Former member of the Obama administration leads forum


Gina McCarthy speaking about climate change. Photo by: Brian Winters

Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama Administration from 2013-2017, traveled to Bennett Auditorium on March 26 to discuss the number one topic on her mind: climate change.

The audience consisted of mainly honors students, though the forum is always open to the public for free.

One student, in particular, freshman English major Rebecca Fish, expressed nothing but positive feedback for McCarthy.

“I absolutely adored McCarthy. I didn’t know her before I came to the forum, and I’m really glad I do now,” Fish said. Fish said she plans to be much more of an advocate when it comes to the well-being of the planet.

Fish responded positively to not only McCarthy’s attitude toward the issues but also McCarthy’s stances on the issues. Fish said she hopes to be able to see more change around Southern Miss in light of the issues concerning climate change and turn toward more eco-friendly options in every way.

“Maybe my small tendencies won’t make a large difference, but maybe it’ll make a small difference, and that’s still a difference,” Fish said.

Sophomore sociology major Tammy Thompson felt moved by McCarthy. Thompson said she expected McCarthy’s presentation to be politics-heavy with the possibility of sophisticated words and phrases that had not crossed Thompson’s path just yet, but that she found the lecture easy to follow and appreciated McCarthy for that.

McCarthy related these large scale problems into condensed situations. As McCarthy said in her speech, the young people of this generation have the “it” factor necessary to talk about climate change and change the world with their words.

Thompson said she has decided to take an ethical step forward and continue her work with the Climate Reality Leadership Corps to not only bring some solutions to climate change but bring about awareness on the topic as well.

Thompson felt truly empowered by the speech delivered by McCarthy, and she, along with Fish, cannot wait to advocate for the Environmental Protection Agency, the very administration that helped McCarthy broadcast her voice nationally for four years and has given her the platform upon which she still stands today.