Penn State Hosts Myron Floyd for Lecture Series

Story posted February 22, 2021 in CommRadio, News by Kennedy Kollar

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development held a virtual lecture as part of the Dean’s Lecture Series on Feb. 18.

It was titled “The Impact of Structural Racism and Racial Discrimination on Health, Wellness, and Well-Being.”

The most recent lecture discussed how “Nature Matters for Black Lives: Disrupting Narratives about Race and Place.”

Myron Floyd, Dean of the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University, was the guest speaker for the Zoom event.

Floyd is well-known for being a scholar on race and ethnicity in outdoor recreation environments. The lecture was followed by a question-and-answer session.

Throughout the lecture, Floyd spoke about the troubles that Black and other communities of color face when trying to access outdoor spaces such as parks, public greenspace, and other natural environments.

Dean of the College of Health and Human Development Craig J. Newschaffer said that Floyd was the “expert” with this topic.

“Our Community, whether its faculty or students...probably had heard a little something about the influence of racism on health outcomes,” Newschaffer said. “They have probably heard about certain health disparities.”

Floyd also talked about the different representations of Black people and how they have been presented in research about race and outdoor recreation. He mentioned how Black people tend not to have a fair experience when using these public, natural greenspaces.

As he wrapped up his lecture, Floyd gave four suggestions for research directions in this topic, such as  “construct the histories of Black American nature discourse,” and  “understand formation, structure, and persistence of ‘affinity groups.’”

According to Dean Newschaffer, this will likely be the last lecture in this series of the Dean’s Lecture Series. There may be another, but it will most likely not take place until Fall 2021

Past lectures can be accessed at

Kennedy Kollar is a freshman studying broadcast journalism. For any questions or concerns, email