||Third Energizing Kentucky conference focuses on education
RELEASED: April 2, 2009
The conference—the third in a series organized by Centre College President John A. Roush, University of Louisville President James R. Ramsey, Berea College President Larry D. Shinn and University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr.—will feature remarks by Carol Browner, President Barack Obama's assistant for energy and climate change and head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Clinton.
The Wednesday night session, which opens the conference, includes a keynote address by renowned scholar Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Guns, Germs and Steel" and "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Succeed or Fail." In addition to being a bestselling author, Diamond is an evolutionary biologist, physiologist and lecturer. The winner of a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" and the National Medal of Science, Diamond also is a professor of geography and physiology at UCLA.
Thursday morning will begin with an overview of Gov. Steve Beshear's energy plan, presented by Energy and Environmental Matters Secretary Leonard Peters. President Shinn will then lead a discussion of the plan with panelists Rep. Rocky Adkins, majority floor leader in the Kentucky House of Representatives; Senator Robert Stivers; Tom Fitzgerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council; and Admiral John J. Grossenbacher, director of the Idaho National Laboratory.
The conference will include two sets of breakout sessions. The first set, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., will include discussions of energy and sustainability at American Colleges and Universities and civic partnerships that can help agencies and communities use energy wisely.
During lunch, teams of students from elementary, middle and secondary schools and institutions of higher learning from around the commonwealth will host a poster session highlighting energy education that is now taking place in Kentucky.
The second set of breakout sessions includes discussions of ways to teach wise energy use to Kentucky's elementary, middle and high school students and sustainability efforts at Kentucky's colleges and universities.
The two earlier conferences, held last June and September in Louisville, prompted praise from business leaders and government officials for bringing together a variety of often competing interests and generating ideas regarding one of the most critical issues facing Kentucky and the nation at large. Thomas L. Friedman, author of "The World Is Flat," keynoted the second conference.
The cooperative focus on energy—especially in this third conference—has also generated a more general discussion about the value of investments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Roush says. The four institutions have worked to put higher environmental standards into practice, he explains, and the legislature has identified energy as a vital issue that will require crucial decisions in the coming decades.
"All four of these institutions have made a serious commitment to sustainability," Roush says. "It's what the really good places do and what the good states are going to find a way to do.
"Kentucky is not at the back of the pack," Roush adds. "This kind of conference makes it clear that Kentucky is engaged in this conversation, is prepared to change the way it does its business and is pushing itself in that direction…I really believe this has an opportunity for a lasting impact for good for the commonwealth of Kentucky."
More details on the upcoming Energizing Kentucky conference, including registration information, are available online at www.energizingkentucky.org.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives, go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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