As an English professor, Dr. Anne Boyd has spent her professional life avoiding clichés.

But when Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the University of New Orleans educator literally found herselfand her familybetween a rock and a hard place.

While her journalist husband Paul Rioux stayed behind to break the story of the St. Ritas nursing home drownings for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Boyd fled the storms fury with her 2-year-old toddler and the clothes on her back.

Boyd, who has ties to West Virginia University, will talk about her experience with the storm that swamped Louisiana and the Gulf Coast at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Gold Room at the Towers Residential Complex.

It is the second in a series of lectures hosted by WVU s Office of Service Learning that is looking at life in America, post-Katrina.

Dr. Boyd has a story thats harrowing and life-affirming all at once,said Franchesca Nestor, the Office of Service Learning associate who is coordinating the lecture series.

I mean, heres someone who had a monster storm bearing down on her and her baby,Nestor said.On Thursday night, shell put us right there, in her living room and in the eye of the hurricane.

And thats the point of the series which runs every Thursday through Nov. 3, Nestor said.

In so many ways our country became one big community after Katrina,Nestor said.These talks are a way for that community to get together and share stories and experiences. Real people, real experiences, before and during the storm.

WVU psychology professor Dr. Joe Scotti will talk about Katrina and post-traumatic stress disorder on Oct. 27; and WVU geologist Dr. J. Steven Kite will close the series on Nov. 3 with a look hurricanes and how they behave on the sea and on the land.