Connections with Katrina.

That will be the focus of a new lecture series launched by West Virginia University that will look at the emotional and social aftermath of the storm that swamped New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

WVU s Office of Service Learning is hosting the lectures, which will be every Thursday at 6 p.m. from Oct. 13-Nov. 3 in the Gold Room of the Towers Residential Complex.

Dr. John Prescott, the WVU Dean of Medicine who helped set up a medical clinic for storm evacuees at Camp Dawson, will deliver the first talk,Disaster Planning for the Real World,at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13.

Real-world response to the storm is what the lectures are all about, Office of Service Learning associate Franchesca Nestor said.

We call it �€~fostering the community of Katrina,said Nestor, whose WVU outreach agency has helped coordinate storm relief efforts across campus.We want to focus on real-life experiences during the storm and after the storm. We want to focus on how real people reacted during the disaster, and we want to hear their stories.

Dr. Prescott will tell the story of clinic that quickly hit the higher ground of neighboring Preston County to give aid to Katrinas victims. The physician has worked at both military and civilian hospitals, and that experience, Nestor said, showed itself quickly at Camp Dawson.

The clinic was up and running in no time,she said,and that was because of his leadership.

Upcoming lecturers include:

* Anne Boyd, an English professor with WVU ties, who was forced to flee her Louisiana home when Katrina made landfall. Shell talk about that experience Oct. 20; and

* Dr. Joe Scotti, a WVU psychology professor who will talk Oct. 27 about the storm and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Other speakers will be announced, Nestor said.

In the meantime, Nestors office is working with the American Red Cross to help organize a humanitarian trip to the storm region over the Thanksgiving break.