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    Record Number Participate in Earth Day Essay Contest

    The University of Scranton held multiple events in April in celebration of Earth Day inspired by the theme of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical titled “On Care for Our Common Home.” Events included an Earth Day Essay Contest for students in grades 5 to 12 and an Evening of Environmental Science, which displayed the more than 350 essay submissions received for the 2022 contest.
    April 21, 2022

    A record number of middle and high school students participated in The University of Scranton’s Earth Day Essay Contest, which was one of several Earth Day events hosted in April.

    Inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical titled “On Care for Our Common Home,” The University of Scranton’s Sustainability Office selected the theme “We Are All Connected” for their 2022 Spring Earth Day sustainability initiative.

    Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton, referenced a Universal Apostolic Preference of the Society of Jesus in his Earth Day message to the campus community.

    “As you know, the fourth Universal Apostolic Preference (UAP) of the Society of Jesus, prescribed to all Jesuit institutions around the world by Superior General Fr. Arturo Sosa in 2019, addresses the problem of ecological degradation and destruction. As Fr. Sosa has said, ‘creation today is crying out as never before, labouring to be set free (Romans 8). Today’s environmental crisis is impacting in a particular way on the poor and vulnerable. Action is needed urgently by Christians and by all people of good will. Whole nations and peoples need an ecological conversion if we are to be honest custodians of this wonderful planet,’” wrote Father Marina in the message sent April 1.

    More than 350 students in grades 5-12 participates in the University’s Earth Day Essay Contest. Most participants were from NEPA, but students in New York and Texas also submitted essays. The winners of the essay contest were announced at the Evening of Environmental event that took place in the Atrium of the Loyola Science Center on April 20. The event featured interactive science experiments run by University students and included a display of the essays submitted.

    On April 21, the University hosted a lecture by renowned American climatologist and geophysicist Michael Mann, Ph.D., author of “The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.” Dr. Mann is the author of five books on climate change, as well as more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, numerous op-eds and commentaries. is the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Pennsylvania State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center.

    Other Earth Day events included an Environmental Art Show, an Earth Day Fair, an Environmentally-Friendly Tie-Dye event, and a screening of “The Human Element,” a film in which photographer James Balog uses his camera to document and uncover how environmental change affects the lives of Americans each day.

    The final Earth Day event for the month of April will be an art show address on April 25 by Laura Kern, an artist from rural Pennsylvania who uses her sculptures to emphasize the connection between humans and the environment, as well as to highlight prominent environmental and societal issues. Kern will present her address in the lobby of the Loyola Science Center.

    The events were sponsored by the University’s Sustainability Office with the support of the Jesuit Center, the Kania School of Management, the Multicultural Center, the environmental studies concentration and major, the Weinberg Memorial Library and the Society for Sustainability and Conservation student organization.

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