Loren Roman-Nunez: Leading Sustainability On and Off Campus

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As an undergraduate studying environmental biology and the president of EcoEagles at University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, Loren Roman-Nunez is invested in sustainability. “As humans, we have an obligation to be the best stewards we can be, and this cannot be achieved by any one person—it takes many hands,” she says. “Getting involved with EcoEagles has taught me that there are many people out there who care, but they need a means to congregate and share ideas.”

EcoEagles is a student organization focused on outreach, community service and environmental stewardship to promote the social, economic and environmental tenants of sustainability. They collaborate with the school’s Office of Sustainability to promote the campus recycling initiative and encourage sustainable practices in day-to-day lives of students.

The group was awarded a grant last year to construct a community garden on campus to demonstrate how to grow your own food in an environmentally friendly manner. With vegetables, herbs and native flowers growing, the students are encouraged to help maintain the garden as well as provide input on what to grow.

EcoEagles fosters Roman-Nunez’s involvement in the community both on and off campus and has made strides in connecting the university with other community sustainability initiatives. The group partners with Mississippi State University Extension Services for their beach cleanups and they participate in the Pearl Riverkeeper’s Clean Sweep, using kayaks to collect trash from the river. In association with Plastic Free Gulf Coast, EcoEagles also promotes the Office of Sustainability’s efforts to move the campus away from single-use plastics.

Roman-Nunez says, “My hope is that future students will continue to engage with their peers and employers to push the limits on what we can do together to mitigate human impacts on the environment and make better choices in our daily lives.”

Mississippi Cafe Offers Wellness for a Lifetime

Starfish Café, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, serves fresh local food with a pay-what-you-want policy while offering a free experiential education program to students 18 and older. Donations cover the cost of food and experience, and extra donations are used to make a positive impact on the world.

Known as one of the best kept secrets on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the quaint café supports the local economy by purchasing all of its food from local growers and grocers. Purchased products are supplemented by the vegetables, flowers and herbs harvested from the café’s gardens.

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The 20-week experiential learning program offers students free, hands-on training in restaurant, job and life skills. “Our commitment is to minister to, facilitate and equip each Starfish student with tools to fully and completely reach their potential,” says Executive Director Di Filhart. “We believe that every person is created by God for a special and wonderful purpose in this world.”

Location: 211 Main St., Bay Saint Louis, MS. For more information, call 228-229-3503 or visit StarfishCafeBSL.com or Facebook.com/starfishcafebsl.

Become a Holistic Health Practitioner

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The Southern Institute of Natural Health, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, offers a Traditional Naturopath Degree and the next course begins in May. Registration is now open for this 12-month course, which meets one Saturday per month.

“Complementary medicine is booming in this country, and there is a need for professionally trained practitioners,” says Professional Naturopath Practitioner Betty Sue O’Brian. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes prevention, treatment and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage self-healing processes.

Included in the course is an introduction to iridology, herbalism, energy medicine, flower essences, nutrition, natural cancer cures and Eastern medicine. The program helps massage therapists, nurses and other health practitioners integrate natural healing methods into their work, while also introducing traditional healing methods to students new to the healthcare field. Whether taken for personal growth and healing or to pursue a career in naturopathy, students will restore harmony to themselves and connect with others as they evolve into a more natural way of living.

“In a 21st century of fast food, poisoned crops and overindulgence, our graduates will be properly informed with the wisdom of the ages and the latest research in natural healing today,” says O’Brian. “It’s a shift into a lifelong quest for health—for themselves and for others.”

 

For more information, call 228-257-1946, email Betty.OBrian@gmail.com or visit SouthernInstituteOfNaturalHealth.com