News Post

Students Participate in Research Program at LSU

Three St. Joseph’s Academy students participated in the High School Summer Research (HSSR) Program at the LSU College of Engineering. The outreach initiative is aimed at engaging high-achieving high school students in real research in the fields of engineering, computer science and construction management. 

Juniors Anna Terrell, Katie Toncrey and Camille Starkovich were matched with a College of Engineering faculty member’s research team. They received guidance from the professor, as well as graduate-student and undergraduate-student mentors, as they worked on a project related to the team’s ongoing research.

Students selected as HSSR interns completed detailed safety paperwork and training during the spring 2023 semester in order to work on their projects in summer 2023 and beyond. They were required to work 15-20 hours per week during the summer for a total of 120-140 hours. 

“I wanted to participate in this program because I knew it would be a great experience and would give me insight into a future career I am very interested in,” Terrell said. “Through this program, I have learned responsibility and hard work. I was very dedicated to my lab work and spent about 30 hours in the lab each week. I loved every second of it and met a lot of grad students who informed me on college and majors. It was an amazing experience, and I would encourage all who are interested to participate.”

Each year, HSSR interns have opportunities to learn from faculty research groups and understand how they work, what inspires them and how to continue in fields related to engineering in college and beyond.
In addition to their work on a research team/project, HSSR interns attend workshops that include training on safety, research best practices, ethics in research and communication. The program culminates in a poster presentation for students to present their research projects.

Starkovich said the internship enabled her to combine her passion for STEM with the opportunity to gain experience in a laboratory setting. “I also learned how to communicate effectively with undergraduate students and my professor,” she said. “I gained a better understanding of how meetings operate and how laboratory work functions in a college research environment. The HSSR program allowed me to become a better researcher through my direct exposure to project development and experimentation. I was surrounded by people who had published scientific articles, and I learned how to evaluate the articles and form questions to further my research. I even competed in a poster fair for HSSR and received an honorable mention for my work.”

The HSSR Intern application and selection process is highly competitive, due to high interest and a limited number of available positions. “It is an honor to be selected into this program,” said Jacqueline Savoia, SJA’s science fair coordinator. 

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director