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LVC Summer Student: Mandeville senior’s resume is as big as her heart

Thursday, March 11, 2010 Kenneth Mathews – Mandeville West When Mandeville High senior Marjorie “Betsy” Bateman was named the 2009-10 St. Tammany Parish Student of the Year, the selection committee probably marveled at her impressive resume.

In just the past year, Bateman has been named a National Merit Finalist (awarded to less than 1 percent of graduating seniors), a Coca-Cola Scholars Program Finalist (one of two from Louisiana), a candidate in the prestigious Presidential Scholars Program, an AP Scholar with Honor, the MHS Senior with a first-place Senior Project/Presentation and Mandeville High Student of the Year.

The complete list of high school leadership roles and honors in categories such as general academics, science activities, English and literary pursuits, social studies activities, math competitions, musical achievements, community service and work experience literally covers a lot of ground.

Bateman gives a great deal of credit to the teachers and administration of Mandeville High for the variety of opportunities and challenges that shaped her experience.

“MHS has made me the student that I am by offering an outstanding and challenging curriculum,” she said, noting that she took the whole gamut of courses offered. Bateman has acquired 5.0s in advanced placement courses and has racked up a 4.586 grade-point average.

A nearly perfect ACT of 35 and SAT of 2370, with a perfect 1600 in math and critical reading, both taken two years ago, highlight her impressive resume. The staff of MHS may be equally grateful to Bateman, who is leaving a legacy of initiatives that began when she was a ninth-grader.

“The MHS faculty and administration encourage us to innovate whenever we see an opportunity,” she said.

As a freshman Writing Club member, she realized that it would be “cool” for the school to have its own literary magazine. Thus was born “The Hesperid,” with Volumes I and II published the past two years. Bateman served as co-editor her sophomore year and editor-in-chief as a junior and senior.

While volunteering at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans last year, she discovered its quiz bowl program. She formed a quiz bowl team at MHS, which finished third in last year’s regional competition and first among 19 teams in their division in this year’s competition. The team of Bateman and fellow students Lane Lore and Breard Snellings will compete in a championship round against Brother Martin on March 25 at 6:30 p.m.

The competition will be telecast live by COX in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Acadiana and streamed live online. Bateman, who will attend Tulane University in the fall, has led and participated in a variety of high school clubs and activities. She has served as a statewide officer and “Paper Press Editor” for the YMCA Hi-Y Youth Legislature Program for the past two years, served as president of the MHS Science Club for the past two years while she and the team placed in State Science Olympiad competitions, and competed in Mu Alpha Theta math tournaments throughout high school. At the state Literary Rally last year, Bateman was the first-place and overall winner in Biology II.

This year, she leads the school’s Best Buddies Program, which brings together all students, especially those with intellectual disabilities, to share lunches and celebrate special events. This year’s club grew to include more than 50 members, the largest in the chapter’s history.

Outside of school, Bateman has enjoyed volunteering at the World War II Museum, both as a general volunteer and in the Kid’s Corner, playing clarinet with the Symphony of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra (with which she played at Carnegie Hall last summer) and volunteering with the LSU Health Sciences Center/Bogalusa Medical Center, where she created a “Tiger Treats” program that provides age-appropriate treat bags for pediatric patients.

One of her extracurricular pursuits, which she describes as “an incredible learning experience,” has inspired her to pursue a career in research and medicine. For the past two summers, she served as a research intern at Tulane School of Medicine and LSU Health Sciences Center, respectively, through the Louisiana Gene Therapy Research Consortium/Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium/Louisiana Vaccine Center Internship Program of Dr. Paula Gregory, Associate Professor at the LSU Health Sciences Center.

“These summer internships gave me the most valuable experience, as a high school student, of participating in genetics research, which fueled my passion for science,” Bateman said. In the genetics department of the LSU Health Sciences Center, under the mentorship of Dr.

Fern Tsien, Bateman learned how to grow cells and harvest their chromosomes to identify abnormalities such as unusual numbers of chromosomes and structural anomalies. Her poster presentation, “Chromosome Instability in Mouse Cell Lines and Primary Cells,” won second place in the high school division of the summer internship program.

Principal Bruce Bundy said Bateman’s outstanding scholarship is just the beginning of her strengths.

“Betsy is one of the most well-rounded students I have ever met,” he said. “She is blessed with a keen mind and an outstanding work ethic. But more importantly, she has a big heart, a servant’s heart. I think she finds her fulfillment in serving others. She has a strong desire to be an agent of positive change,” Bundy said.

Published on Published in The Times-Picayune Sunday, March 14, 2010 ©2010 timespic