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2018 LSU Alumni Association International Student Recipients

Four students received the 2018 LSU Alumni Association International Student Scholarship on Friday March 23rd at the LSU International Student Association’s International Fusion 2018. The scholarship award is merit based; students must also demonstrate their involvement with global engagement and diversity, as well as, have outstanding leadership experience. Two undergraduate and two graduate students were chosen to receive a cash award of $2,500 to assist in their studies. 


Many qualified candidates entered to win the scholarship, but four candidates outshone the others. The winners this year included Chris- Anne Joseph (Haiti), Hamed Al-ajmi (Oman), Saad Aziz (Bangladesh) and Surani Nakkawita (Sri Lanka).



Chris- Anne Joseph

Photo of Chris- Anne Joseph


Chris- Anne Joseph is from Haiti and is currently earning a BS in Human Resource Management from the E.J. Ourso College of Business. Her father is an LSU Alum which greatly influenced her decision, but she also chose to come to LSU because of the multitude of opportunities offered, a place to further grow as a person and a chance for community involvement. She feels that being in the Baton Rouge/ LSU community has allowed her to find a passion and get involved. Her favorite experiences include silent discos and movie nights hosted by the university. After LSU, she plans to pursue a full-time job in the Human Resource Management field. She also plans to be involved in the LSU Alumni Association and continue vocational involvement with student clubs. She thanks her professors, counselors and parents for their continued support in her educational journey.

Hamed Al-ajmi

Photo of Hamed Al-ajmi Hamed Al-ajmi is from Oman and is currently earning a BA in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Business Administration. When applying to universities, he was looking for a school with a strong engineering program, which also fostered a strong research environment while being in a smaller city. LSU was the perfect fit for his needs. He says he feels like it is important to have international students as they help contribute to the diversity of the LSU campus and community. The participation can help international students communicate with others and learn the culture on a personal level. Joining a student organization is a great way to get involved in the LSU community, meet new people and experience the culture of the United States. His favorite experience so far has been his involvement with kids as a peer mentor, inspiring them to pursue STEM fields as a future career. After LSU, he plans to pursue a graduate degree at LSU. He also plans to join the LSU Alumni Association. When he returns to Oman, he plans to serve as an ambassador for LSU and encourage others to pursue a degree here. He wants to thank Dr. Hector Zapata, Mr. Cliff Vannoy and Ms. Adrienne Steele, Step Manager and SPM Advisor, for their guidance and contribution to his educational journey.

Saad Aziz

Photo of Saad Aziz Saad Aziz is from Bangladesh and is currently pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. An important factor in his university choice was the campus environment and LSU as a top research facility. Saad said, “The research facility for Mechanical Engineering was outstanding. The campus life and culture helped make my decision very easy”. He believes an important part of the international student immersion process is involvement within the Baton Rouge and LSU community. It is a great way to make friends and become one with the community. It helps students become adapted and feel welcomed to a new environment. One-way Saad got involved was assisting with the LSU church Chapel’s furniture donation program. They initially helped him and as a return, he wanted to help others. He is involved in a variety of student organizations on campus which he feels has contributed to his pleasant experience on campus. After his program completion, Saad said he would like to gain some experience in industry and/or academia and then return to his country to utilize his experiences. He plans to visit LSU in the future and be a part of the LSU Alumni Association because, “being an LSU Alum, your heart is always with LSU”. He thanks his wife, Nushrat Humaira and his professor, Dr. Muhammad A. Wahab, for supporting him through the scholarship process.

Surani Nakkawita

Photo of Surani Nakkawita


Surani Nakkawita is from Sri Lanka and is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She chose LSU thanks to a previous professor who suggested she look into LSU. Surani found LSU to be a great fit with great opportunities for funding and collaboration. She believes that in order to understand others and communities, you need to be involved, engaged and interact within the community. Within her department as a teaching assistant, she has an opportunity to learn about others and share her culture within the LSU community by interacting with her students each day. At LSU, there is a large international community, which Surani believes is one of her favorite things about LSU. Not only does she get to learn about the culture in the United States, but with the variety of other students from other countries that attend LSU, she is able to learn and interact with many cultures. After her program completion, she hopes to become employed as an Assistant Professor and pursue clinical research. She also plans to return to her home country to supply help where her services are needed utilizing her skills and knowledge gained from her studies while at LSU. To stay connected to LSU, she plans to continue research collaborations with her department and be involved in the LSU Alumni Association. She wants to thank her parents and siblings for supporting her through her educational journey, the individuals and families she has worked with as they have been motivation to pursue her studies, as well as, her major professor, Dr. Neila Donovan, for giving her an opportunity to pursue her degree.