The award assures that the impact this zamorano has made on the organization and its surrounding community serves as inspiration for LSU students.
For his organized leadership, enthusiasm, and ingenuity, Louisiana State University (LSU) Campus Life honored Franklin Bonilla (Zamorano class of 2014) with the 2019 Leader of the Year Graduate Student Award. Bonilla is currently pursuing his doctorate in Nutrition and Food Sciences at LSU. Originally from Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, Franklin graduated from Zamorano in the Food Agribusiness Career tract. He is still involved with Zamorano through his role as president of the board of directors of the Agricultural Society of Zamorano, ZAS-LSU 2018.
The award was given as part of the 2019 Love Purple Live Gold Awards, which reward the effort and dedication to make LSU an exciting and vibrant environment for student organizations, leaders, and advisors.
Zamorano Leader at LSU
The award is given to a graduate student who has made a significant contribution to the quality of life at LSU. The recipient has impacted more than one area of campus life and serves as a role model, demonstrating the ability to collaborate with other students and to meet commitments. For Franklin, the leadership award represents the first of his career, marking his professional life and inspiring more Latino people to continue their studies. “During my time at LSU, I have always had the opportunity to work with talented people and generators of great ideas. In this way, I managed to improve my skills as a leader in communication and teamwork.”
Franklin insists he achieved this recognition through support from people working for the objectives established in the organizations in which he is involved. For his future plans, he aspires to become a leader who is capable of generating profound changes in Latin American education systems, especially those in Honduras, and to provide solutions to increase opportunities for young people so that they can obtain quality education. “Education statistics show that we lack good leaders. In Honduras, only 8% of employed people have a university degree. These figures only show that we have a lot of work ahead and that the way out of the crisis that our countries are experiencing begins with the education of our people,” he added.
Work Conquers All
As the son of a primary school teacher, Franklin reminded Latin American youth that economic resources should not impede their dreams. “My mother is not zamorana, but she reminds me of the main phrase of my alma mater, Labor Omnia Vincit, work conquers all. This phrase is one of my great motivations to continue working on my dreams and professional goals,” he said. For this zamorano, the change in each country must begin with the main actors, which are young people, eliminating the culture of indifference that is affecting communities and becoming agents of change for development.
Franklin is a young person who inspires – and in his short career he has received a wide range of scholarships and recognitions. During his graduation as a Zamorano engineer he was awarded first place in the class of 2014. He then earned his Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology with a concentration in Food Bioprocessing Systems and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology. During his Master’s Degree, in 2017, Gamma Sigma Delta, LSU’s agricultural honors society, recognized Franklin as an outstanding student. In addition, he has been a very active member of the LSU Food Science Club (former Vice President) and the Zamorano Graduate Society at LSU (President 2018).
Franklin has done research in seafood, as he worked with wild Alaskan salmon during his internship at Ocean’s Beauty Seafood and also investigated how to extend the shelf life of food products using shellfish waste as preservatives. He began his PhD in Food Science and Technology during the spring of 2018 and is now working with the inactivation of food pathogens using micro pore technology in packaging for microwave products.