‘World Affairs Briefings’ Served at Luncheon Series

Jan 24, 2011

Area residents will be stimulated 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 spring semester. The briefings will allow participants to explore topics including African American history, worldwide gender equality, civil liberties in social networking, prospects for the Middle East, and U.S.-Israel relations.

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. “In this increasingly interdependent world, we 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, five World Affairs Briefings will be held on various days and at various locations on campus – all from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The first program in the series, “Recentering the American Story: An Ode to Black History Month,” will be presented by Clement A. Price, Ph.D., professor, African American Studies, and founding director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, Rutgers University, Newark, N.J. At the presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 22, in Collegiate Hall at Redington Hall, Dr. Price will examine the origin of Black History Month during the 1920s and its evolution over the past century, when African American history emerged as an essential part of the larger history of the United States.

On Tuesday, March 8, Mary Ellen McNish, president and CEO of The Hunger Project, will celebrate International Women’s Day with “The State of Gender Equality in the World Today.” A native of Scranton and mother of a University of Scranton graduate, McNish will appear in Brennan Hall to talk about the transformation of women from second-class citizens to community leaders in the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“One of the pillars of The Hunger Project’s approach is empowering women to mobilize integrated grassroots community efforts in the areas of agriculture, health, education and microfinance,” said McNish. “This is a wonderful opportunity to hear about not only problems faced by women, but also stories about what happens when people are given the opportunity to blossom.”

Next, the series “fast forwards” to a hot current topic. “Civil Liberties in the Age of Facebook, YouTube and the Ubiquitous Social Networks,” will be presented by Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, on Tuesday, March 29, in Brennan Hall. The lecture will address the threat to privacy and reputation presented by the social networking phenomenon, and explore the tension between the First Amendment free speech right and the rights to privacy and reputation.

Other programs planned are “Facing Disaster in the Middle East: Are There Only Bad Options?” by Stephen Kinzer, author and visiting professor from Boston University, on Tuesday, April 5, in Collegiate Hall at Redington Hall; and “Israel and the U.S. – and the Rest of the World” by Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Israel’s chief negotiator with Syria, past president of Tel Aviv University and currently a Distinguished Global Professor at New York University, on Tuesday, April 12, in Collegiate Hall at Redington Hall.

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 $90 per person or $140 per couple.

To register, contact Kym Fetsko, events coordinator, at (570) 941-7816 or fetskok2@scranton.edu. For more information about University for a Day and Schemel Forum memberships, contact Sondra Myers, at (570) 941-4089 or myerss2@scranton.edu.


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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