First Sigma Xi Science Café of 2019-20 to feature ‘The Parkinson Resource Center’

Louisiana Tech nursing faculty members Dr. Donna Hood and Dr. Tara Haskins will discuss The Parkinson Resource Center at Louisiana Tech University: A Collaborative Journey to launch the University’s chapter of the Sigma Xi Research Honor Society’s 2019-20 Science Café discussion series at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Ruston Artisans, 203 West Alabama Avenue.

In 2017, Hood, RN, CNE, and Haskins, DNP, RN, traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to complete the Parkinson’s Foundation Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty program to improve nursing education for Parkinson’s disease. As a result of the week-long intensive program and the long car ride back to Ruston, the idea of the Parkinson Resource Center at Tech was born; today the two are co-directors of the new Center.

The mission of the Center is to promote a healthy Parkinson community by connecting people, programs, ideas, and resources. The Center has fostered community connections, research, student opportunities, and collaborations across disciplines on the Tech campus to address Parkinson’s disease across North Louisiana.

The Sigma Xi Science Café is a series of public “chats” held during the fall, winter, and spring academic quarters where members of the campus and local communities can have a conversation with Tech faculty and researchers about their work. All sessions are free to attend. This year’s series is sponsored and hosted by Ruston Artisans.

The idea is for the Science Café to be less formal than a typical lecture, so that people can really engage and feel comfortable asking questions. For each series event, appetizers and beverages will be provided during a social held from 5:30-6 p.m. The talks begin at 6.

In the Winter Quarter, Dr. Julie Rutledge, Associate Professor of Human Ecology and ENRICH Director, will discuss the Education and Research in Children’s Health Center (ENRICH Center). In the Spring Quarter, Dr. Kirk St.Amant, Professor and Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair in Technical Communication, will discuss his work in improving international health and medical communication.

For more information, contact Dr. Terri Maness at