White Coat Scholars

When you support the White Coat Scholarship Campaign, you help open doors for the next generation of LSU Health Shreveport physicians. In its inaugural year, the campaign raised $200,000, allowing LSU Health Shreveport to award 4-year scholarships to ten gifted and deserving medical students. In 2023, LSUHS granted eleven more scholarships to the incoming Class of 2027. Your gift has a lasting impact on our students and their future medical careers. Scholarships are also vital to attracting highly competitive applicants to LSU Health Shreveport.

Continue reading to learn more about the Class of 2027 White Coat Scholars.


White Coat Scholar
Impact Spotlights

Austin W. Hansen, MSI

Hometown: Clarkston, WA
Undergraduate: Univ. of Utah

Austin grew up in Washington State near the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers with four brothers and one sister. Curious about all aspects of life, he pursued a diverse educational journey, beginning with a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Utah followed by a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences from Nova Southeastern University. Austin has consistently sought to make a positive impact on the lives of those around him, volunteering on a two-year service mission in the Philippines, in free clinics, and most recently at Camp Tiger at LSU Health Shreveport.

Why did you choose LSU Health Shreveport? to pursue your medical education?

“I have always been impressed with LSU Health Shreveport’s investment in their students, dedication to research, community outreach, and large network of connected residencies. LSU Health Shreveport’s recent investments in a new state-of-the-art educational center, human performance lab, and biosafety level three research labs are examples to their commitment to student success, discovery, and community engagement. I look forward to embracing the challenges and growth opportunities that come with being a part of a dedicated community of faculty and classmates.”

Ben Peco, MSI

Hometown: Tickfaw, LA
Undergraduate: Southeastern Louisiana Univ.

Ben grew up in Tickfaw, Louisiana, and attended Southeastern Louisiana University, where he completed bachelor’s degrees in Kinesiology and Integrative Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Ben was given the unique opportunity to volunteer with North Oaks Hospital’s level II shock trauma center,which allowed him to be involved with members of the healthcare team from many different departments. Ben was very involved in activities for his community as a member of the American Red Cross. He is both a first-generation college student and a first-generation medical student.

Why did you choose LSU Health Shreveport to pursue your medical education?

“Being born and raised in Louisiana, from the moment I became interested in pursuing a career in medicine, LSU Health Shreveport was a school on the top of my list to attend. Everyone who I have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing who has attended or currently attends LSUHS has been nothing but helpful with great things to say about the program. On top of that, those individuals who have studied at the institution have always seemed caring, knowledgeable, and had a great foundation.  I am also excited about the new Center for Medical Education building, which my class will have the opportunity to take advantage of using in our training.”

Brianna Callicoatte, MSI

Hometown: Blanchard, LA
Undergraduate: Centenary College of Louisiana

Brianna is from small town Blanchard, LA and attended C.E. Byrd High School and then Centenary College of Louisiana for her undergraduate education. There she received dual degrees in biology and neuroscience and minors in psychology and chemistry. Throughout college, Brianna participated in many community service activities, including volunteering at a local food bank, Common Ground Community and as part of the tech team at her church, North Point United Methodist. Brianna is very grateful to be a first-generation medical student.

Why do you want to become a physician?

“I have always been passionate about healthcare accessibility and representation. I want to become a physician so that I can be a major part of someone’s medical journey.”

Cameron Howe, MSI

Hometown: Pleasant Grove, Utah
Undergraduate: Brigham Young Univ.

Cameron attended BYU with a major in Physiology and Developmental Biology and a minor in Spanish. He has volunteered for numerous organizations, including at a local ESL (English as a Second Language) elementary school and a local academy for young adults with autism and other learning disabilities. Cameron also lived in Puerto Rico for a two-year religious service trip before beginning his undergraduate degree. He credits his volunteer experiences for helping him gain an appreciation for serving minority or otherwise underserved populations and hopes to incorporate this appreciation into his future medical career. Outside of school, he enjoys skiing, playing basketball and golf, and petting dogs!

What impact will your scholarship have on your time at medical school?

“As a student from outside of Louisiana, I will pay non-resident tuition. This in no way diminishes my deepest desires to unify myself to this school, I simply mention this to highlight a personal financial challenge that comes with attending a school that is ‘out of state’ for me. This scholarship will have an enormous impact at chipping away at these daunting, non-resident tuition costs. Becoming a White Coat Scholar provides a financial boost to start me off on the right foot in my medical school journey.”

Claire Cordell, MSI

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Undergraduate: Mississippi State Univ.

Claire was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Mississippi State University. She has two older siblings and two yellow labs. Claire is the first in her family to attend medical school and was introduced to the medical field by her mother, who works as a CRNA! During her time at LSU Health Shreveport, she looks forward to being involved in the community and getting to know the faculty, students, and patients.

What impact will your scholarship have on your time at medical school?

“My scholarship will have an enormous impact on my time in medical school. I am incredibly grateful to the donors who made this award possible. Because of this gift, I will be able to better focus on my studies and experience less financial stress. I cannot imagine attending any other school than LSU Health Shreveport, and I will do as much as possible to give back to this community as it has been so generous to me.”

Garret Miller, MSI

Hometown: Rayne, LA
Undergraduate: Louisiana Tech

Garret Miller grew up in the rural town of Rayne, LA, and graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana Tech. Garret often worked two jobs during his college years, was a LA Tech Fishing team member, and volunteered as a youth baseball coach while finishing his undergraduate degree in just three years. He will be the first physician in his family and chose LSU Health Shreveport for his medical education based on the faculty’s commitment and dedication to its students.

What would you say to the donors who made your scholarship possible?

“I am honored and blessed to have been chosen for a White Coat Scholarship. Your faith in me will help lead me to accomplish great things. My scholarship will help decrease the financial burden in making my dream come true. Thank you for trusting me with your donation and supporting upcoming physicians. You will not be disappointed in me; I will use my scholarship to become the best physician and individual possible and follow in your footsteps. Rest assured, I will make you proud and pay it forward to a new group of incoming physicians chasing their dream one day.”

Ibraheem Hachem, MSI

Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Undergraduate: LSU Baton Rouge

Ibraheem is a Lebanese American born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He studied at LSU Baton Rouge, graduating with a degree in Finance. Ibraheem has extensive experience serving his community, including working with the non-profit organization, TheLoveStory LLC, an organization centered around helping those suffering from depression communicate through a safe outlet and  Americans For Prosperity to help individuals understand any changing legislation that may affect their lives. Other volunteering experiences include working at the New Orleans Animal Rescue, feeding the homeless, and helping the New Orleans Mission set up events. He is the son of two Lebanese immigrants who were not afforded the privilege of higher education and is a first-generation college graduate and will be the first physician in his family.


What would you say to the donors who made your scholarship possible?

“I would simply say thank you from the bottom of my heart for placing their faith and money towards my cause. I feel behind every individual, there is a team, and thanks to the donors being on my team, I will be able to continue to proceed in my endeavors. I plan to continue on my path and hope to pay this generosity forward through my work and commitment to my peers, mentors, and patients.”

Riley Montgomery, MSI

Hometown: Lafayette, LA
Undergraduate: LSU Baton Rouge

Riley Montgomery was born and raised in Lafayette, LA, and attended LSU, majoring in biology with a minor in psychology. She recently earned her Master’s in Medical Science at LSU Health Shreveport, which solidified her decision to attend medical school here. Riley has dreamed of becoming a doctor since she can remember and will be the first physician in her family. Since moving to Shreveport, she has immersed herself in the community and has volunteered at many local organizations.

Why do you want to become a physician?

“As a child, when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the only answer I recall ever giving was “I want to be a doctor.” Having a cousin with special needs taught me at an early age the need for and importance of helping others. Being a physician means offering the most critical, complex, and intense kind of support to others. Witnessing loved ones battle medical conditions fueled my desire to make a positive impact and save lives. I am so excited for LSUHS to equip me with the knowledge and skills to fulfill my dedicated passion.”

Sophie DeOliveira, MSI

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Undergraduate: Univ. of Mississippi

Sophie was born and raised in Baton Rouge and attended the University of Mississippi on a full scholarship, graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. She received multiple awards and scholarships during her time in undergraduate education and was part of the University of Mississippi’s Who’s Who inductees. She was also a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, American Medical Students Association (AMSA), American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), Gamma Beta Phi Society, Rho Lambda, and held leadership positions in Rebelthon, which raised money for Batson Children’s Hospital. Sophie is the first in her family to attend medical school.


Why do you want to become a physician?

“Throughout my employment as a medical assistant at Ochsner Urgent Care, I was given the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with other healthcare professionals in a variety of instances. This experience showed me the importance of physicians being active listeners throughout their patient’s journey, which has proven to be beneficial in both my professional and personal life. I will strive to one day be a physician who will be attentive and compassionate toward helping and improving the quality of life for patients under my care.”

Walid Khaled Mohammed, MSI

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Undergraduate: LSU Baton Rouge

Walid was born and raised in Baton Rouge to Palestinian parents. He gained an understanding of hard work and ethics from his parents and from his time volunteering in his community. He completed his undergraduate degree at LSU Baton Rouge in Biological Sciences and graduated with College Honors. Walid looks forward to the welcoming faculty and environment of LSU Health Shreveport as he continues his education.

What impact will your scholarship have on your time in medical school?

“As a first-generation medical student, my scholarship will ease the financial burden of pursuing a medical degree and motivate me to work harder for my goals. I hope one day to become a doctor who not only helps others but also helps to change society as a whole. Thank you to everyone who has made my scholarship possible and has supported my pursuit of my education.”

Margaret Donahue, MSI

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Undergraduate: LSU Baton Rouge

Margaret is from Baton Rouge and attended LSU, where she studied Biology with a minor in Psychology. In addition to her undergraduate degree, she earned her Masters in Medical Sciences last year from LSU Health Shreveport. Since living in Shreveport, she began volunteering at the Hub, a non-profit that provides meals to those in need in the community and encourages its volunteers to sit with its members and engage in conversation with them, which has formed meaningful friendships and connections. Margaret will be the first physician in her immediate family.


What impact will your scholarship have on your time at medical school?

“With medical school being so expensive, my scholarship will help to ease the financial burden of school. Having a strong work ethic since a young age, I knew I would not be able to continue working in medical school, as I would need to make my academics my full-time job. My scholarship has alleviated the pressure of needing to make money in order to afford the things I want in life, with medical school being no exception.”

Thank you for supporting LSU Health Shreveport students!

For more information about the White Coat Scholarship Campaign, including naming scholarships through an endowment, please contact:

Jesse Gilmore, VP for Development
[email protected]
LSU Health Sciences Foundation
920 Pierremont Rd, Suite 506
Shreveport, LA 71106