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    The Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Seminars for the fall semester at The University of Scranton will be presented by Ashley Parker, Washington Post White House bureau chief; Ira Harkavy, Ph.D., founding director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania; Paige Gebhardt Cognetti, mayor of the city of Scranton; Wayne Winborne, executive director for the Institute of Jazz Studies and assistant professor of arts culture and media at Rutgers University-Newark; Trudy Rubin, WorldView Columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer; and Leoluca Orlando, former Mayor of Palermo, Sicily.

    Schemel Forum Luncheon Seminars Set for Fall

    The Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Seminars for the fall semester at The University of Scranton will be presented by Ashley Parker, Washington Post White House bureau chief; Ira Harkavy, Ph.D., founding director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania; Paige Gebhardt Cognetti, mayor of the city of Scranton; Wayne Winborne, executive director for the Institute of Jazz Studies and assistant professor of arts culture and media at Rutgers University-Newark; Trudy Rubin, WorldView Columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer; and Leoluca Orlando, former Mayor of Palermo, Sicily.
    August 18, 2022

    Once again, the annual Schemel Forum World Affairs Luncheon Seminars at The University of Scranton will feature an array of thoughtful discussions geared around critically important global issues.

    Six highly accomplished thinkers will be featured at the fall luncheons, which will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Brennan Hall’s Rose Room 509 (with the exception of the second event). In addition, a Zoom link is available for those who wish to attend remotely.

    The series begins Monday, Sept. 12, with “Covering the White House: Challenges and Opportunities,” presented by Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker. At the talk, Parker will share stories and lessons from her life on the campaign trail and covering two presidents. Parker covered the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns, and currently serves as an NBC/MSNBC senior political analyst.

    Next, on Monday, Sept. 19, Ira Harkavy, Ph.D., founding director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, will present “Higher Education’s Indispensable Role in Preserving and Advancing Democracy.” At the talk, which will take place in Edward Leahy Hall’s Kane Forum 235, Harkavy will examine the current threats to democracy around the world and higher education’s role in helping to meet the threat.

    “I would like to have the audience appreciate higher education’s indispensable role in preserving and advancing democracy, particularly at this time with the rise of autocracy and authoritarianism,” Harkavy said. “I would also like to discuss how a democratic mission has been at the core of U.S. colleges and universities through much of their history, as well as how that mission might be best achieved in 2022.”

    On Wednesday, Sept. 28, Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti will return to the Schemel Forum to present “Managing Today and Envisioning Tomorrow: Leading the City of Scranton.” Cognetti will provide a glimpse into her average day and discuss the unique responsibilities that come with running a city of Scranton’s size.

    “Shedding the past while charting a course for the future is a challenge, especially for public entities,” said Cognetti, who added running a city “requires teams of thoughtful people who don’t always agree, creativity, positive thinking and good local coffee.”

    On Thursday, Nov. 10, Wayne Winborne, executive director for the Institute of Jazz Studies and assistant professor of arts culture and media at Rutgers University-Newark, will present “On Democracy, Inequality, and Jazz Improvisation.” During the talk, Winborne will explore the state of our current democracy, the cause and corrosive effect of deepening inequality, and the utility of jazz improvisation as both a metaphor and actual strategy for rebuilding society, community and human relations, both domestically and abroad.

    “I hope to talk about our particular form of democracy and how the challenges we face today will require us to be like great jazz musicians in their ability to improvise collectively and individually,” Winborne said. “I also hope to start a conversation about forward-thinking problem solving at the community level based on these ideas.”

    On Friday, Dec. 2, Trudy Rubin, WorldView Columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, will present “How Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Changed the World.” Rubin will look at how the West must confront a new era in which despotic rulers seek to expand their territory by force, now that the rules-based order of the post-World War II world is over.

    Finally, on Friday, Dec. 9, the series will conclude with “Process of Peace, Palermo: An Experience, a Model,” presented by Leoluca Orlando, former Mayor of Palermo, Sicily, honorary Mayor of Palermo Huila Colombia and cofounder of the Global Parliament of Mayors. Now a university professor, Orlando will discuss his experiences courageously combatting the Mafia during his many years as mayor of Palermo.

    Admission is free for University students, faculty, staff and Schemel Forum members. For non-members, the seminars are $25 in-person (buffet lunch included) and $10 for remote access.  A live-stream link will be emailed prior to the event.

    To register for the seminars, contact Kym Fetsko at 570-941-7816 or kym.fetsko@scranton.edu. Or, to pay online, visit: www.scranton.edu/schemelforum.

    Additional Schemel Forum events scheduled for the fall semester include courses, collaborative events and a bus trip. The full schedule events can be found on the Schemel Forum’s webpage.

    For more information on Schemel Forum programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers, Schemel Forum director, at 570-941-4089 or sondra.myers@scranton.edu. Myers talks about the fall programming in an interview with Erika Funke for WVIA

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