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Panelist Bio

Isiah M. Warner, PhD
Boyd Professor of Chemistry, LSU

Professor Isiah Warner is well known throughout the country for his research and mentoring efforts, even at the level of the White House, where he has received one of the first Presidential Young Investigator Awards from President Reagan in 1984 and a Presidential Mentoring Award in 1997 from President Clinton. The first presidential award is a research award and the second is best characterized as a humanitarian award. In aggregate, these two awards are representative of the wide spectrum of activities in which he is engaged. He is a recipient of other awards including the “1999 AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award,” and a similar national award from the world’s largest scientific society, i.e. the American Chemical Society. Dr. Warner is an internationally known scholar and researcher who has held chaired professorships at two major universities (Emory University and LSU). Professor Warner’s legacy with students is legendary! This is evident from the large number of awards that he has received for mentoring. For example, until Professor Warner came to LSU, the Chemistry department had never had more than three African-American students working toward a Ph.D. degree at any one time. This number now averages more than 30 for the past ten years. LSU is now ranked first in the nation in the production of African-American PhDs in chemistry. For example, LSU produced eight (18%) of the national production of forty-four African-American PhDs in the year 2000. During the last ten years, a little less than 10% of the African American Chemistry PhDs produced in the entire country have come from LSU. Furthermore, between the years of 2000 to 2004, twenty-five of the fifty-seven PhDs in chemistry at LSU were awarded to under-represented minorities, primarily African Americans.

Much of this effort was initiated during Professor Warner’s chairmanship of LSU’s Chemistry department, where he assisted in greatly increasing the influx and success of African-American students. Dr. Warner is also the founder and Vice Chancellor for the LSU Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) which was initiated in 2001. Since his initial academic appointment in chemistry at Texas A & M University in 1977, he has directly guided more than 300 high school and undergraduate students, more than 50 graduate students toward PhDs, and more than 40 post-doctoral scholars through the halls of academe. In addition, he has mentored hundreds of other students outside of his research group. Dr. Warner is well known for his effective recruiting and guiding students (particularly minority students) into chemistry, biology, and medicine. He interacts with many students of diverse backgrounds (economic, ethnic, cultural, gender, and religion) as well as diverse career paths. Many of his students/mentees have gone on to careers in chemistry, biology, medicine, and law.

Dr. Warner has been awarded more than 50 grants (more than 30 in Education), funded by the NSF, NIH, Louisiana, Department of Education Board of Regents and industry.

Current Topic

     03/18 - Making Schools Safe

Where does Louisiana stand in this national discussion?
The school shooting in Broward County Florida that took the lives of 17 people has reignited the debate over how to make our schools safe. Energized students nationwide are calling for restricted access to certain guns. Congress is considering broader background checks and age limits on gun purchases. President Donald Trump is most enthusiastic about training school staff members to carry concealed weapons.

Where does Louisiana stand in this national discussion? How would gun control proposals affect the 45% of Louisianans who own guns? What mental health services are available to prevent teenagers from acting out violently? What increased security measures should schools take and how much will they cost? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Making Schools Safe” airing Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB and WLAE in New Orleans. (Taping Tuesday, March 27.)

Our panelists are:
• Sheriff Jason Ard, Livingston Parish
• Betty Muller, M.D., Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
• Scott Richard, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia

The program features interviews with Bossier Parish School Superintendent Scott Smith; Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington; Director of Security for Bossier Parish Schools, Lt. Adam Johnson; and Meagan Medley, Ph.D., a nationally-certified school psychologist and assistant professor at Nicholls State University. LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and LPB news anchor, Andre’ Moreau, will moderate the discussion.

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.
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Special Presentation

     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

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

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How many people are living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana and what resources are available to them?
»»» View all Topics!
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