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Loyola professors contribute to strengthening the future of New Orleans

Loyola press release - October 1, 2007

(New Orleans)—New Orleans professionals from all walks of life came together last week to contribute their expertise to a day-long event focusing on a sustainable future for the city. Several professors and affiliates of Loyola University New Orleans contributed with presentations in their fields centering on the topic of sustainability. Students at Lusher High School, where the event was held, attended the series of discussions and presentations, collectively called, “Life in a Sustainable City,” capping off a week of immersion in sustainable ideas for the students. Thirty different conversations were presented by professors, politicians, environmentalists, school leaders, business owners, writers, artists, performers, chefs, musicians, civic activists, and others who are steering this city through its recovery.

Kurt Birdwhistell, Ph.D., associate professor of inorganic chemistry, introduced the principles of green chemistry and presented some of its applications occurring in the U.S. and Louisiana. Green chemistry involves the design and redesign of chemical syntheses and chemical products to prevent pollution and thereby solve environmental problems.

John Biguenet, the Robert Hunter Distinguished Professor of English, and Christopher Chambers, professor of English and editor of the New Orleans Review, participated in a panel discussion on the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the city's literary scene and the changes that may occur within writing of and about New Orleans, which throughout history has always been a city that has appealed to writers.

Bob Thomas, Ph.D., Loyola Chair in Environmental Communications and interim director of the Loyola School of Mass Communication, discussed the critical role the wetlands play in Louisiana’s environmental defense and the endangered state of the wetlands today.

Darlene Wolnik, deputy director of Loyola-sponsored marketumbrella.org, explored the roles local markets play in a strong and sustainable local economy.

The event was organized by the Lusher Charter School Advocates for Arts-Based Education Corporation, committed to the need to lay a solid path reaching out toward a lasting and sustainable future over the uncertainty and danger surrounding New Orleans. The presentations were centered around the idea of New Orleaneans as pioneers who have the power to sustain the city through their actions. For more information, please contact Michael Depp, Event Coordinator, at mcdepp@gmail.com or (504) 304-3960.