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Meet Dr. Saundra McGuire

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Saundra Yancy McGuire, Director Emerita of the LSU Center for Academic Success and Retired Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry, is an internationally recognized chemical educator, author and lecturer who has travelled the globe promoting sure-fire strategies to help students, including those underrepresented in science and math professions, to be successful in their coursework and careers. Prior to joining LSU in 1999, McGuire spent eleven years at Cornell University, where she received the coveted Clark Distinguished Teaching Award. Her latest book, Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation, was released in October 2015 and is a Stylus Publications best seller.

A proud native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr. McGuire received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, magna cum laude, from Southern University, her Master’s degree from Cornell University, and her Ph.D. in chemical education from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where she received the Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Promise.

Among Dr. McGuire’s most recent accolades are the 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students to Pursue Careers in the Chemical Sciences and Induction into LSU College of Science Hall of Distinction. In 2015 she received the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Lifetime Mentor Award and in 2014 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. She is an elected Fellow of the ACS and the AAAS. In 2007 the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring was presented to her in a White House Oval Office Ceremony. She is married to Dr. Stephen C. McGuire, a professor of physics at Southern University. They are the parents of Dr. Carla McGuire Davis and Dr. Stephanie McGuire, and the doting grandparents of Joshua, Ruth, Daniel, and Joseph Davis.


Welcome, Chelsea Werner

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Chelsea joins the BRYC Community as a College Counseling Director. In this role, she will be working with Ms. LaShawn to support what next year will be a cohort of 100 Senior Fellows as they work to navigate the college application process! Chelsea will officially begin her work with BRYC in June.

Originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, Chelsea attended the University of Miami where she earned her BA in Marine Affairs and Policy with minors in Biology, Sociology, and Economics. After earning her degree, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and led community service initiatives in the Little Havana, Liberty City, and Overtown neighborhoods of greater Miami. During this time, she also began mentoring young men involved in the criminal justice system through a program called Empowered Youth and developed a strong interest in how our justice system functions – or doesn’t, as it were. She returned to the University of Miami a year later to earn her MS in Marine Affairs and Policy with a focus on youth environmental education programs. She also spent time as a Resident Scientist in a local middle school through a National Science Foundation fellowship and tutored in the athletic department at U-Miami in her spare time. After completing her thesis, Chelsea joined Teach for America South Louisiana and moved to Baton Rouge to teach middle school science. Over the past two years, she has also served as a College Mentor to two wonderful BRYC Fellows and is extremely excited to support Senior Fellows full-time moving forward. In her free time, she loves to read (Beach Music and Between the World and Me are her favorites), spend time outside near the water, and watch sports.

Welcome, Leigh Phillips!

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Leigh joins the BRYC Community as our first Director of Development and Communications! In this role, she will provide critical fundraising support and manage all of BRYC’s internal and external communications. Leigh will officially begin her work with BRYC in June. 

Leigh is a Sulphur, Louisiana native and first-generation college graduate of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. She was a 2013 Teach For America-South Louisiana corps member who taught fifth grade English language arts and social studies in Ascension Parish. Leigh is currently a founding humanities teacher and fifth grade team lead at Baton Rouge College Prep Charter School. Her passions include her rescue dogs, Pippa and Gertrude, and all things LSU. Leigh has volunteered with BRYC as both a Freshman and College Mentor and is thrilled to become a full-time member of the BRYC team!

Fellowship Banquet: Class of 2016 Celebration and Sendoff

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Senior year in BRYC is a grind. For twelve months starting the June after 11th-grade year, Senior Fellows spend hundreds of hours prepping for the ACT, researching and visiting colleges, writing essays, securing recommendation letters, applying for scholarships, and completing the many other parts of the college application process. For their hard work, our Seniors deserved a celebration!

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