Meet the 2020 Scholars

Get to know the hopes, dreams, and talents of this year's winners.

Elyse D.

Undergraduate Recipient

"What do you believe is the greatest unaddressed patient need in the CF community, and if you could, how would you try to fix it? Who would you partner with (e.g. public figure, organization) to help fix the issue and why?"

Cystic Fibrosis has changed my life for better and for worse. I am fortunate to have been born in a time where many advances are being made to make life with CF easier. New medicines are developing, breathing treatments are improving, faith for a cure keeps growing stronger, but there are still difficulties. New medicines are expensive, and better breathing treatments aren’t easily accessible for every patient. These hardships aren’t easy to manage and can be almost impossible to overcome, but they are not ignored. Physicians try to find ways to make the new medicines more affordable, and they try to help patients access the improved breathing treatments, but it’s not always enough. My sister and I both have Cystic Fibrosis, and when a new, better option for a breathing treatment came on the market, she was approved to get one, but I was not. I desperately attempted to appeal the decision, but I was never approved. I know there are other patients who face the same or similar issues that I have, and if given the opportunity, I would do my best to find a way to get every patient the medication and treatments they need to be as healthy as possible. I would work with my family and friends who know my story, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation whose ultimate goal is to find a cure for all those with CF. The CF community will not stop fighting until every person with CF is living their best life.



  • Great Strides Louisiana Ambassador, 2019
  • American Institute for Architecture Students (AIAS) member, 2019-2020
  • Peer Mentor, 2019-2020
  • National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS) inducted member, 2019-2020; National Honor Society member, 2017-2018
  • Ricky Briggs Fighting Spirit Award Recipient, 2018
  • Design Excellence Award (Academic Award), 2018, 2020; Design Merit Award (Academic Award), 2019
  • Top Cat Award (Leadership Award) and Chancellor Honors Graduate, 2018
  • Beta Club member, 2015-2018; service project coordinator, 2016-2017; president, 2017-2018
  • Student Council member, 2015-2018; co-chair of decorations committee, 2016-2017; chair of decorations committee, 2017-2018
  • Campus Ministry member, 2015-2018; Light Team member, 2016-2017; Senior Action Leadership Team (SALT) member, 2017-2018