Forum Looks to Sustainable Practices For Future of Scranton

Oct 10, 2013

The University of Scranton will host a Symposium on Sustainability that will engage expertise from diverse disciplines to examine ways that the University and the greater Scranton community could become more sustainable over the next 125 years. The symposium, part of the University’s celebration of its 125th anniversary, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. It is free of charge and open to the public.

The symposium will include an introduction to sustainability through an example of a new solar collection device being developed at the University. Professor Nicholas Truncale, faculty specialist for the Physics Department, will provide the introduction and serve as moderator for the panel discussion, which will include questions from the audience.

Panelists are Pennsylvania State Senator John Blake; Michael Cann, Ph.D., professor of chemistry; Sharon Meagher, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and chair of the Department of Latin American and Women’s Studies; Jessica M. Nolan, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology; Mark Murphy, the University’s director of sustainability; and James Loven, laboratory equipment manager, inventor and technologist.

State Sen. Blake will discuss business and political perspectives on sustainability. An adjunct professor of economics and finance at the University, he serves on several senate committees, including those for finance, appropriations, and community, economic and recreational development..

Dr. Cann will discuss green chemistry and the science of sustainability. The recipient of a Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and an ACS-CEI Award for Incorporation of Sustainability into Chemistry Education, Dr. Cann is the co-author of several books that deal with green energy and sustainability.

Dr. Meagher, who will discuss the social justice aspects of sustainability, has worked on areas concerning social responsibility, nonprofit organizations and democratic values, and women’s issues.

Dr. Nolan will discuss environmental and social psychology. Her research includes the study of environmental problems and the adoption of green behaviors.

Murphy has been responsible for managing and monitoring the University’s energy consumption and has been instrumental in the University’s efficiency and sustainability initiatives. Loven is the inventor of the Reflective Solar Tracker, which increases the energy density of light incident on commercially available solar panels while tracking the sun with an electronic light sensor or Raspberry Pi computer system utilizing astronomical data. They will discuss the application of sustainable practices.

The sponsoring departments include the University’s Office of Sustainability, Reflective Solar Tracker Collaboration, College of Arts and Sciences Deans Office, Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Environmental Studies Concentration, and the Environmental Science Program.

For additional information, contact Professor Truncale at or call 570- 941-7509.

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