Science Speaker Series brings professional scientists to LSMSA

Bonnie Reedy

Individuals exploring career options in the sciences know that their choices are bountiful. Students at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) get to learn and engage with professionals within these scientific fields through a series of presentations called the Science Speaker Series.

According to Dr. Chris Hynes, senior lecturer of Chemistry and student research advisor, the series was established to help students hone in on their career options and expose them to the many career paths in science.

“I started the presentation series for my class as an exposure to scientific careers: to connect them to professionals and introduce them to a variety of presentation styles,” expressed Hynes. “As an added benefit, these speakers get to learn about the quality of our students and even get to do some recruiting for the programs for which they may be involved.”

The ongoing Science Speaker Series has brought seasoned professionals to campus this year from the fields of Psychology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Engineering. Some of the speakers have been LSMSA alumni who have established successful careers in their respective disciplines.

On Nov. 2, Class of 2008 alumna Bonnie Reedy presented students with an exploration of job opportunities in the field of engineering. Reedy is currently a chemical production engineer at Dow Chemical Company in Baton Rouge. She has presented for the Speaker Series previously and was able to visit the school with the support of the LSMSA Foundation.

On Nov. 9, Class of 1985 alum Dr. James McGuffee spoke on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. McGuffee is a professor of computer science and currently serves as dean of the School of Science and Technology at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee.

Both Reedy and McGuffee provided students with insight on their career paths after LSMSA. Another school alum, Dr. Jacob Bitoun (‘01), is set to offer a presentation on Microbiology and Immunology in December.

Other speakers this semester were Psychologist Dr. Steven C. Gruesbeck, Biologist Dr. Cynthia Doffitt, Physicist Anna Dugas, Health Careers Coordinator LaShanda D. Sanders, and Chemist Dr. Daniel Rivera. Physical Chemist Dr. Glenn Lo will present to students at the end of November.

Interested in participating in the series and contributing to the future scientists of tomorrow? Contact Dr. Chris Hynes at (318)357-2551 or email him at