Jay Iyer, Class of 2021
Co-President of Chemistry Club; Treasurer of Indian Student Association; member of STEM Club and Mu Alpha Theta; Science Bowl team and captain for 2020-21; Science Olympiad team; first place at the regional science fair in Translational Medical Science, and second place overall; Research Science Institute (RSI) Scholar; International Science and Engineering Fair Participant 2018, 2020; Ultimate Frisbee Captain
BRHSF: What activities are you involved in at Baton Rouge Magnet High School?
JI: As my academic passion resides in STEM, more specifically microbiology and biochemistry, most of my activities at BRHS are STEM-oriented. I am the Co-President of Chemistry Club and a member of STEM Club and Mu Alpha Theta.
Additionally, I am a member of our science bowl team and was elected as captain next year. We recently won first place at the state competition and will be competing in the National Competition next month. Furthermore, I participate in the biology and chemistry events for our Science Olympiad team, including protein modeling, designer genes, and water quality.
Science Fair at BRHS is one of the biggest activities I have been involved in since ninth grade. Students exchange scientific ideas and innovative solutions to our world’s biggest problems. Representing BRHS at the regional science fair, I won first place in Translational Medical Science, second place overall, and was invited to participate in the International Science and Engineering Fair for the second time in the past three years.
I am also involved in numerous non-STEM activities at BRHS. As a part of our culturally diverse student body, I am also a member and the Treasurer of Indian Student Association. Through ISA, I am able to help spread Indian culture to other students in the club and assist in the ICA show performance.
Furthermore, one of my biggest hobbies is playing ultimate frisbee. I am one of the captains for the team, and we have participated and won numerous tournaments over the past three years.
BRHSF: Where do you plan to go to college and what will be your major?
JI: I am a Junior and I have not started the college application process, but it has always been my dream to attend Yale University and major in either biochemistry or biomedical engineering. My cousin suffers from a very rare neurodegenerative disease and lives near New Haven, CT. Yale’s exemplary pre-medical program, coupled with my cousin living not very far from the University, are the reasons why I would like to attend Yale.
BRHSF: What have been some highlights of your high school experience?
JI: Contrary to the typical American “high school experience,” the highlights of my high school experience were not found on a football field or a dance floor, but instead in science classrooms and our labs. Working on projects in biology, chemistry, and physics labs have given me the opportunity to extend abstract conceptual material taught in the classroom.
Another highlight of my high school experience is being a part of the diverse array of students at BRHS and the vast number of clubs and activities that BRHS has to offer. One of the most exciting days of the school year is Fall Fair, when most of the clubs at BRHS sell food or have an activity that showcases the club. It is a culmination of the ideas, cultures, and passions that is representative of the spirit of BRHS.
BRHSF: How has Baton Rouge Magnet High School prepared you for the future?
JI: BRHS has prepared me for the future by providing me with a rigorous and college-preparatory curriculum that is comparable to college academics. Additionally, BRHS has allowed me to use scientific equipment that many would find first-second year undergraduate students using at colleges. These resources are a fundamental component of our science courses and give BRHS students exposure to what they will encounter in undergraduate college courses and beyond.
Furthermore, being a part of a closely-knit community of like-minded students and teachers that share a common passion for learning has significantly helped me prepare for the future. The learning environment at BRHS has been conducive to my success in academics and growth as an individual.
BRHSF: How has a particular teacher or faculty member influenced your life and your aspirations?
JI: The teacher that has influenced my life and aspirations the most during my time at BRHS thus far has been Ms. Sangita Mathur, who taught me Chemistry Honors and AP Chemistry, and is our Science Bowl Head Coach. Ever since I walked into her classroom in 9th grade, I noticed the great passion that she has for teaching and her high knowledge of Chemistry. Her teaching style, coupled with her passion for chemistry, further inspired me and extended my knowledge past the basic curriculum. The concepts that I learned in her class opened my eyes to chemical biology, which is the application of chemistry to study biological systems.
As I do laboratory research outside of school at LSU, I routinely use the concepts that Ms. Mathur taught me on a daily basis, such as doing serial dilutions, making solutions, and following proper lab protocols. My past research project involved using chemistry to synthesize compounds that can help degrade harmful proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases.
Even though I do not take her class anymore, I look forward to meeting Ms. Mathur every Wednesday for science bowl practice, as I continue to learn chemistry concepts from her for competition. She has tremendously influenced my career aspirations as I want to major in biochemistry. Additionally, she has also influenced my research goals, as I continue to utilize synthetic organic chemistry for drug discovery.
BRHSF: Any additional comments you would like to share?
JI: I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend BRHS. The facilities, teachers, faculty, and staff, coupled with the BRHS community, have been an integral component of my college readiness and success. I could not be more thankful for all they have done to ensure student success and keep our banner flying high. Go Bulldogs!