News Story

Jessy Tolkan Featured Speaker at Larry Adair Lectureship

Global warming, energy conservation and recycling are on the minds of Americans concerned about a sustainable future. Jessy Tolkan, executive director of programs for Energy Action Coalition and nationally known youth activist, will be at Northeastern State University on Mar. 25 to share ideas with students, faculty and staff who want to create a sustainable campus community.

Tolkan will be the featured speaker for the Larry Adair Centennial Lectureship and will address the topic, “Beyond Green: Sustainability for NSU’s Second Century.”

All students, faculty and staff are invited to gather in the Rozell Ballroom of the University Center at 11 a.m. and participate in her interactive presentation, then enjoy lunch courtesy of the Larry Adair Lectureship Series. The price of admission is an item that can be recycled, collected at the door.

Tolkan recently organized Power Shift ’09 in Washington, D.C., an event that drew more than 12,000 students to the nation’s capital to create awareness about global warming and the need to create green jobs in an ailing economy.

Dr. Mia Revels, chair of the NSU Campus Environment and Sustainability Committee, encourages all students to take advantage of the opportunity to hear Tolkan’s ideas.

“Students have the opportunity to be exposed to and engaged with a nationally known speaker who has a reputation for encouraging young people to become active on green issues,” Revels said. “She has the ability to inform, motivate, and inspire students. This is a chance that students should not let pass them by.”

The Larry Adair Lectureship Series was established at NSU in 2004 by friends and family of the retiring Oklahoma Speaker of the House, the Honorable Larry Adair, to create an annual forum though which to address issues in politics, government, and public policy.

One of the primary goals of the lectureship is to raise student interest in public affairs and encourage all members of the NSU community to become more engaged citizens.

The third Larry Adair Lectureship in as many years on the Tahlequah campus, this is also an NSU Civic Engagement Week activity, along with the Annual Big Event, scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 28.

Blake McCammon, member of the Campus Environment and Sustainability Committee and one of the event organizers, recognizes the need for students to become engaged in sustainability issues on all three NSU campuses. “Students who attend this event will get fired up for recycling, which will help our campus develop into a sustainable environment more rapidly,” he noted. “So many students show interest, but don't know where to begin, I think this they will learn some things that will help them know what steps to take.”

Energy Action Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based group, is a coalition of 50 environmental organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Tolkan, who has been active in the group for several years, is noted for her ability to organize the millennial generation. In 2004, she helped register more than 130,000 young voters and is credited with an equal number in the 2008 election.

To learn more about Jessy Tolkan, visit or

For more information about the Larry Adair Centennial Lectureship, visit


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