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Entergy Supports Environmental Justice Scholars at Loyola

By Loyola University on Tue, 10/04/2022 - 16:58

(New Orleans – October 5, 2022) Generous funding from the Entergy Charitable Foundation will support the applied research and service learning projects of five promising students within Loyola University New Orleans’ acclaimed Environment program throughout the 2022-2023 academic year. As Environmental Justice Scholars, these five students will develop community engagement projects focused on improving environmental sustainability, resilience and justice within the greater New Orleans area.

“Loyola Environmental Justice Scholars will partner with a local community organization to bridge the knowledge they are learning in their classrooms with what's happening in their community,” said Dr. Aimee K. Thomas, Biology professor and member of the Environment Program. “The Environmental Justice Scholars at Loyola are tomorrow’s environmental leaders.”

The Environmental Justice Scholars program is new this year to Loyola. A call for proposals went out to all students in the Environment Program in early September. Each had the opportunity to competitively apply for the honor of being selected as an Environmental Justice Scholar. Final selections were announced Friday.

Katie Buc (ENVB ‘26) is a first-year student from Madison, Mississippi, where she spent weekends walking her neighborhood and the Natchez Trace Parkway nature trails developing a deeper appreciation for the environment by picking up litter. She will spend the next year studying the litter on campus and surrounding neighborhoods and partner with the 50-year-old Loyola University Community Action Program (LUCAP) to coordinate community enhancement and education projects to Keep Loyola Beautiful.  

Faythe Endres (ENVS ‘24) is a junior from Princeton, New Jersey, where she has gained experience working with underrepresented youth by volunteering with SPLASH Floating Classroom, an organization with a mission to educate others about the environment and water ecology of the Delaware River. Through this work, she helped make environmental science more accessible and enjoyable to all. In addition, through a volunteer internship with Roots and Routes IC as part of their Youth Visionary Collectives blogs and newsletter team, she has learned about climate justice, which has developed her interest in art and design. She will spend the next year studying urban development and landscape design in the Greater New Orleans community to design ways to respond to growing issues surrounding climate change in our state. 

Robert “Robbie” Moreau (ENVB ‘26) is a first-year student from New Orleans, where he grew up hauling Christmas trees to the marsh and participating in other coastal restoration projects that contributed to his strong interest in protecting and preserving the environment.  He will spend the next year helping to restore the Sankofa 40-acre wetland restoration green infrastructure project developed to mitigate flooding and provide a beautiful natural space in the Lower 9th Ward for environmental education, relaxation, and recreation for all to enjoy.  

Together, Taiyah “Tai” Murphy (ENVH ‘24) a junior from Destrehan, La., and Jacqueline “Jackie” Mutter (ENVH ‘24), a junior from Grayslake, Illinois, will build upon research they began last year with Loyola Religious Studies professor, Dr. Anne Daniell, interviewing local artist-performers about their connections to healing, spirituality and the environment. Their goal is to continue to study and learn from these creatives, who describe their work as related to “healing” at the intersection of individuals, community and the natural environment.  Their research project explores the lives of people who are unequally affected by environmental injustices and how their resilient responses contribute to the healing in their communities. 

The Entergy Charitable Foundation will provide these promising students stipends of $3,000 each for the 2022-2023 academic year, for a total of $15,000. Each Environmental Justice Scholar must perform 45 hours of community service per semester and participate in educational, social and cultural activities each month. As part of their service, students will communicate the goals and outcomes of the community engagement project through social media, blog posts and a community presentation.

These service opportunities will help students to develop linkages between the knowledge they gain in the classroom and experiential learning gained in the community. Through these community engagement projects, the Loyola Environmental Justice Scholars will perform research and service that contributes to the areas of environmental sustainability, resilience and justice.

“Entergy has continuously funded initiatives and research in the Loyola Environment Program since 2016, and they’ve been wonderful partners,” Thomas said. “We are grateful for their support."