Winners Announced for 2018 Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

JSHS 2018 Winners

Anna Koonce, St. Joseph's Academy; Anusha Zaman, Baton Rouge Magnet High School; Sunjay Letchuman, Caddo Parish Magnet High School; Xiang Tang, Caddo Parish Magnet High School; Grace Sun, Caddo Parish Magnet High School. Scott Wicker, Episcopal High School, Baton Rouge is not pictured.Photo: LSU Continuing Education

BATON ROUGE – LSU Continuing Education has announced the winners of the 45th annual Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, held earlier this semester at the Lod Cook Conference Center at LSU. High school students throughout the state presented original research projects in the area of STEM before a panel of faculty judges. The JSHS program is jointly sponsored by the United States departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, in cooperation with leading research universities throughout the nation.

Sunjay Letchuman, of Caddo Parish Magnet High School, was awarded first place and a $2,000 scholarship for his project, “Redox in CABG: A Tale of Two Cell Types.”

Anusha Zaman, of Baton Rouge Magnet High School, placed second and earned a $1,500 scholarship for her project, “Electronic Cigarette Aerosols Induce Adverse Health Effects in Mice of Reproductive Age and Their Offspring.”

Third place and a $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Xiang Tang, Caddo Parish Magnet High School, for his research, “The Development of an Energy Recycling System Consisting of a Thermoelectric Generator and a Thin Film Luminescent Solar Concentrator.”

The top two finalists, Letchuman and Zaman, will represent the state of Louisiana and present their research in the oral presentation session of the 56th National JSHS Symposium, to be held May 3-5, 2018 in Huntsville, Md. 

Three additional top-scoring Louisiana finalists are invited to the national symposium to present their research in a poster session competition. Third place award winner Tang, along with Grace Sun (fifth place) Caddo Parish Magnet High School, and Scott Wicker (sixth place) Episcopal High School, Baton Rouge, will compete in the poster session. Fourth-place finalist Anna Koonce, St. Joseph’s Academy, Baton Rouge, is unable to attend the national symposium. 

Kris Clements, a science teacher at Caddo Parish Magnet High School, received the 2018 La-JSHS Teacher Award, and Scott Wicker, Episcopal High School, received the La-JSHS Presidential Scholar Award.

The JSHS keynote presentations were delivered by Ginger Guttner and Vince LiCata. Guttner, director of public relations at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, shared the evolution of LSU’s Mighty Mascot, Mike the Tiger, and the role of the vet school. LiCata, professor of biological sciences, provided a unique glimpse into his research through his presentation, “SciArt: Science in the Arts at LSU.” The LSU Odgen Honor’s College hosted the Keynote Speaker Series. Students also met with staff members from the LSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions and a panel of LSU students.

This year’s panel of judges included LSU faculty members Vince LiCata, Biological Sciences; Clay Tucker, Department of Geography & Anthropology; Claire Birkenheuer, School of Veterinary Medicine; Giovanna Aita, Audubon Sugar Institute; Sherwin Cheuk, Department of Agricultural Chemistry; and Samia O’Bryan, Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Kathe Newcomb and Joal Newcomb of the U.S. Navy completed the judging team.

The prestigious national JSHS competition attracts students from 48 state regions and has been identified as a leading STEM program by the United States Department of Defense, Department of Education and Academy of Applied Sciences. All travel and other expenses for the five Louisiana finalists to travel to the national competition are covered by the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, and the top prizes include scholarship awards. 

For more information on JSHS, contact Shannon Carlson, regional director, at 225-578-6672 or

JSHS is coordinated by LSU Continuing Education. LSU Continuing Education is a leading university provider of educational outreach and engagement, helping people achieve their goals and improve their quality of life, their organizations, and their communities.Visit for more information.





Contact Shannon Carlson
LSU Continuing Education


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations