Southeast community photo gallery for Oct. 29, 2015 _lowres

Photo provided by Crystal Evans -- Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts alumni who recently spoke at the school’s Connections Weekend include, front row from left, Alice Shikina, Brigette Bechtel, Jacinta Gisclair and Ann Glaviano; middle row, Joshua Callendret, Kristina Irvan Donovan, Michael Thornton, Jonathan Bailly and Grant Belgard; and back row, Keith Nicewarner, Donna Pedder Peterson, Derek Richard and Richard Funnell.

Former Baton Rouge resident Grant Belgard recently returned to the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches for Connections Weekend.

Belgard, a 2004 graduate of LSMSA, was among 15 alumni to discuss his experiences at the school and to provide insight on what students need to know to prepare for their future, a news release said.

“Don’t be afraid to fail,” Belgard told LSMSA students. “I would have missed out on key opportunities had I shied away from things I thought I could not do. When too much time has passed without failing or being rejected, that is a sign that I have not been taking enough risks.”

Belgard lives in Dayton, Ohio. He earned a bachelor of science in physics, chemistry and chemical physics from Rice University, a bachelor of arts in biochemistry and cell biology from Rice University and a Ph.D. in physiology, anatomy and genetics from the University of Oxford and National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

He is a research scientist at the University of Oxford, working primarily on the European Union’s billion-euro Human Brain Project, whose long-term aim is to simulate a human brain from the ground up, the release said. He also is involved in projects relating to autism, brain evolution, networks of brain activity and heart attacks.