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Shell Scholars

The Ogden Honors College and Shell partner to expand educational opportunities for students

Ogden Honors College sophomore Manon Bart was double majoring in math and physics before a trip to Shell’s experimental facility turned her interests in another direction.

“If it weren’t for our trip to one of their facilities with the Shell Honors Student Leaders,” Bart said, “I would have never switched to chemical engineering and physics.”

Bart is referring to her trip to Shell’s training facility in Robert, La., which Shell Honors Student Leaders visited last year.

“It made me realize I wanted to work in the industry rather than my original plan to work on theoretical aspects of physics,” Bart said.

Ogden Honors College senior Giuseppe Feo, a petroleum engineering major, also found the trip to be transformational.

“I was able to see carefully thought out research applied to solve real-world problems,” Feo said. He described being able to see, first-hand, how Shell is “pushing the boundaries to meet the world’s energy demand.”

The visit to Shell’s training facility is just one of the many opportunities that Shell Honors Student Leaders have had to interact with Shell. A couple of weeks ago, they had the opportunity to tour the company’s offices at One Shell Square in New Orleans, where they visited the Real Time Operations Center, the Bridge team, or Exception-Based Surveillance; and ended their tour with a presentation in the Subsurface Visualization room.   

Every time Bart visits with Shell employees, she’s struck by “how much they make you feel like you’re a part of the community.”

“It’s such a privilege to partner with the talented students and staff from the Ogden Honors College,” said Reservoir Engineering Team Lead Raymond Soong, who hosted the students on their visit. “I am always impressed by the talent and enthusiasm I see, and enjoy helping them learn a bit more about Shell and the oil and gas industry.”

Thanks to a generous endowed gift from the Shell Corporation, each year the Ogden Honors College selects four entering freshmen majoring in Business, Coast & Environment, Engineering, and Science for the Shell Honors Student Leadership Program. In addition to an annual stipend, Shell Honors Student Leaders are given multiple opportunities to participate in on-campus and off-campus education, research, community outreach, and recruiting activities. This initiative was part of a 2011 gift from Shell that made an impact across LSU’s campus, including the Center for Academic Success, College of Engineering, E.J. Ourso College of Business, College of Coast and the Environment, and the Olinde Career Center.

“We are fortunate to have many corporate partners helping our Ogden Honors students,” Ogden Honors College Dean Jonathan Earle said. “But Shell stands alone in the strength of its engagement. I’m proud to be able to award these prestigious scholarships to our best engineering, business, and coastal studies students.”

“The Honor’s College experience at LSU enhances the leadership capacity of outstanding students beyond what they would achieve in their core curriculum,” Greg Guidry, executive vice president for Shell’s Upstream Americas Unconventionals said.

“Enhancing the ability to lead and think critically is a distinguishing feature that make the Honor’s college graduates stand-out among the crowd,” Guidry, who is a member of the Ogden Honors College Advisory Council, continued. “Shell is proud to be a long-time supporter of the Honor’s College and particularly proud of the opportunity to offer scholarships to high achieving students.”

Bart may only be a second-year student, but she can already see the impact of the Shell Honors Student Leader program on her undergraduate experience.

“The program has made me meet new people and become a more well-rounded student,” Bart said. “And, because of the scholarship, I have been taking more courses since, on top of all the other great resources the Honors College has provided, I have some wiggle room to buy textbooks or work harder on research.”

As he prepares to graduate with College Honors in May, Feo credits his participation in the program for preparing him for life after LSU.

“Not only was I able to develop my technical skills as an LSU engineer, but in every Shell experience I had, I was able to practice and learn how to develop the soft skills necessary to be an effective communicator,” Feo said. “Thanks to Shell’s guidance throughout my undergraduate experience, I will complete my undergraduate thesis, which has been an experience that has made me grow as a professional and as an individual.”

“To me, being a Shell Honors Student Leader means being a well-rounded student and passionate about your career and goals,” Bart said. “Every single one of the Shell Honors Student Leaders I’ve met have shared these qualities, and all of them are extremely hard workers and resilient. I know all of them will excel in their industry.” 

Allison S. Howell, Ogden Honors College