Where Inspiration

Meets Innovation

Uniting From A Far After Harvey


It was over a 12-hour stormy drive that professors from Jacksonville State University took on to deliver dozens of boxes full of backpacks and supplies to Kingwood High School. The two professors, Drs. Gretchen Richards and Joseph Akpan, took immediate action after seeing the need after Hurricane Harvey.

“We placed bins around the campus and at various local businesses like coffee shops, car dealers and fire stations. This allowed the community along the Highway 21 Corridor to donate. In addition to the bins, the drive was promoted at JSU’s home football games, and through local media outlets.”

It all started with a simple call. Dr, Rirchards says a close friend of hers, Diane Salzman, resident of Kingwood called her and explained the extent of the devastation in the community. When the two professors arrived to Kingwood High School, they toured the campus and shared stories with campus administrators.

The resiliency, teamwork, and positive outlook of Kingwood High School’s administration and faculty was inspirational during the discussion of the renovation. As an educator and emergency management professional, I admire your determination and fortitude,” said Dr. Akpan

This act of kindness is just the beginning of many more. The two professors’ and the university has plans to keep helping disaster victims.

“We believe that research and collaboration are the cornerstone for understanding and change. By collaborating with the administration and faculty of Kingwood High School on Lessons Learned during a devastating storm or extreme event, we hope to develop better methods of responding to, recovering from, and providing aid to others in future disasters,” said Dr. Richard.

Thanks to the kind hearts like the ones these two professors have and the hard work of many, Kingwood High School is back and strong like never before. 

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