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Panelist Bio


Isiah M. Warner, PhD
Boyd Professor of Chemistry, LSU

Professor Isiah Warner is well known throughout the country for his research and mentoring efforts, even at the level of the White House, where he has received one of the first Presidential Young Investigator Awards from President Reagan in 1984 and a Presidential Mentoring Award in 1997 from President Clinton. The first presidential award is a research award and the second is best characterized as a humanitarian award. In aggregate, these two awards are representative of the wide spectrum of activities in which he is engaged. He is a recipient of other awards including the “1999 AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award,” and a similar national award from the world’s largest scientific society, i.e. the American Chemical Society. Dr. Warner is an internationally known scholar and researcher who has held chaired professorships at two major universities (Emory University and LSU). Professor Warner’s legacy with students is legendary! This is evident from the large number of awards that he has received for mentoring. For example, until Professor Warner came to LSU, the Chemistry department had never had more than three African-American students working toward a Ph.D. degree at any one time. This number now averages more than 30 for the past ten years. LSU is now ranked first in the nation in the production of African-American PhDs in chemistry. For example, LSU produced eight (18%) of the national production of forty-four African-American PhDs in the year 2000. During the last ten years, a little less than 10% of the African American Chemistry PhDs produced in the entire country have come from LSU. Furthermore, between the years of 2000 to 2004, twenty-five of the fifty-seven PhDs in chemistry at LSU were awarded to under-represented minorities, primarily African Americans.

Much of this effort was initiated during Professor Warner’s chairmanship of LSU’s Chemistry department, where he assisted in greatly increasing the influx and success of African-American students. Dr. Warner is also the founder and Vice Chancellor for the LSU Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) which was initiated in 2001. Since his initial academic appointment in chemistry at Texas A & M University in 1977, he has directly guided more than 300 high school and undergraduate students, more than 50 graduate students toward PhDs, and more than 40 post-doctoral scholars through the halls of academe. In addition, he has mentored hundreds of other students outside of his research group. Dr. Warner is well known for his effective recruiting and guiding students (particularly minority students) into chemistry, biology, and medicine. He interacts with many students of diverse backgrounds (economic, ethnic, cultural, gender, and religion) as well as diverse career paths. Many of his students/mentees have gone on to careers in chemistry, biology, medicine, and law.

Dr. Warner has been awarded more than 50 grants (more than 30 in Education), funded by the NSF, NIH, Louisiana, Department of Education Board of Regents and industry.

Current Topic


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recorded Monday, February 20)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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