News & Updates

Jefferson Educational Society brings Tuesday programming to Edinboro University

Posted on July 8th, 2019 at 11:26 AM
Jefferson Educational Society brings Tuesday programming to Edinboro University

An Erie-based community think tank brings an educational lecture series to Edinboro University – with regional experts delivering educational presentations from July through December. 

Jefferson Educational Society, a nonprofit civic-engagement institution founded in 2008, will launch the Edinboro Satellite Programming series Tuesday and offer programming on campus through the end of October. 

Lectures will begin at 7 p.m. in the William P. Alexander Music Center – Recital Hall and are free and open to the public. Advanced registration is requested and can be made by visiting the Jefferson’s website – – or by calling (814) 459-8000. Seating for those without prior reservation will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Edinboro University is proud to welcome skilled and knowledgeable experts to campus, not only to supplement our academic program for students but also to engage the Edinboro community in an examination of the past and a discussion of current trends,” said Dr. Jim Fisher, associate provost at Edinboro University. 

Local historian and railroad expert Ken Springirth will initiate the series Tuesday, with “The Trolleys that Connected Erie County.”

Edinboro professor Dr. Baher Ghosheh, from the Geosciences Department, will discuss tensions in the Middle East with “Iran vs. Saudi Arabia” on Aug. 13.

Dr. Jim Wertz, associate dean of Edinboro University’s College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences, will be featured in the series on Oct. 22 with “The Democratic Candidates in the 2020 Presidential Election. Wertz also serves as the chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party.

“The Jefferson is proud and excited to be able to offer its programming on the stunning campus of Edinboro University,” said Dr. Ferki Ferati, president of the Jefferson Educational Society. “We are grateful for Edinboro’s invitation to come to their campus, and our team is looking forward to engaging in thoughtful dialogue with Edinboro students and residents.” 

Program Schedule: 

July 9 – Ken Springirth, “The Trolleys that Connected Erie County.” Springirth is the author of 21 books on railroads and light rail systems. Over the last 50 years, he has been on a mission to document the region's rail heritage. 

July 23 – Roy Strausbaugh, “Edinboro and the Baby Boom. How Edinboro State College Responded to the Challenge of Educating a New Generation.” Strausbaugh retired from Edinboro in 1993 after serving as professor, dean and associate vice president. He is vice president of the Erie County Historical Society and president of Meals on Wheels in Erie (Location TBD). 

Aug. 13 – Dr. Baher Ghosheh, “Iran vs. Saudi Arabia.” Dr. Ghosheh holds a Ph.D. in economic development from SUNY-Buffalo and has been a professor of cultural and economic geography and Middle Eastern studies at Edinboro University since 1989. He serves on the Jefferson Educational Society Board of Directors and on the Brock’s Institute Mega-issues Council. 

Aug. 27 – Ashley Lawson, “Blue Zones: Where are We Now, Where are we Headed?” A member of the Erie Reader’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2019, Lawson is a public policy advocate for the Blue Zones Project in Corry, Pa. She also serves as secretary and treasurer on the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority Board of Directors and is president of the Civic Leadership Academy Alumni Network for the Jefferson Education Society. 

Sept. 10 – Mark Squeglia, “Mobilizing Industry in World War II: How Did the U.S. Become an Arsenal for Democracy.” A lecturer at the Jefferson since 2010, Squeglia focuses on military history, specifically World War II. He has worked regionally for Hammermill Paper Company, Erie Insurance and General Electric. 

Sept. 24 – Judy Lynch, “The History of Erie County’s Responsibility for the Poor.” Dr. Lynch served as the Erie County Executive for 20 years and was the first chairperson of the Jefferson Educational Society. She has lectured regionally on history and civic engagement. 

Oct. 8 – Verel Salmon, “Republican Strategies for Winning the 2020 Election.” Salmon serves as the Erie County chairperson of the Republican Party. A local GOP leader since 2010, the Millcreek Township resident is a former teacher and school administrator – serving as superintendent of Millcreek School District for seven years. 

Oct. 22 – Dr. Jim Wertz, “The Democratic Candidates in the 2020 Presidential Election.” An expert on local politics and digital media at Edinboro University, Wertz serves as the associate dean of Edinboro’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and is the co-chairperson of the ART100 committee – a group dedicated to promoting the University’s 100 years of art and art education. He is also the chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party. 

Note: More events are scheduled through December. Details will be released in the upcoming weeks. 

The Jefferson launched the Satellite Programming in early 2019 to fulfill the institution’s mission to expand programmatic offerings throughout Erie County. 

For more information about the Jefferson Educational Society and a description of presentations, visit To learn about Edinboro University’s award-winning academic programming, visit