At LSU, you will have access to acclaimed professors—including Nobel Laureates, Guggenheim Fellows, MacArthur Geniuses, National Academies of Sciences and Engineering members, and Senior Wharton Fellows. The relationships you form here will be lasting and impactful, just like that of junior Nicholas Dubuc and Associate Dean Tom Sofranko.
Nicholas was a successful architecture student when personal tragedy struck: he lost his brother unexpectedly right before the semester began. With the help of Professor Sofranko and the College of Art & Design, Nicholas was able to continue successfully in his studies despite dealing with a great personal loss. Supporting students through difficulty times and moments of indecision or self-doubt make being a mentor, professor, and associate dean worth it for Professor Sofranko. He believes it is much easier for students to continue to pursue their goals when they know they are truly supported in times of need and cared for holistically, not just in the classroom. Nicholas is currently on track to graduate soon and credits his mentor and lasting connection for a significant portion of his success.
Joining the LSU community ensures one-on-one relationships with professors. Whether it is through advising, mentorship, or collaborative research, LSU is committed to your success.
Q&A with Professor Sofranko and Nicholas Dubuc
What do you think is the importance of faculty/student relationships and how do you foster them?
Nicholas: When you and your professor do not have some sort of a relationship, it is hard to share your thoughts or ideas in your work. This is especially the case in architecture, where feedback and critique is a vital part of the process of learning and growth. Professor Sofranko’s studio class came at a huge turning point in my life with the passing of my brother the day before classes started. I remember going to him and Professor Palagi with a heavy heart, and they responded with such compassion and understanding that I will never forget.
Professor Sofranko: I try to always maintain an open door policy. I want the students to feel comfortable coming to my office even just to chat. By stopping by, I can get them to talk about their future plans and then real mentoring can occur. In terms of mentoring, I like to make them aware of various options that exist, particularly if I know something more about their minor interests and what drives them.
What is your definition of student success?
Professor Sofranko: When students find what they're passionate about and dig in, they begin to visualize their future. I really enjoy catching these glimpses as they thrive.