Expert Speakers Set for Schemel Forum Luncheons

    David Donoghue, Ph.D.; Christine Leuenberger, Ph.D.; David N. Myers, Ph.D.; Manisha Sinha, Ph.D.; Alex Their and University of Scranton alumna Nicole Young, 16-time Emmy Award-winning producer of 60 Minutes, will be the guest speakers at the Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Seminars planned during the spring semester. The luncheon series is sponsored by Munley Law.
    February 4, 2020

    During the spring semester, the Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Seminars at The University of Scranton will expose area residents to current global topics that profoundly impact the U.S.

    On Friday, Feb. 14, “How to Save Foreign Aid in the Age of Populism” will be presented by Alex Thier, founder of Triple Helix, a strategic consulting and advisory firm, and senior associate at the Overseas Development Institute in London. The talk will trace how we got to this point and recommend a bold new agenda for a progressive foreign policy using foreign aid that focuses on economic justice at home and abroad; and a robust new agenda to support democracy, freedom and the rule of law – addressing climate change and supporting innovation. The seminar will take place in the Kane Forum of Edward Leahy Hall.

    Nicole Young, a 16-time Emmy Award-winning producer of 60 Minutes, will present “Covering Crisis as a Woman” on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The 2000 graduate of The University of Scranton will speak about the importance of covering the world’s atrocities and will share some of the unique challenges she’s faced as a woman reporting and working in disaster and conflict zones. Hired as an assistant to Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes II in 2004, Young went on to produce impactful segments on a variety of domestic and global issues. “Reporting from a dangerous, lawless region requires making wise choices that enable my team to tell the story in the most effective way while navigating safely – sometimes negotiating with militia and always ironing out the logistics of travel and communication,” said Young, who has earned three prestigious Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Awards. “As journalists, being visible in a war zone is highly undesirable, but in countries where aggressive behavior toward women is accepted, my presence at times adds another layer of danger. My focus is to stand out only with regard to how well I do my craft.” Young will show video clips from each of the stories she presents at the seminar, which will take place in the Kane Forum of Edward Leahy Hall.

    On Friday, March 6, “Navigating in an Uncertain World: Global Challenges, Populism and Brexit” will be presented by David Donoghue, Ph.D., Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2013-2017). Ambassador Donoghue will discuss the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and the hope they provide for human and planetary development up to 2030 and beyond; the efforts being made at the global level to create more humane conditions for migrants and refugees; the threat posed by rising populism and nationalism in various parts of the world; and the particular challenges presented by Brexit, both for Ireland and the rest of the European Union. The seminar will take place in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall.

    David N. Myers, Ph.D., Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA and president of the New Israel Fund, will present “Antisemitism Past, Present and Future” on Friday, April 17. This lecture will explore the enduring history of antisemitism, which has been called the “longest hatred” in history. Recent years have seen a significant spike in antisemitic expression and action. Murderous attacks have been launched against Jews in Pittsburgh; Poway, California; and recently Jersey City, New Jersey. How do we explain this surge in antisemitism? Is it part of a long chain of uninterrupted hate? To what extent is it a product of the wider political ecosystem? And what role does the Internet play in disseminating hate and encouraging violence? Dr. Myers will address these questions at the seminar that will take place in the Collegiate Hall of Redington Hall.

    On Monday, May 4, Christine Leuenberger, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University, will present “The Politics of Maps: Cartographic Constructions of Israel/Palestine.” Dr.  Leuenberger asks, “How have maps become entangled with politics, territorial claim-making and nation-state building in Israel/Palestine?” Her presentation will focus on how various actors, institutions and governments engage in “map wars” in order to further different and often-incommensurable geopolitical visions of contested territories. The seminar will take place in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall.

    The series will conclude on Thursday, May 7, when Manisha Sinha, Ph.D., Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut, will present “The Abolitionist International.” An acclaimed author, Dr. Sinha will talk about reimagining abolition as a radical international movement composed of ordinary men and women, whites and blacks. She will demonstrate how the fight to end slavery overlapped with contemporary social movements such as feminism, utopian socialism and pacifism, as well as struggles for the rights of labor, immigrants and Native Americans. The seminar will take place in the Kane Forum of Edward Leahy Hall.

    The World Affairs Luncheon Seminar series is sponsored by Munley Law.

    All seminars include a buffet lunch and run from noon to 1:30 p.m. Participants can register to attend any one luncheon for $25 per person; Schemel Forum members may attend any or all seminars free.

    To register or for more information, contact Alicen Morrison, Schemel Forum assistant, at 570-941-6206 or For more information on Schemel Forum programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers, Schemel Forum director, at 570-941-4089 or

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