USM Gulf Park Gains Insight into the Future of Energy during Lecture

September 26, 2016

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The University of Southern Mississippi was visited by American energy expert Dr. Jay Hakes last week for a dialogue concerning the consumption and expansion of energy in a panel discussion and lecture held at the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.


Hakes shared his knowledge and expertise on various topics regarding the complex need for energy independence in a presentation titled “Creating a Sustainable Energy Future: The Need for Multidisciplinary Experts.”

According to Hakes, energy can be applied to a number of academic disciplines, whether it is engineering, science, economics or journalism.

“Energy is one of those things [students] might study in the classroom but it also has a lot of practical implications for their lives,” he said.


In an afternoon panel discussion, Hakes was joined by local Gulf Coast economy and energy experts Johnny Atherton, vice president of corporate services and community relations, Mississippi Power; Dr. Shahdad Naghshpour, professor of international development, USM; Alan Sudduth, manager of public and governmental affairs, Chevron Products Company; and Johan Vanhee, managing director for business development and operations, Origis Energy.


Each speaker provided various outlooks on energy in the areas of academia, oil and gas, natural resources, and electricity.

During his evening lecture, Hakes explained how the development and future of energy policy would affect national security, the environment and the economy, reiterating his appeal for students to take an interest in energy, which would affect them as future professionals.

“One thing is to see the relationship between their academic studies and the real world they are going to go out and work in and the society which they are going to become voters,” he said.


According to Dr. Deanne Nuwer, associate dean for the College of Arts and Letters, learning opportunities like these are always welcomed at the University.

“On behalf of the College of Arts and Letters, we appreciate Dr. Hakes for coming to the University to educate our students about energy and its relationship with various academic disciplines,” she said. “We support these type of engagements that allow students the opportunity to learn from professionals outside of the classroom, especially those in their respective fields or interests.”


For more information about The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, visit