Home News-Free Students in BRF’s education initiatives excel

Students in BRF’s education initiatives excel

left to right: BioStart interns Chris Kirkpatrick, Lexi Livingston, Whitney Jones and Kasen Wright. Photo courtesy of Southwood High School.

Participants in this year’s Bobbie Cates Hicks Science and Medicine Academic Research Training
(SMART) and Biotechnology Magnet Academy (BTA) at Southwood High School programs
recently competed and placed in the Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fair.

Both programs are part of BRF’s EdVentures education initiative to build the region’s science
and technology workforce.

SMART student winners:
 Nhi Dao – 1 st Place, Mathematics
 Elizabeth Klotzbach – 2 nd Place, Microbiology
 Raj Letchuman – 1 st Place, Biomedical Engineering and received a bid to the Regeneron

International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)
 Chloe Miller – 1 st Place, Cellular & Molecular Biology
 Kate Michael – 3 rd Place, Behavioral & Social Science
 Gabrielle Miller – 1 st Place, Microbiology

The SMART program, launched in 1997, is a yearlong research experience for 8-12 academically
advanced high school seniors from Caddo, Bossier and DeSoto parishes. The students work
alongside investigators at LSU Health Shreveport on research studies. SMART students have a
career interest in medicine, biomedical research or biomedical engineering. The program is a
partnership among BRF; LSU Health Shreveport; and the Caddo, Bossier and DeSoto Parish
School Boards.

Southwood High School Biotechnology Magnet Academy (BTA) winners:
 Whitney Jones – 3 rd Place, Cellular & Molecular Biology
 Kasen Wright – 3 rd Place, Biochemistry

 Chris Kirkpatrick – 4 th Place, Biochemistry
 Lexi Livingston also presented her research in Biomedical Engineering

In 2009, BRF helped launch the Biotechnology Magnet Academy and BioStart programs in
conjunction with the Caddo Parish School Board, LSU Health Shreveport, LSU Shreveport,
participating biotech companies and Southwood High School. Each year, the four-year academy
serves around 200 students, many of whom are women, minorities, and first-generation college

Funding for BRF’s EdVentures programs comes from the generosity of donors including the late
Bobbie Cates Hicks, the Bruce J. Heim Foundation, CenterPoint Energy Foundation, the
Community Foundation of North Louisiana’s Give for Good donors, the Community Foundation
of North Louisiana’s William C. Woolf Fund, and the Magale Foundation. If you would like to
donate to BRF’s EdVentures programs, please visit giveforgoodnla.org/brf.

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