Service is a pillar of the Ogden Honors College experience as it helps our students immerse themselves in opportunities where they can positively impact our community, state, and world. Service is a part of our interdisciplinary approach to enhance student learning through hands-on experiences. It’s also a great opportunity for students to expand their worldview, which may ultimately help them reimagine career goals and forge new paths.
Remember, this list is a starting point and we encourage students to seek service opportunities beyond this list, especially those that relate to your intended major. Students may reach out to Cindy Seghers, Director of Career Development, to discuss additional opportunities.
Louisiana Service and Leadership (LASAL) Program
The Louisiana Service and Leadership (LASAL) Scholars program prepares Ogden Honors College students for leadership roles in Louisiana, particularly in the fields of public service, social justice, and environmental sustainability. To be eligible, students must be admitted to the Honors College and must complete an interview process in the first semester of their freshman or sophomore year. Open to all majors, the LASAL program complements the Ogden Honors College curriculum by providing academic courses and practical experience that enhance any field of study.
The Roger Hadfield Ogden Leaders Program allows students to pursue a self-guided project of significance to the state of Louisiana. As many as five Ogden Leaders receive up to $5,000 each to support self-designed, off-campus experiences, enabling them to pursue a passionate interest, develop independent leadership abilities, and contribute to society in a way and to a degree not otherwise possible. Projects are designed by the applicant and may consist of an independent travel or research project; may focus on humanitarian or social justice concerns at a local, national, or global level; or may enhance independent scientific research, artistic endeavors, and work already in progress.
Project 225 is a student-run program (with oversight from Honors College staff) that offers Ogden students the opportunity to get involved with the community through long-term service. It is difficult to understand the challenges facing any community without working closely with people who live and work in that community. Instead of episodic volunteering and service, Project 225 students cultivate relationships with community members and non-profits and are able to continually make a difference in the Baton Rouge community. It creates opportunities for Ogden students to explore and understand the challenges facing our most vulnerable neighbors.
Service Saturdays offer a way for Laville Honors Hall residents to give back to the Baton Rouge community in a variety of ways. One Saturday every month is dedicated to a particular service project depending on the needs of our local partners. This service opportunity provides students an opportunity to foster a stronger relationship with the community and their neighbors in Laville.
Other Service Opportunities
- Ogden Honors College Council
- Honors College Advocates
- Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership (CCELL)
- Volunteer LSU
- LSU Food Pantry
- Upward Bound
- Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS)
- The Big Buddy Program
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Baton Rouge
- Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank
- Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless (CAAH)
- Habitat for Humanity
Internships and Research
As Ogden Honors students begin to take higher-level classes and cultivate a deeper knowledge within their major disciplines, they should also be pursuing ways to apply that knowledge through internships and scholarly research.
Internships are one of the primary ways in which undergraduates can gain valuable work experience and prepare for life after graduation. Participating in an internship provides students with insight into vocational applications of their majors and minors and the day-to-day responsibilities of careers they may be considering. An internship is also an opportunity to develop your resume; the work experience it provides may make a student eligible for full-time professional positions in the future.
Honors students may want to participate in an internship during a summer break, or they may prefer to work as an intern in the Baton Rouge area throughout the school year. Internships may be paid or unpaid; part-time or full-time; for-credit and even required by the student's major. The Ogden Honors College Office of Career Development can help our students parse through such choices and find the exact right internship for them among a myriad of local, regional, national, and even international opportunities.
As with internships, scholarly research is an opportunity for Honors students to apply their knowledge-- in this instance, to a problem or question within their field of study. Most undergraduate curriculums incorporate research projects in some way, but the Honors curriculum encourages students to pursue the Honors Thesis, an intensive, focused, independent research project carried out over the course of a year or more, under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
No matter a student's research path, topic, or type, the end goal is to give the student the skills necessary to successfully see through a long-term independent project from start to completion, presentation, and publication.
While the bulk of thesis work is typically completed in the senior year, we encourage students to begin considering and exploring their topic in the junior year. We support these endeavors through a variety of programs, scholarships, and advising. We help students to:
- Work closely with faculty through independent study courses and discussion-based seminars;
- Find paid research positions and other research opportunities within laboratories and departments throughout LSU; and
- Explore new interests and interact with professors at our Faculty Research Series talks
The Honors Thesis is the capstone achievement of the Ogden Honors College curriculum, and completing one is a culminating experience for fourth year students in their transition to post-graduate life. Based upon the knowledge gained through their coursework students answer questions, solve problems, and demonstrate their abilities by completing a long-term project with an expert research faculty mentor.
The Honors Thesis is formally completed over two semesters in the senior year, although students often begin building a body of research and establishing relationships with faculty research mentors long before the senior year, through campus jobs and independent study courses. The Honors Thesis is sometimes our students' first experience with managing a long-term independent project, and Honors College faculty and staff provide extensive support throughout the process.
Honors Thesis students have access to:
- Honors College advising staff able to connect students with undergraduate research opportunities, including an adviser dedicated to assisting students with the Honors Thesis process;
- Scholarships that help defray costs incurred by Honors Thesis research; and
- Workshops and roundtables for students considering and later conducting thesis research
An Honors Thesis can be written in any major. A thesis may take a variety of formats — from a traditional scholarly paper to a design portfolio; from a business plan to a performance — but will always include a written component fully explaining the student's research and will be defended before a faculty committee.
Completing the Honors Thesis is a major undergraduate achievement that confers high-level skills to our graduates. It is also a final step in the path to College Honors, one of LSU's highest undergraduate distinctions.