Southeastern confers degrees on more than 1,000
Southeastern conferred degrees on 1,089 graduates Saturday, Dec. 9, at the university’s
fall commencement ceremony.
Louisiana Secretary of Revenue Kimberly Lewis Robinson addressed the graduating
Robinson served on Governor John Bel Edwards’ transition team and was appointed
to serve his administration in the key role of Secretary of Revenue in 2015. Before
her appointment, she was a partner in the Taxes & Estates Practice Group at Jones
Walker, LLP, focusing primarily on state and local tax matters, economic development
financing, incentives and government relations.
Prior to joining Jones Walker, Robinson served as special counsel for the Office
of the Governor of the State of Louisiana, where she provided legal counsel to Gov.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and served as Senior Policy Advisor on Revenue, Economic
Development and Insurance Policy. She also worked for six years at the Louisiana Department
of Revenue, serving as assistant secretary for the Office of Legal Affairs and confidential
assistant to the secretary.
Candidates for associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees were honored.
In his welcome, Crain noted that the graduates being recognized included 397
men and 692 women who were receiving 14 different degrees. The class included representatives
from 20 states and 24 countries.
The university awarded its highest academic honor, the President’s Medal for
Academic Excellence, to nine students with the highest cumulative grade point average
in the university’s five colleges.
Medal recipients were:
▪ College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – political science major Stephanie
Michelle Stafford of Ponchatoula, 4.0 gpa.
▪ College of Business – management major Alexis Rose Taylor of Covington, 3.980
▪ College of Education – early childhood education major Logan Alaine Cancienne
of Luling, 4.0 gpa.
▪ College of Nursing and Health Sciences – communication sciences and disorders
major Courtney Lynn Mayer, 3.974 gpa.
▪ College of Science and Technology – occupational safety, health and environment
major Oleg Balaban from the Republic of Moldova; biological sciences major Robert
Burrell Carter of Greensburg; computer science major Christian Taylor Gonzales of
Walker; information technology major Justin Dewayne Mclin of Livingston; and computer
science major Prayush Pokharel of Nepal, all with a 4.0 gpa.
MEDAL WINNERS - Southeastern honors students distinguished themselves in their chosen fields of
studies with the university's highest academic honor, the President's Medal for Academic
Excellence. Pictured, front row, from left, are: Stephanie Michelle Stafford, Alexis
Rose Taylor, Robert Burrell Carter, Courtney Lynn Mayer, and Logan Alaine Cancienne;
back row, from left: Rep. Robby Carter, Louisiana Secretary of Revenue and commencement
speaker Kimberly Lewis Robinson, Prayush Pokharel, Christian Taylor Gonzales, Justin
Dewayne Mclin, Oleg Balaban, Rep. Chris Broadwater, and Southeastern President John