Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Institute of Environmental Communication?

The Institute of Environmental Communication (IEC) is an educational process that brings individuals together to discuss environmental issues. It is part of the Loyola University Center for Environmental Communication.

What is the purpose of the IEC and its Fellows Program?

The purpose of the IEC Fellows Program is to provide a forum for discussion of environmental issues among people who are either directly affected by the issues or have solutions for them within their power. The principal impediment to achieving workable, sustainable solutions to environmental conflict is often the lack of communication among people from diverse segments of society.

The IEC Fellows Program’s working hypothesis is that if people who have different motivations meet and work together, they will come to understand others’ perspectives and find it easier to work as a team. Among humans, trust only grows from acquaintance coupled with openness and mutual honesty.

It is the purpose of the IEC Fellows Program to produce a constituency that will contribute to an environmentally oriented community within which there is increased communication and trust.

Who is the IEC audience?

The IEC is marketed throughout the state and Gulf Coast region, with emphasis being placed on the citizens of metropolitan New Orleans

How does the IEC serve the community?

The IEC produces an alumni group composed of people who have, through the IEC Fellows Program and other activities, shared experiences and knowledge about the environment and who know one another personally, thus enhancing the ease of communication.

How does the IEC serve Loyola University New Orleans?

The IEC addresses many issues that are critical to a Jesuit education. It is truthful in presentation, focused on critical community needs, is fair to all concerned, and extends the limits of the Loyola family. Citizens have come to expect Loyola University to be at the cutting-edge of community service. The IEC meets that expectation.

How does the IEC serve Loyola’s Environmental Communication Program?

The IEC is the heart of the Environmental Communication Program at Loyola. All other programs emanate from the IEC and are strengthened by its activities.

How often are the IEC sessions held?

The classes are held once per week, with each class being about three hours in duration (including a break).

How are participants chosen?

The goal is to have each class represent a cross-section of the environmentally concerned and involved public. Each year, an announcement is distributed soliciting applications to the IEC. Attention is given to having each class having good representation of the following: gender, race, industry, environmental community, activists, scientists, engineers, and the like.

Can I nominate myself?

Self nominations are encouraged. A nomination form can be downloaded here (Adobe PDF)

Can I nominate more than one person?

Yes you can, however a nomination form must be filled out for each of the nominees.

Do I have to attend the opening session?

Yes, if at all possible. The opening session is a very important session for all invitees of the IEC. Its purpose is to familiarize members with the program as well as each other. If you are unable to attend the first workshop, call the director to discuss options.

How many sessions do I have to attend to be designated a fellow?

Invitees may miss no more than three meetings during the IEC. If your schedule does not permit attending this many meetings, consider applying next year when you may be able to commit more time.

How are the sessions operated?

Each session has one or more speakers who will introduce and give an overview of a topic. There will be adequate time for questions and discussion, followed by an opportunity for fellowship and extended conversation. It is the intention of the IEC to stimulate constructive dialog on environmental issues. It is understood that participants will have a variety of interests and agendas, but emphasis will be placed on discussion of issues and pursuit of truth and solutions rather than endless debate. All discussion will involve honesty and mutual respect.

How many speakers participate per class?

This will vary, but each class will have one or more speakers with invited guests who are asked to comment and to participate in the discussion. In the syllabus, the list of speakers includes potential speakers and guests.

Where are IEC meetings held?

Meetings are held on the Loyola University New Orleans campus (the specific room is on the syllabus). A map to the campus can be downloaded from the Loyola University New Orleans home page.