Natchitoches – Eight seniors from the Class of 2018 graduated with distinction and earned the highest academic honor given by the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) during the commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 19, at Prather Coliseum on the campus of Northwestern State University.

Graduation with Distinction is awarded to students who complete a rigorous program of independent academic study or artistic endeavor beyond the formal course requirements of LSMSA.

Eligibility is based on an individual’s academic performance in the junior year as well as on her or his capacity for independent work, as judged by the faculty and the director of academic services.

An interested student must submit a proposal for independent work in the spring of the junior year, and in the senior year must undertake a program of reading, research and creative activity leading to a research project, performance, exhibition, portfolio or comprehensive examination. All projects culminate in a public presentation of the work completed with questions from attending faculty, students and guests.

Nathan Ward, of Anacoco, was mentored by Dr. Mauricio Escobar, instructor of Physics. Ward’s project was “Exact General Solutions to Maxwell’s Equations in the Far Field through Multipolar Expansion.”