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The Spring 2020 “Outstanding Graduate” in the College of Liberal Arts is Rachel Lautigar

Rachel is a former SGA President and Chief Justice who is a double-major in Political Science and History. She maintained a 3.97 GPA over her career, while distinguishing herself in a number of other areas. She was elected Homecoming Queen (2018) and was selected by the Louisiana Council of Student Body Presidents to be their council’s president, filling the student seat on the University of Louisiana System, Board of Supervisors (2019-20). She was named “Outstanding Junior of the Year “and “Outstanding Sophomore of the Year” by Ragin Recognition and “Louisiana State Champion” and “Louisiana Top Speaker” by the Louisiana Collegiate Speech and Debate Association. She was a panelist at the University of Louisiana System’s “For Our Future Forum” and a presenter at the UL Women’s Leadership Conference. She moderated a League of Women’s Voters election Forum in the fall of 2019, while serving as a “featured speaker” in LPB’s 2019 state-wide gubernatorial debate in Angelle Hall. She was master of ceremonies for UL Lafayette’s New Student Convocation (2019) as well as Master of Ceremonies for Ragin’ Roar Pep Rally. Academic accomplishments include presentations for Museum on the Move, submissions to Cleo’s Quill, and Inside Higher Education magazine, and guest lecturing on “The Philosophy of Benedictus Spinoza” for a UNIV 100 class. Rachel served as an editor for La Louisiane Magazine (2018), was named a Bastiat Scholar by the Cato Institute of Law, and participated as a “summer fellow” at The Hertog Foundation in Washington D.C.

When asked what kept her driven throughout her undergraduate career, Rachel stated, "More than anything, my love for what I was studying kept me driven. Every semester...I found some new topic to completely run with...that's both helped prevent me from burning out and build up a wider range of knowledge. This semester, and truthfully every semester when a different challenge inevitably presented itself, reminding myself of what I was capable of pushed me through the end."

After graduation, Ms. Lautigar hopes to pursue a law and public affairs dual-degree program at either the University of Louisiana at Monroe or at the University of Texas at Austin. Her passion is for policy and implementation, particularly in the area of the economy. Her plans for the future include starting a “nonprofit dedicated to finding and repealing or replacing outdated statutes” or working in commercial real-estate to “improve the community in which I will eventually settle.”