Foreign Affairs on the Menu for Scranton’s Luncheon Series

Sep 2, 2010

        Area residents will be enlightened during their lunchtime through a program offered by the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton. The Luncheon Seminar Series: World Affairs Briefings, will be held throughout the fall semester. The briefings will allow participants to explore topics ranging from America’s cultural diplomacy and a woman’s perspective of Afghanistan to the key things we need to know about China and a mid-term assessment of President Obama’s counterterrorism strategy.

        According to Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton, the luncheon series program is an important resource for the local community.

        “People need an analysis of what is happening in the world,” said Myers. “We bring this to the community through the luncheon speakers, who all are nationally and internationally respected experts in their fields.”

        In addition, Myers points out that the series is a convenient lunchtime option, since the University of Scranton campus is close to downtown.

        During the Luncheon Seminar Series, there will be five World Affairs Briefings that will be held on various days and at various locations. All of the briefings will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m.

        During one of the programs, Michael Greenberger, law school professor and founder and director of The Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland, will lead an assessment of the Obama administration’s homeland security efforts.

        “In addition to protecting the country against terrorists, there’s an important role that is often overlooked which is assisting the country in responding to naturally occurring disasters, like highly contagious viruses, such as like H1N1, and natural disasters, such as the BP oil spill,” said Greenberger, who grew up in Scranton.

         “Citizens need to assess the extent to which they are being protected against either man-made acts or natural disasters. We should have guideposts and markers that help us determine whether we’re satisfied or dissatisfied with governmental preparation. We also need to understand that our ability to prepare ourselves is very much tied in to the financial health of our country.”

        Greenberger’s briefing will be held on Oct. 22 in Brennan Hall.

        Other programs planned are The US-Iran Relationship Dilemma: The Hard Core of Iran’s Foreign Policy by Mehdi Khalaji, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Sept. 29 in the Collegiate Hall at Redington Hall; America Engaged in the World: Cultural Diplomacy Still Works! by Brent Glass, director of the  National Museum of American History on Oct. 4 in Brennan Hall; China Today: What We Need to Know by Goodwin Cooke, professor emeritus, International Studies at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University on Oct. 27 in Brennan Hall; and Afghanistan on the Ground: A Woman’s View by Suraya Pakzad, founder and executive director, Voice of Women Organization on Nov. 16 in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center.

        Participants can register to attend one luncheon for $20 per person or $30 per couple. Participants can also register for the entire luncheon series for $75 per person or $110 per couple.

        To register, contact Kym Fetsko, events coordinator, at (570) 941-7816 or For more information about University for a Day and Schemel Forum memberships, contact Sondra Myers, at (570) 941-4089 or

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 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 events. Session fees vary by program.


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