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UL Lafayette recognizes top scholars as Outstanding Master’s Graduates

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Emily Covington is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Outstanding Master’s Graduate.

She is among five finalists for the award. Each will be recognized during Fall 2018 Commencement General Assembly. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Cajundome.

Each spring and fall semester, individual graduate programs nominate a student for the award. Criteria include leadership, scholarship, service and research.

The dean of UL Lafayette’s Graduate School leads a committee that selects the top candidates. An Alumni Association committee interviews the finalists and chooses an overall Outstanding Master’s Graduate.

In addition to being the fall semester’s overall honoree, Covington represents the Department of Communication as its Outstanding Master’s Graduate. She has a 4.0 GPA.

Covington’s thesis explored the influence of imagined interactions – those that occur only within an individual’s mind – on actual interpersonal conflicts. She presented her research at several regional and national conferences.

A chapter Covington authored is included in a volume that examines the relationship between mental health and imagined interactions. The book was published earlier this year.

She plans to work in community development or at a nonprofit following graduation.

Covington earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from UL Lafayette in 2016. As an undergraduate, she was the Department of Communications’ Outstanding Graduate and the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts.

She is the daughter of Julie Darce Mire of Church Point, La., and Kurt Covington of Lake Charles, La.

Here’s a look at the remaining Outstanding Master’s Graduate honorees. 

Elizabeth Barron is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate in the Department of Biology. She has a 3.72 GPA.

Her master’s thesis examined the predatory performance of king snakes, which perform a valuable ecological service by consuming rodents.

Barron volunteered at the U.S. Geological Survey Wetlands and Aquatic Research Center and at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. In both roles, she surveyed emerging wildlife diseases and assessed the status of the Louisiana pine snake, which the federal government classifies as threatened.

Barron is a member of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Following graduation, she plans to work as a private lands biologist.

Barron earned a bachelor’s degree in animal, dairy and poultry sciences in 2016 from LSU in Baton Rouge.  She is the daughter of Geralyn and Richard Barron of Lafayette.

Caleb Fogle is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate in the Department of Psychology. He has a 4.0 GPA.

His thesis explored how parenting with empathy and mindfulness influences social behaviors in children. Fogle presented his research at numerous regional, national and global conferences.

He participated in several projects coordinated by UL Lafayette’s Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group. Fogle also worked with the Lafayette Police Department and Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office as part of a faculty-directed research project on policing and mental health.

He was an intern and co-counselor at a therapy center and a private practice.

Following graduation, he plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.

Fogle earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2016 from Murray State University in Kentucky.

He is the son of Karen Fogle of Louisville, Kentucky, and the late Gary Fogle.

Katie Murphy is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate in the School of Architecture and Design. She has a 3.82 GPA.

Her master’s project examined how architecture in coastal regions reinforces community identity and contributes to a region’s cultural vitality.

During her graduate studies, Murphy partnered with the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission and the Heritage Trail Partners to save an historical structure threatened by suburban development. Her efforts led to the property’s purchase and preservation.

She also contributed to the Community Design Workshop’s research for the Interstate 49 Connector Project, an elevated six-lane highway that’s proposed for Lafayette.

Following graduation, Murphy plans to work for an architectural firm.

She received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from UL Lafayette in 2017, and is the daughter of Colette Murphy of Loganville, Georgia, and the late Michael Murphy.

Adam J. Trahan is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate in the Department of Physics. He has a 4.0 GPA.

His thesis examined how low-frequency acoustic waves spread inside cloud layers on the planet Venus. Trahan presented his research at the 2018 national meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

He represented the Department of Physics in UL Lafayette’s Graduate Student Organization, and served as treasurer of the Society for Physics Students’ campus chapter.

Trahan earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2016 from UL Lafayette. While an undergraduate, he interned at the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Carderock Division in Bethesda, Maryland. He also worked as a bioassay analyst at a materials technology company in Lafayette.

Following graduation, Trahan hopes to work at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in coastal Mississippi. He is the son of Nancy Duhon of Abbeville, La.

Photo caption: The Fall 2018 Outstanding Master’s Graduates are, from left: Katie Murphy, School of Architecture and Design; Emily Covington, Department of Communication; Elizabeth Barron, Department of Biology; and Adam J. Trahan, Department of Physics. Caleb Fogle, Department of Psychology, is not pictured. (Photo credit: Rachel Keyes / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)