The LSUS Foundation has created a new endowed scholarship
to honor LaPREP founder Dr. Carlos Spaht, who will retire from LSU Shreveport in
The Dr. Carlos Spaht Endowed Scholarship in STEM will be available to LSU
Shreveport undergraduates majoring in math, science, engineering or technology. The
first award will be made in the 2022-23 academic year.
Dr. Spaht has spent his entire 50-year teaching career at LSU Shreveport. He joined the
faculty in 1972 and has taught math and logic. In 1992, he founded LaPREP to
encourage minority and female middle-school students to graduate from high school,
earn a college degree and pursue math and science careers.
A seven-week summer program, LaPREP introduces youngsters to college-level math
and science concepts. Students participate in hands-on activities, take field trips, and
meet professionals in fields ranging from robotics to medicine. Related programs focus
on math and science for older elementary students and video game design for high
In the past three decades, LaPREP and its related programs have served thousands of
youngsters. Dr. Spaht and his colleagues have tracked program participants to measure
success, and to date every LaPREP alum who entered high school graduated. Spaht
says all of the original 560 LaPREP participants enrolled in college, and 80 percent of
them majored in math or science.
“We always encourage the students and build them up,” Dr. Spaht says. “The
academics are tough, but they can do it. I teach basically the same logic concepts to
LaPREP students as I do to my college students here at LSUS.”
In 2007 Dr. Spaht was named U.S. Professor of the Year for his work with the program.
“LaPREP has been the crown jewel of our annual summer camp offerings, and the
positive impact of the program on individuals, families, and our community is
immeasurable. Because of this, no one associated with LSUS has achieved a greater
impact than Carlos Spaht in supporting and serving K-12 students of this region,” said
LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark.
Dr. Spaht grew up in Baton Rouge and earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral
degrees from LSU. He entered the Army and rose to the rank of Captain, serving as
Operations Research Analyst in support of the Chief of Staff of the Army at the
Pentagon in Washington, D.C., from 1970 to 1972.
As he prepared to leave the Army, he was weighing his career options – and turned
down a chance at wealth for the teaching job at LSUS.
“I had a couple of friends who wanted me to stay in Washington. We were like the three
musketeers. One was starting a business,” Dr. Spaht recalls. “My friends ended up
making millions of dollars in just a few years. I came to LSUS for an interview, and I fell
in love with LSUS. Honestly, I would have been unhappy working at that company. I
think I was called to be a teacher.”