Southeastern confers degrees on more than 1,000
Southeastern conferred degrees on 1,112 graduates Saturday, May 13, at the university’s
spring commencement exercises.
Michele Kidd Sutton, president and chief executive officer of North Oaks Health
System in Hammond, addressed the graduating students.
A 28-year veteran of North Oaks, Sutton began her career at North Oaks in 1988
as its community resources officer. In 2006 she was appointed executive vice president
and chief operating officer of the health system. In 2017 she assumed added responsibilities
as president and CEO of its medical system. She played an integral role in the development
of the strategic plan to initiate the health system’s recent $250 million expansion
project, as well as numerous new product and service lines.
An alumna of Southeastern, Sutton earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing
with minors in communication and management, as well as a master of business administration
Candidates for associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees were honored.
In his welcome, Crain noted that the graduates being recognized included 410
men and 702 women who were receiving 16 different degrees. The class included representatives
from 22 states and 19 countries.
The university awarded its highest academic honor, the President’s Medal for
Academic Excellence, to 19 students with the highest cumulative grade point average
in the university’s five colleges.
Medal recipients were:
▪ College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – psychology major Maria Alicia
Alphonso of Ponchatoula; communication major Kaylee Ann Collier of Albion, Michigan;
music major Lauren Marie Gibson of Walker; communication major Meredith Anne Keating
of Laplace; Spanish major Micaela Elizabeth Lanus of Ponchatoula; criminal justice
major Meaghan Summer McCardle of Slidell; English major Sarah Elizabeth Montelepre
of Folsom; English major Kyla Ann Robertson of Prairieville; communication major Brooke
Ashleigh Robichaux of Destrehan; and general studies major Samantha Cifelli Ryals
of Hammond, all with a 4.0 gpa.
▪ College of Business – finance major Caleb Daniel Borelly of Lacombe; marketing
major Danielle Gail Coniglio of Walker; accounting major Amanda Caitlyn McInerney
of Covington; accounting major Ashley Rose Nelson of Loranger; and accounting major
Luke Glen Yoes of Ponchatoula, all with a 4.0 gpa.
▪ College of Education and Human Development – elementary education major Randi
Nicole St. Pierre of St. Amant, 4.0 gpa.
▪ College of Nursing and Health Sciences – communication sciences and disorders
major Maya Marie Gauthier of Hahnville, 4.0 gpa; and sport management major Amber
Michelle Lasher of Norco, 4.0 gpa.
▪ College of Science and Technology – computer science major Bibek Gautam of
Nepal, 3.976 gpa.
MEDAL WINNERS - Southeastern honors students who distinguished themselves in their chosen fields
of studies with the university's highest academic honor, the President's Medal for
Academic Excellence. Pictured, first row, from left, are: Samantha Cifelli Ryals,
Alexandria; Sarah E. Montelepre, Folsom; Kyla Ann Robertson, Prairieville; Ashley
R. Nelson, Loranger; Michaela E. Lanus, Ponchatoula; Brooke A. Robichaux, Destrehan;
Caleb D. Borelly, Slidell; Meredith A. Keating, Laplace; Lauren M. Gibson, Walker;
and Luke G. Yoes, Ponchatoula; back row, from left: Southeastern President John L.
Crain; Maya M. Gauthier, Hahnville; Randi N. St. Pierre, St. Amant; Meaghan S. McCardle,
Slidell; Maria A. Alphonso, Ponchatoula; Amanda C. McInerney, Covington; Amber M.
Lasher, California; Kaylee A. Collier, Albion, Mich.; Daniel G. Coniglio, Walker;
Bibek Gautam, Nepal; and commencement speaker Michele Kidd Sutton, president and chief
executive officer of North Oaks Health System.