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Chemical Engineering Graduate, Camryn Adamson, selected as the Fall 2023 University Outstanding Graduate

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Ms. Camryn Adamson has been named the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Outstanding Graduate.  Selected from among eight award finalists, she will be recognized during the Fall 2023 Commencement ceremony.  Camryn will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with a Bioengineering concentration and minors in Chemistry and Mathematics. She has a cumulative grade point average of 3.74.

Nominated by the College of Engineering and Dean Ahmed Khattab, the award is based on leadership, scholarship and service which serve both the University and the community. Camryn was also named the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Graduate, and the Department of Chemical Engineering’s Outstanding Graduate.

“Camryn’s remarkable achievements, strong leadership qualities, and passion for making a difference in the world made her an exceptional example of what the University’s Outstanding Graduate represents,” says Dean Ahmed Khattab. “Camryn’s outstanding academic journey in the field of chemical engineering serves as an inspiring example of women who excel in engineering.  Beyond her remarkable achievements, Camryn is distinguished by her genuine kindness and proactive willingness to support others, making her and exemplary role model for the community. She will make an outstanding medical professional.” continued Khattab.

Camryn’s journey to chemical engineering is an interesting story and truly highlights her determination and passion for excellence. She was toying with the idea of becoming a doctor and loved math, science, and biology. She reached out to a freshman counselor to help decide what to do. The counselor suggested Chemical Engineering. It was perfect. A good blend of advanced math, science, and biology. Once her freshman counselor mentioned that chemical engineering graduates score highest on the Medical College Admission Test. MCAT, she was sold. If medical school was in her sights, she needed to excel at it … and she did!

What distinguishes Camryn from her peers is not only her academic prowess but also her commitment to making a meaningful impact on the world. While in her freshman year of college, she received a gift. A book entitled “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World.” An astonishing book that changed her life and reinforced the idea of not only becoming a doctor but an infectious disease specialist. It inspired her and gave her the ability to have the faith that she could make a difference in the world. With this unwavering goal in mind, Camryn excelled at chemical engineering and held a particular focus on medical applications.

Her pursuit of academic excellence extends beyond the classroom. During the height of the COVID shutdowns and remote work, she attended an online seminar that was offered by local doctors and the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) to discuss the Coronavirus and vaccinations. She was fascinated by the work that NIRC was doing and reached out to see if she could volunteer to work/shadow a researcher thinking she would not hear back. She did and for a year between 2021 – 2022, she embarked on a journey to contribute to the fight against infectious diseases, working diligently at the NIRC on critical research concerning HIV and the LAIR1 gene under the direction of Dr. Syed Ali. From this experience and because of her work in cell culture, she was selected as a student researcher for the summer of 2023 by the University of Arkansas Biomedical Engineering Department Research Experience program for undergraduates where she conducted groundbreaking research on the human aortic valve. She presented her research entitled “Human Aortic Valve Interstitial Cell Cultures on Valve Mimetic Bilayered Hydrogels to Assess Metabolic and Proteomic Changes during Calcific Aortic Valve Disease Progression" at the 2023 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting held in Seattle, WA in October, 2023. She will be listed as a co-author when her research is submitted for publication. In addition, she was a summer research assistant for the Chemical Engineering Department under the direction of Dr. Mark Zappi.

In Spring 2023, Camryn was awarded the 1898 Society Award and the Greek Hall of Fame Award for her many contributions to improving the fabric of the university and Greek life. Her contributions include working in the UL Life Program as a volunteer and as a mentor guiding her students in classes as well as one-on-one. A young woman, Alex Mack in her sorority who is a member of the Life Program is one of her best friends and encouraged her to volunteer. Camryn was also a member of the Pre-Professional Society (3 years), a mentor for the Chemistry Academic Mentoring Matters Program (2 years), a mentor in the UL Peer Mentor Program (1 year), a recruitment counselor for the Panhellenic Council (1 year) and a student leader for the vaccination campaign on campus (1 year).

Furthermore, Camryn's commitment to community service is truly commendable. She has been actively involved in volunteering at the Calcutta House for Hospice and at Second Harvest Food Bank and fundraising for organizations like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Miles Perret Cancer Service through her involvement in Delta Delta Delta Sorority. Her leadership roles within the University, including Vice President of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and President of Delta Delta Delta Sorority, reflect her dedication to fostering a sense of community and empowerment among her peers.

Academically, Camryn has been on the President’s list for two years and on the Dean’s list in Fall 2021 and Spring 2023. She is also a member of the Order of the Omega National Honor Society. Throughout her college experience, she has received the Academic Excellence Scholarship and TOPS Opportunity Scholarship along with the TOPS preferred stipend.

Camryn's dedication to her studies and her unwavering commitment to serving her community make her an exceptional role model for future generations of female engineers. She embodies the ideals of academic excellence, leadership, and community service that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette values deeply.

During Camryn’s gap year, she plans to attend Medical Assistant School while applying to SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, NY where she plans to earn a dual MPH/MD degree. Her dream is to one day practice medicine as an Infectious Disease Specialist “hopefully in Louisiana.”

Congratulations Camryn! We are so very proud of you.

For more information on all the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Outstanding Graduate nominees go →here.