Speaker Date Topic
CHRIS WERLE Sep 17, 2019
CLIMATE SCIENCE
CLIMATE SCIENCE

Chris Werle and his wife Nichole live in Purvis with their two young children and are members of Parkway Heights UMC. He has a Ph.D. in Horticulture/Entomology from LSU and works as an Entomologist with the US Dept. of Agriculture. In his free time, Chris serves as a board member with Purvis Youth Sports and the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of MS, leads Hattiesburg's chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, and enjoys playing music at church and with a variety of bands.

"Climate science is no longer in question; major petroleum corporations, religious leaders and Rotary International all are calling for action. My goal is to provide information on an important topic that will disproportionately affect our coming generations, so that voters and elected officials alike can make the best decisions possible. My approach is bipartisan, and will appeal to conservatives and progressives alike!"

DR. RODNEY BENNETT Oct 08, 2019
The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi

Rodney D. Bennett serves as the chief executive officer and principal educational officer of The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs to approximately 15,000 students on campuses in South Mississippi and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Under President Bennett’s leadership, the University has invested in new faculty positions, expanded coastal operations, and worked to increase access to quality education and research programs to serve the needs of the state of Mississippi and beyond. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state.

President Bennett’s vision is for The University of Southern Mississippi to become the model for public higher education across the country. His key institutional priorities include ensuring student success; expanding enrollment strategies; enhancing academic instruction; fostering greater focus on research; bolstering economic and community partnerships; and maximizing human potential.

President Bennett holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration from Tennessee State University in Nashville and a Specialist in Education, a Master of Education in Educational Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.