Local student headed to D.C.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 12, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE – Mason Roussel, a senior at St. Charles High School in LaPlace, has been nominated to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 14 through 16.

The Congress of Future Medical Leaders is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields.

Roussel said he is interested in both chemical engineering and biomedical research, and he hopes information gathered from the trip to D.C. will help him to make up his mind about what field to pursue.

“I just want to make a difference in whatever field I decide to go into,” said Roussel.

Denise Falgoust, head of the Math Department at SCC, passed Roussel’s name on to Dr. Connie Mariano, the medical director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. Mariano then nominated Roussel to represent SCC at the event.

Roussel was chosen based on his academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.

During the three-day event, Roussel will join students from across the country and hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science Winners talk about leading medical research.

“I am looking forward to hearing speakers, and I think they’ll help to influence me in my future decisions,” said Roussel.

Roussel said he is most excited about hearing Jack Andraka’s speech. Andraka, at just 15 years old, developed a new diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer.

Students attending will also be given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school, as well as hear stories told by patients who are living medical miracles. Students will also learn about cutting-edge advances and the future in medicine and medical technology.

“This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, executive director of the National Academy. “Focused, bright and determined students like Mason Roussel are our future, and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.”

Roussel received numerous college scholarship offers but ultimately decided to attend Louisiana State University in the fall.

Roussel scored a 35 on the math portion and a 34 on the science portion of the ACT, and said math has always been his favorite subject. This year Roussel is taking an independent study math course at SCC, where he studies math logic. He also helps to tutor a trigonometry and advanced math course at the school.

At SCC, Roussel has been on the soccer team for four years, the tennis team for two years, in the National Honor Society, and is this year’s vice president of the math club, which is in its first year. He has volunteered at summer soccer camps and attended the March for Life in D.C. earlier this year.

Last fall, Roussel also coached his younger cousin Dominic Boesen’s soccer team at St. Joan of Arc.

Mason is the son of Mark and Jeannine Roussel of LaPlace.