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LSU Today Flagship Faculty

Claudette Reichel

Claudette Hanks Reichel

Housing Specialist
Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service
Project Chair, LaHouse Resource Center

What was your previous position and where?

I’ve been here since 1981 as a housing specialist for the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, the educational outreach arm of the LSU AgCenter. I think I might have been the youngest specialist ever hired - I’m not telling my age! Before then, I was the 4-H coordinator in Bay County (Panama City), Fla., the youth development program of the Extension Service.

What brought you to LSU?

Becoming an extension housing specialist was my first career choice, so the position was a perfect fit and it brought me back to my home state. I’m a south Louisiana Cajun with a love for this state, its people, food and beautiful live oaks.

What is your research interest?

Although I have a 100 percent extension appointment, I’m interested and involved in residential building science research for our hot, humid climate and hazard conditions.

What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?

My lofty answer is to shape the future by the way we shape our homes. My more specific answer is to accelerate the production of and demand for high performance homes that:
  • Keep comfort affordable while helping achieve energy independence;
  • Save money, time, toil and grief by preventing damage and loss from hurricanes, floods, termites, mold and decay;
  • Create healthy and safe living for people of all ages and abilities;
  • Protect our environment for future generations; and
  • Contribute to community and economic vitality.

What do you enjoy most about LSU?

The beauty of the campus – its grounds and architecture.

What are your major accomplishments?

I’m most proud of my role in rapidly addressing the massive post-Katrina need for credible housing restoration and rebuilding information and training; creating a sustainable housing initiative and building science program though the support and teamwork of so many generous collaborators; and the development of the LaHouse Resource Center, a permanent educational “showcase of solutions” demonstration house and landscape on campus and regional outreach program, as a ready resource for our citizens at their teachable moments, a motivating impetus for change and to ensure that the Extension housing program continues beyond my time here.


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