Blanco is the only female to be Louisiana governor. She served from 2004 to 2008, and directed recovery hurricane recovery efforts in 2005.
Eight students will be honored during Spring 2017 Commencement ceremonies as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association’s Outstanding Graduates.
Every spring and fall semester, deans from eight academic colleges each nominate a student as an Outstanding Graduate, based on leadership, scholarship and service. An Alumni Association selection committee interviews the candidates and selects one to receive the overall award.
The overall Outstanding Graduate will be announced during Spring Commencement on Friday, May 12, at the Cajundome.
Here’s a look at this semester’s Outstanding Graduates.
Leah Boudreaux is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of the Arts. She is a visual arts major with a concentration in new media and digital art.
Boudreaux has a 3.97 GPA. She maintained a spot on the President’s List every semester of her undergraduate career.
She earned the College of the Arts Dean Scholarship, the TOPS Honors Scholarship and the Thibodeaux Academic Endowment Scholarship.
She was a member of the University’s Honors Program, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Pi National Society of Leadership and Success.
Boudreaux also worked as a member of social media team in the University’s Office of Communications and Marketing.
Boudreaux’s art was featured at the University of Louisiana System’s Academic Summit Art Exhibition, the Acadiana Center for the Arts’ student exhibition and several juried shows within the College of the Arts.
In 2016, as part of an internship with Festival International de Louisiane, she compiled and edited three decades of performance footage into a 25-minute retrospective. The film was shown on the festival’s main stage.
She is the daughter of Allen and Gretchen Boudreaux of Lafayette.
Elisabeth Kolb is the Outstanding Graduate for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. She is a hospitality management major and has a 4.0 GPA.
She appeared on the President’s List every semester of her undergraduate career. Her numerous academic honors included the Fleur-de-Lis International Scholarship, the Society of Hosteurs Scholarship and the Kenneth W. Hall Scholarship.
Kolb was a member of several academic honor societies, including Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi.
She volunteered with the Children’s Krewe de Versailles, Hospice of Acadiana, the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and the Zoo of Acadiana. Kolb was also active on the Moody College of Business’ Student Advisory Council, the University Program Council, the Residence Hall Association and several intramural teams.
She also served as an ambassador for the University’s Office of International Affairs, and was an intern at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., during the spring 2016 semester.
She is the daughter of Peter and Karin Kolb of Buxheim, Germany.
Madeline Trcalek is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Education.
She is an instrumental music education major. Trcalek has a 3.91 GPA and has been on the President’s and Dean’s lists.
She performed as a member of the University Wind Ensemble, and the Pride of Acadiana Marching Band. Trcalek was honored as Most Outstanding Section Member for the marching band, and earned an Outstanding Performance at the Louisiana Flute Festival.
The College of Education recognized her as its Most Outstanding Sophomore. She received the School of Music Presser Foundation Award.
Trcalek was a supervisor and head of new hire training for UL RecSports.
She received the Joan and Alexander Haig Endowed Scholarship, the Jesse and Irma Jewell Endowed Scholarship in Education, and the Raymond Goodrich Foundational Scholarship, the Anne K. Simpson Scholarship, and the Pride of Acadiana Marching Band Scholarship.
Trcalek has performed community service with Indian Bayou Elementary, Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands, Festival International de Louisiane, Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, RecFest, Acadiana Center for the Arts and Ovey Comeaux High School.
She is the daughter of Sean Trcalek and Stephanie Dupuis of Lafayette.
Jacob Jude LeBlanc is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Engineering.
He is an industrial technology major with a 4.0 GPA.
LeBlanc, who is 19, enrolled at the University as a 16-year-old, after graduating from Lafayette High School’s gifted program.
He completed his degree requirements in six semesters and has worked as a carpenter’s assistant since the age of 17.
LeBlanc is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Sigma Alpha Pi.
He is an Eagle Scout and an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 156 of St. Mary Mother of the Church.
A member of the Cajun French Music Association, LeBlanc regularly performs with several bands. He once placed second in the junior division of the Squeezebox Shootout, an accordion competition in Jennings, La.
He received the Acadiana Homebuilders Scholarship and the Acadiana Flow Measurement Society Scholarship.
LeBlanc plans to earn a master's degree in systems technology while working in construction or manufacturing. He would like to eventually teach at the University.
His parents are Chris and Vicki LeBlanc of Scott, La.
Katelyn Bayhi is the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts.
She is a double major, in communication and in criminal justice. She has a 3.95 GPA, and has been on the President’s and Dean’s lists.
Bayhi was president of the Student Government Association, and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and the National Society of Leadership and Success.
She received the UL Centennial Scholarship.
Bayhi designed a public relations campaign for CROWNED, a nonprofit that raises awareness about human sex trafficking.
She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, College Republicans, and of Our Lady of Wisdom’s Greek Discipleship Team.
Bayhi served in several leadership roles for UL Lafayette’s Kappa Delta sorority.
She was a maid on the Homecoming Court and second runner-up in the Miss UL Pageant.
Bayhi has performed community service with Our Lady of Wisdom, Parkview Baptist School, Habitat for Humanity, SOAR’s Walk for Autism and the University’s Big Event.
She plans to attend law school.
Bayhi is the daughter of Paul and Judy Bayhi of Baton Rouge.
Brooke Capritto is the Outstanding Graduate in the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.
She has a 3.94 GPA and is a dietetics major.
Capritto appeared on the President’s List throughout her undergraduate studies. She is the recipient of numerous scholarships, including the University’s Academic Excellence Scholarship.
The Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics honored her as its Outstanding Sophomore in 2015 and as its Outstanding Senior this year.
Capritto served twice as a Student Government Association senator, first representing University College and then the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. She twice served as treasurer of the Student Dietetic Association before becoming its president.
She volunteered at numerous marathons and fun runs to raise money to combat ALS and heart disease, among other causes.
Capritto has been employed at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette for three years while also teaching anatomy and physiology as a supplemental instructor at the UL Lafayette Learning Center.
She is the daughter of James and Deana Theriot Capritto of St. Martinville, La.
Alyssa Bienvenu is the Outstanding Graduate in the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.
She is majoring in chemistry and mathematics and has a 4.0 GPA.
Bienvenu is the recipient of the College of Science’s Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship, the Keith Lindley Honors Scholarship and the UL Lafayette Outstanding Student Scholarship.
She has appeared on the President’s List every semester of her undergraduate studies.
Bienvenu coauthored three upcoming publications in refereed journals, and presented her research findings at local and national conferences nearly 20 times. She participated in summer research programs funded by the National Science Foundation at Texas A&M University in 2015 and at Pennsylvania State University in 2016.
She is president of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society and is the student vice president of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
In addition, Bienvenu was a member of the University Chorale and is the assistant choral director at First United Methodist Church in New Iberia, La., where she performed as a soloist, chancel choir member and bell choir member.
She is the daughter of Troy and Chrys Bienvenu of New Iberia.
Joshua S. Barnes is the Outstanding Graduate for University College.
He has a 3.75 GPA and has been on the President’s and Dean’s lists.
Barnes is a general studies major, with a concentration in applied sciences.
He received the Dr. Ray P. Authement Valedictorian Scholarship, a UL Lafayette Academic Scholarship, and a TOPS scholarship.
Barnes is a member of the UL Lafayette Honors Program, Phi Kappa Phi honor society, and the student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
He received the UL Lafayette Black Student Achievement Award.
Barnes has performed community service with United Way of Acadiana, the American Heart of Association, and Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship. He is a children’s ministry volunteer at Crossroads Church.
As a volunteer at University Medical Center, Barnes developed and maintained a database of patient information in the Pediatric Sickle Cell Clinic.
He plans to pursue a master’s degree in systems technology at UL Lafayette.
Barnes works as an IT support specialist at Fenstermaker & Associates. He would like to own a computer repair business.
Barnes is the son of Dr. Stephen and Mrs. Sydney Barnes of Lafayette.
Photo info: Eight UL Lafayette seniors have been recognized as Outstanding Graduates for the Spring 2017 semester. Top row, from left, are: Leah M. Boudreaux, College of the Arts; Elisabeth I. Kolb, B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration; Madeline Trcalek, College of Education; and Jacob J. LeBlanc, College of Engineering. Katelyn E. Bayhi, College of Liberal Arts; Brooke A. Capritto, College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions; Alyssa V. Bienvenu, Ray P. Authement College of Sciences; and Joshua S. Barnes, University College.