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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Peter T. Katzmarzyk, PhD, FACSM
Assistant Executive Director of Population Science, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Dr. Katzmarzyk is currently a Professor and the Associate Executive Director for Population Science at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. He also holds the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority Endowed Chair in Nutrition.

He obtained a PhD in Exercise Science from Michigan State University in 1997, and pursued post-doctoral education at Laval University in 1998. Dr. Katzmarzyk began his career at York University in Toronto where he was promoted to Associate Professor before moving to Queen's University in 2002 and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in 2007.

His main research interest is the epidemiology and public health impact of obesity and physical inactivity, and determining the relationships between physical activity, physical fitness, obesity and related disorders such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, particularly in children and youth.

Dr. Katzmarzyk has published his research findings in more than 240 scholarly journals and books, and regularly participates in the scientific meetings of several national and international organizations. He is currently an editorial board member for the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, and Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders.

Dr. Katzmarzyk’s scientific advocacy efforts include the organization of an annual public health conference on childhood obesity at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and chairing the research advisory committee for the development of Louisiana’s Report Card on Physical Activity and Health for Children and Youth.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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