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Loyola at a Glance

Loyola staff members recognized by New Orleans magazine as "People to Watch"

October 24, 2008

From left to right: Polly Thomas (standing in for husband, Bob Thomas), Kellie Kennedy, Tommy Screen

New Orleans Magazine recently recognized Kellie R. Kennedy, Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball head coach; Tommy Screen, director of the Institute of Politics and assistant to the president for government relations; and Bob Thomas, Ph.D., director for the Center for Environmental Communication and interim director of the School of Mass Communication as “People to Watch” in its September issue.

The magazine salutes “people to watch, mostly new faces who are doing something interesting with their lives that’s worthy of our awareness; or, in some cases, familiar faces moving in a different direction.” All three were honored in an Oct. 15 awards ceremony at the New Orleans Fairgrounds.

Kellie Kennedy joined Loyola as coach in August after 10 years with Tulane University, where she served as the recruiting coordinator, oversaw scheduling and supervised Tulane’s annual basketball tournament. Before Tulane, Kennedy was an assistant coach at the University of Richmond, head coach at Hollins College in Roanoke, Va., and assistant coach at University of North Carolina Wilmington.

A 1990 graduate of the UNC, Kennedy was a four-year letter winner for the Tar Heels. She earned Most Improved Player honors in 1988 and was the recipient of the 1990 UNC Scholar-Athlete and UNC Women’s Basketball Senior Awards.

Tommy Screen was appointed assistant to the president for government relations in 2005 by University President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. Prior to joining Loyola, Screen served as legislative correspondent and later as legislative assistant on the staff of former U.S. Senator John Breaux, working closely with the Department of Interior and the Department of Education. He also helped organize campaign rallies for Governor Kathleen Blanco during the 2003 campaign runoff. In June, Screen took over as director of the Institute of Politics.

Bob Thomas, Ph.D., was chosen for his work, especially post-Katrina, to “galvanize growing support for environmental issues.” Since 2005, Thomas has brought visitors on tours of the devastated areas of the city and discussed the impact the storm had on the area.

In 2007, Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed Thomas chair of the Environment Group of the Economic Growth Transition Advisory Council. Thomas is also the founding director of the Louisiana Nature Center, where he served as the liaison for the community in information pertaining to science education, environmental issues and natural history.

He is the past president of the Association of Nature Center Administrators and has served on the Accreditation Commission of the American Association of Museums, and as chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Thomas holds a bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and a master of science degree and doctorate of science in vertebrate zoology from Texas A&M University.

Thomas is a recipient of the Outstanding Citizen Diplomat Award from the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council, with which he has been involved for the past 20 years, hosting visitors from around the world and sharing with them stories of New Orleans, its climate and its people.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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