Smith College Admission Academics Student Life About Smith news Offices
News Release

November 2, 2005

Voices From the Gulf, a Panel at Smith College

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – A Coast Guard pilot who conducted rescue missions in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina will be one of four panelists to offer “Voices from the Gulf” Friday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m. in the Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Having trained for disasters, Taylor Carlisle, a member of the Smith College Class of 2000 and New Orleans resident, joined rescue efforts after the hurricane began its march inland in the Gulf region Aug. 29.

Carlisle will share her experiences from those days along with Gregory V. Button, who interviewed evacuees in the Houston Astrodome; Ronald Speakes, Mississippi regional coordinator for the Red Cross; and Abe Louise Young, journalist, poet and founder of the oral history project “Alive in Truth: The New Orleans Disaster Oral History and Memory Project.”

Taylor Carlisle

Carlisle joined the Coast Guard more than three years ago and has been stationed in New Orleans since February but was not in the city when Katrina made landfall, according to the online Smith Alumnae Quarterly. When she heard news that the storm was expected to hit New Orleans, she cut short her trip to British Columbia with her mother, waited out the storm, then took to the air to search for survivors.

Gregory Button

Button, an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, has conducted extensive fieldwork on both man-made and natural disasters in the United States and Europe. His areas of research include crisis communication, disaster preparedness and response policies, and the long-term effects of disaster. A former health policy analyst for the U.S. Senate, Button has served as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency and local and state health departments.

Ronald Speakes

Speakes, executive director of the Hampshire County Chapter of the American Red Cross, was called upon to help in the Gulf region following the hurricane. Having once served as the emergency services director for the New Orleans chapter, Speakes was familiar with the region. When he is not spearheading disaster relief efforts, Speakes’ responsibilities include oversight of all the paid and volunteer staff, financial management of the chapter and program planning.

Abe Louise Young

Young founded and coordinated the grassroots effort “Alive in Truth,” to record oral and written history about the lives of displaced residents of New Orleans. A Smith alumna and native of the city, Young is a nationally-acclaimed poet. She now resides in Austin, Texas, and her poems are published in journals and magazines as well as anthologies. She is a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Anne Bradstreet Prize, a Grolier Poetry Prize, and Christina Zergevnya Poetry Award.

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

Current Stories

News Release

DirectoryCalendarCampus MapVirtual TourContact UsSite A-Z