By: Tammy Laakso
Mary Grant and Keith Motes, West Feliciana High School alumni and recent Louisiana State University graduates, earned two prestigious science awards presented during the 37th Annual Dean Arthur R. Choppin Honors Convocation at Louisiana State University. Although there were several area high schools with alumni that received awards, West Feliciana High School was one of the few schools to have multiple honorees.
Ms. Grant, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Grant, received the LSU Department of Chemistry’s Benjamin P. Boussert Outstanding Student Award. While Ms. Grant earned the distinction of graduating Summa Cum Laude in chemistry with a minor in biology, she still managed to share her love for chemistry and teaching by serving as a student tutor in biology, chemistry and physics, and by serving as a supplemental instructor designing lessons and providing instruction for approximately 300 students. The daughter of a West Feliciana educator, Ms. Grant continued in her family’s tradition of serving others through education through a peer tutoring program in which she provided one-on-one tutoring for first generation college students. When not busy working or volunteering in dental offices in the Baton Rouge area, Ms. Grant was involved in the LSU Pre-Dental Society and the American Chemical Society. Ms. Grant was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, Golden Key Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. In July, Ms. Grant will begin the next phase of her education at the prestigious University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry from which she received the coveted Star Student Scholarship valued at $120,000.
Mr. Motes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Motes, received Upper Division Honors in Physics from the LSU College of Science. To be eligible for this honor Mr. Motes added an honors option to three of his advanced physics courses which involved completion of small research projects in the areas of sub-atomic physics, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics. Mr. Motes expounded on his research to create and defend his honors physics thesis entitled “Phase Estimation with Two-Mode Squeezed Vacuum and Parity Detection.” Last summer Mr. Motes interned with the Materials Processing Center and Center for Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the area of capacitive touch sensing fibers comparable to those used in Apple’s iPhone. This summer Mr. Motes will be doing research at the Waterloo Institute of Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Ontario and in the fall he will begin an internship with Repsol which consists of studying in Madrid, Edinburgh and Scotland.
Congratulations to Mr. Motes and Ms. Grant for the special honors they received for their academic endeavors and to all of the West Feliciana Parish School System employees who were involved in preparing them for their college challenges. Go Saints! Go Big Blue!
Ms. Grant graduated from West Feliciana High School in 2008, and Mr. Motes graduated in 2007.