internship at the Hammond Research Station in summer 2022.
LNLFSR Scholarship - Eric Vanbergen
Eric was born in Birmingham, AL but lived in Lafayette LA. He is passionate about native plants and led the establishment of a 3-acre Louisiana Coastal Prairie habitat restoration project when attending high school at Ascension Episcopal School. He also completed a pollinator habitat garden in his senior year featuring native grasses and wildflowers before coming to LSU. He switched from plant science to Landscape Architecture for the bigger impact of his passion and is in his 4 th year in the Landscape Architecture program. He has been part of several on-campus projects promoting native plants. He was the recipient of Louisiana Wildlife Federation Youth Conservationist of the Year, and is currently serving as President of the Cajun Prairie Habitat Conservation Society.
LNLFSR Scholarship - Lidya Chala
Lidya was born in Ethiopia and completed her Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the Hawassa University in Ethiopia. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Forestry at Southern University focusing on forest entomology. Her advisor is Dr. Veronica Manrique, and her research is part of a long-term study to evaluate the impact of the invasive tallow tree on arthropods communities in managed forests in Louisiana. Other than research, Lidya has also contributed to undergraduate and youth educational activities at the university.

LNLFSR Scholarship Winners – 2021

Kelsey Shoemaker - Foret / Meadows / Owings Scholarship
Kelsey is a native of Alexandria, LA. She graduated from Lakeview High School in Campti, LA in 2017, and is currently a senior 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 7th place at the national competition. At Louisiana Tech, beyond a wonderful 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. She was the recipient of last year's LNLFSR Ira Nelson Scholarship.

Kristopher Criscione - Margie Jenkins Scholarship Winner
Kristopher is from New Jersey and graduated from the State University of New York of Cobleskill. He is pursuing a M.S. degree in plant and soil systems (horticulture) at LSU. His major professor is Jeb Fields where they are working in the area of soil substrates at the Hammond Research Station. In addition to being this year’s recipient of the debuting Margie Jenkins Scholarship, Kris was the 2020 Dr. James and Faye Foret Scholarship Award from the Southern Nursery Association. He is also a Louisiana Society for Horticultural Research Scholarship winner. 

Kaylee Deynzer - Ira Nelson Scholarship Winner
Kaylee is a graduate of Dutchtown High School in Ascension Parish and completed her B.S. degree at LSU in 2019. She is working on a M.S. degree in plant and soil systems (horticulture) at LSU with Dr. Kathryn Fontenot. Kaylee was the recipient of many undergraduate scholarships at LSU. She is involved with hemp production research (plant spacing, varieties and optimum germination temperatures).

Isabella Frank
Isabella is a Baton Rouge native. She graduated form McKinley High Scholl in 2016 and then graduated from Baton Rouge Community College before coming to LSU to pursue her B.S. degree in plant and soil systems (horticultural science). She has a 3.27 GPA.  Isabella works as a student worker at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens and is an active member of the LSU Horticulture Club.

Lakshmi Dasari
Lakshmi was born in India and completed here M.S. degree in urban forestry at Southern University in 2018. She is current a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Forestry at Southern. Her advisor is Dr. Yadong Qi and their work includes urban tree canopy modeling for reduction of temperature and humidity. Lakshmi has a 3.4 GPA. She is a member of Beta Kappa Chi and is a National Scientific Honor Society member. 

Samuel des Bordes
Samuel is a M.S. graduate student in the School of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences at LSU. He graduated from Dutchtown High School in Ascension Parish in 2016 and completed his B.S. degree in horticultural science at LSU in 2020. He is now working at LSU with Dr. Heather Kirk-Ballard. Samuel is a member of the Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society.