Residents Can Experience University for a Day

Jul 24, 2009
Area residents longing to return to their college days can do so – at least for a day – through an innovative program offered by the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton.
University for a Day, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12, allows participants to attend lectures given by university faculty members that explore topics ranging from best-sellers and the discovery of DNA to interdependence, corporate greed and the pros and cons of globalization.

According to Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton, the program offers a taste of what the University gives to its students and the greater Scranton community throughout the year.

“I think of University for a Day as a feast – with a very rich, non-caloric fare – intellectually stimulating and at the same time entertaining,” said Myers. “The best treat, however, is the sheer joy of learning together.”

University for a Day includes breakfast, lunch, a closing reception and four lectures/discussions led by university professors in their areas of expertise.

At one of the lectures planned for the day, University of Scranton Professor of English and Theatre Stephen Whittaker, Ph.D., will discuss interdependence through examining the fictional tale of the pre-Revolutionary War life in America written by Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison’s latest best-seller A Mercy. The lecture is entitled Toni Morrison’s A Mercy: A Paradigm and a Cautionary Tale of Interdependence in a New World.

Also that day, University of Scranton Biology Professor Janice Voltzow, Ph.D., will examine the egotism, sexism and anti-Semitism surrounding a lesser-known chapter in the discovery of DNA in Rosalind Franklin: Another Twist in the DNA Double Helix.

“Rosalind Franklin was an investigator at King’s College in London using x-ray crystallography to study the structure of DNA at the same time Watson and Crick were in Cambridge. Strong personalities, each with a different perspective, surround the discovery,” said Voltzow, who will use information gathered from books, memoirs and recently published biographies, as well as the original science behind the famous breakthrough, to unravel the intrigue.

Other lectures planned are The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Run It: White Collar Crime and the Global Financial Crisis by University of Scranton Sociology/Criminal Justice Professor David Friedrichs and Globalization: for Better or Worse? by Syracuse University Professor of International Relations Goodwin Cooke.

The program will run from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center on The University of Scranton’s campus. Seating is limited and reservations are required to attend. The participation fee is $25 for non-Schemel Forum members.

University for a Day is made possible through the support of the Neighborhood Development Trust Fund and the Scranton Area Foundation.

To register, contact Kym Fetsko, events coordinator, at (570) 941-7816 or

For more information University for a Day and Schemel Forum memberships, contact Sondra Myers, at (570) 941-4089 or

About the Schemel Forum:

The Schemel Forum is a program of participatory learning experiences aimed at cultivating the intellect and the imagination through study and discussion of classical texts and current policies, from the arts, history and philosophy to technology and theology. Founded in the summer of 2006 through generous gifts to the Rev. George Schemel, S.J., Fund, the forum has grown quickly from a handful of informal lectures to a comprehensive enrichment program of study, dialogue, performances and special lectures. Session fees vary by program. 

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