Fall is approaching, and so is the upcoming Louisiana football season.
Spencer James Leger is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Outstanding Graduate.
Leger is among eight award finalists who will be recognized during UL Lafayette’s Fall 2020 Commencement ceremonies.
Individual ceremonies for the University’s eight academic colleges and Graduate School will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and Wednesday, Dec. 9. Ceremonies will be held at one of three venues: Cajun Field, Yvette Girouard Field at Lamson Park or M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
Each spring and fall semester, deans from UL Lafayette’s academic colleges nominate a student as Outstanding Graduate. Nominations are based on leadership, scholarship and service. An Alumni Association committee interviews candidates and selects one to receive the overall award.
In addition to being the fall semester’s overall honoree, Leger represents the College of Engineering as its Outstanding Graduate. He will earn dual degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry with minors in French and mathematics. His GPA is 4.0
Leger was president of the campus chapter of the American Chemical Society. He presented research at the society’s national conference in Orlando, Fla. Leger contributed research to a paper that was recently submitted to the “Frontiers in Chemistry” journal for publication.
He served as treasurer of the University chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Leger is a member of the Louisiana Engineering Society.
He edits “Le Bourdon de la Louisiane.” The online periodical is written in Louisiana French. An avid musician, Leger plays the pipe organ, the piano, and sings in church choirs.
He is applying to graduate schools in Germany to study theoretical and computational chemistry. Leger plans to teach at a college or university, or work in industry. His parents are Nikita and Errol Leger of Carencro, La.
Here’s a look at the remaining Spring 2020 Outstanding Graduates.
Sophia Cefolia is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts. She is a political science major with a minor in economics. Her GPA is 4.0.
Cefolia was captain and treasurer of the University’s Moot Court team. She placed fourth in the American Moot Court Association’s national appellate brief writing competition. Cefolia has also placed highly in several national and regional MOOT Court oratory tournaments.
Her essays have twice won a Crisler-Levine Award given by the Department of Political Science. One essay examined statutory rape laws; the other explored mass incarceration. Cefolia also writes fiction as a member of the Ragin’ Writers creative writing club.
She plans to attend law school. Cefolia envisions practicing public interest law in government or for non-profit organizations. She is the daughter of Jamie Pratt of Slidell, La., and Michael Cefolia of Covington, La.
Eddie Faucheux is the Outstanding Graduate for University College.
He is a general studies major with a concentration in behavioral science. Faucheux has a 3.69 GPA.
While pursuing his degree, he balanced coursework and a full-time job. Faucheux is a manager for the Halliburton Co. His goal is to become a national manager for the oilfield services company. Faucheux will enroll in the B.I. Moody III College of Business’ online MBA program in January.
He regularly volunteers for his church. Faucheux lives in St. Martinville, La. He is husband to Micky Faucheux, and father to Kody, Kristen, Vonni, Dwayne and Joseph.
Zachary Gaspard is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. He is a nursing major with a 3.0 GPA.
Gaspard was one of four regional directors for the Louisiana Association of Student Nurses. The association provides leadership opportunities, education and mentorship. Gaspard collaborated with students from other college and university nursing programs in Louisiana, and with LSNA’s political action committee.
He is a member of the University’s Student Nursing Association. Gaspard represented the Department of Nursing on the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan committee. The QEP places a campus-wide focus on student learning as part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaccreditation process.
He assisted the Louisiana Volunteers in Action disaster response team during COVID-19 screenings. His parents are Marcus and Janice Gaspard of Abbeville, La.
Mary Margaret Gil is the Outstanding Graduate for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. She is an accounting major with a 3.64 GPA.
Gil was a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, Student Leadership Council, University Program Council and the campus chapter of the Institute of Managerial Accountants.
She has held many positions with the Student Government Association, including president for the Moody College of Business. Gil was an SGA College of Business Outstanding Leader.
A member of Kappa Delta Sorority, Gil co-chaired National Hazing Prevention Week events. She received the Gladys Pugh Redd Panhellenic Award. It is the highest honor Kappa Delta gives undergraduate members. Gil is a member of the Greek Hall of Fame.
She will work as a certified public accountant. Gil is the daughter of Eric and Nicole Gil of Ville Platte, La.
Nicholas Henderson is the Outstanding Graduate for the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences. His GPA is 3.92.
He will earn bachelor’s degrees in physics, mathematics and chemistry.
Henderson was twice recognized as one of the College of Sciences’ Top 50 undergraduates. He was among eight University students who earned second place in Mathematical Association of America team competition.
Henderson was a Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics scholar. Five CURM scholars conducted research with a Department of Mathematics professor. He has been a student researcher for the Louisiana Accelerator Center, and for the departments of Chemistry and Mathematics.
Henderson belongs to several University organizations, including the Chemistry Academic Mentoring Matters program, the Society of Physics Students and the University’s Math Society. He plans to attend medical school.
His parents are Jim and Tonia Henderson of Baton Rouge, La.
Alanna Grace Hoffpauir is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Education.
She is a kinesiology major with a minor in psychology. Her GPA is 3.96.
Hoffpauir has contributed to eight physiology studies as a research assistant in the School of Kinesiology. She co-authored two papers. One appeared in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.” The other appeared in “Psychoneuroendocrinology.” The papers examined factors such as sleep quality, hormone function and emotional states among college volleyball players.
She is a professional dancer with Lafayette Ballet Theatre. Hoffpauir also teaches classical ballet.
She will enroll at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Hoffpauir plans to become a neonatal occupational therapist to care for babies born prematurely or with special health care needs. Her parents are Steve and Hayley Hoffpauir of Lafayette, La.
Jessica Nolan is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of the Arts. She is a music business major with a 3.78 GPA.
Nolan was a Student Government Association senator.
She sang for the Ragin’ Cajun Women’s Choir, and received the Raymond and Karen Goodrich Endowed Scholarship in Music Business.
Nolan was Outstanding New Member of Kappa Delta Sorority. She has served in various roles with the sorority, including vice president of member education.
Nolan is a music blogger, and works as an assistant for local musicians. She is also a freelance writer for Cold Coffee Entertainment. Nolan has volunteered for Festival International, Festival Acadiens et Créoles, and the School of Music and Performing Arts.
After graduation, she will pursue a career in the music industry. Nolan is the daughter of Randy and Amy Nolan of Baton Rouge, La.
View livestreams of individual Fall 2020 Commencement ceremonies. Learn more about Fall 2020 Commencement.
Photo caption: UL Lafayette’s Fall 2020 Outstanding Graduates are: Sophia R. Cefolia, College of Liberal Arts; Eddie Faucheux, University College; Zachary Gaspard, College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions; Mary Gil, B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration; Nicholas Henderson, Ray P. Authement College of Sciences; Alanna Grace Hoffpauir, College of Education; Overall Outstanding Graduate Spencer James Leger, College of Engineering; and Jessica Nolan, College of the Arts. (Photo credit: Rachel Rafati / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)