Two Centenary College alumni among Shreveport “40 Under Forty” honorees

Sarah Wilkes Thompson '13 (left) and Emily Hamann '16 (right)

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2022 Class of “40 Under Forty” honorees, including two Centenary alumni. Emily Hamann ’16 and Sarah Wilkes Thompson ’13 are among the 40 young professionals who will be considered for the Young Professional of the Year Award at the annual 40 Under Forty Awards Gala on December 2, 2022, at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino.

40 Under Forty is sponsored by the Young Professionals Initiative of Northwest Louisiana (YPI), a program of the Greater Shreveport Chamber. YPI works to create a network of young community leaders to enhance development in Northwest Louisiana.

Hamann, who earned a degree in communication and new media design from Centenary in 2016, is a communication specialist and junior editor for the American Rose Society headquartered in Shreveport. She is also the founder of Social Butterfly Advertising & Design, LLC, and co-founder of Out of the Closet, an organization that works to clothe members of the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized individuals in need.

“I'm so pleased to have been chosen for 40 Under Forty this year!” said Hamann. “I wear a lot of hats so sometimes I don't get to take a step back and appreciate how hard I've worked. This showed me that the community I adore recognizes me and that means so much to me.”

Hamann credits Centenary with helping her begin the networking that has brought her to where she is today.

“My Centenary education helped shape my drive into a wide array of communication skills,” explained Hamann. “I am forever grateful to my professors. Without Jessica Hawkins’s insistence, I would never have entered my work in the American Advertising Awards, where I ended up taking home three Gold Awards, Best In Show, and a Special Judges Choice Award. Dr. Jeff Hendricks helped me mold my passion of photography and get set up with my first internship at Photography by Scarlett. Dr. Michelle Glaros prepared me for what each field might look like in terms of expectations and how to meet and exceed them. Each was patient as they introduced me to new fields and pushed me to grow.”

Thompson graduated from Centenary in 2013 with a bachelor of science in geology and a minor in Environment & Society. She is a licensed professional geoscientist in Louisiana and currently works as a senior geologist at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality where she serves as a Team Leader. Her work centers on assisting consultants in creating soil and groundwater sampling investigations to determine site conditions and contamination levels at sites throughout Northwest Louisiana, and also developing corrective action plans to achieve remediation of contaminated sites. Thompson has also worked closely with the Abandoned Tank Program which helps revive abandoned underground storage tank sites to environmental standards to allow for property development.

“Being named to the 40 Under Forty Class is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other members of the community who are also passionate about the success of Northwest Louisiana,” said Thompson. “I am looking forward to working together to continue to grow our area and help support those in it in any way that I can.” 

Thompson believes that Centenary prepared her for a “smooth transition” from college to the workplace.

“Centenary provided me with not only a wonderful education, but more importantly the leadership, teamwork, and outreach communication skills to succeed,” said Thompson. “I learned how to contribute in different roles and work with different people in different aspects to accomplish an end goal. The demanding academic and extracurricular schedules instilled a work ethic that encourages me to leave a legacy in many areas of my career and life.”

More information about the Young Professionals Initiative and the 40 Under Forty Awards is available at


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