About Us

“Scranton’s Story, Our Nation’s Story”  explores the aspirational journey to fulfill our national ideals through the lens of Scranton, Pennsylvania, an iconic American city that has experienced many of the key elements of our nation’s experience: industrial era growth and decline, waves of immigration past and present, and Black and Indigenous experiences.

Programs in a variety of scholarly and participatory formats will engage a diverse group of Scrantonians in conversations and story-sharing about founding debates, local and national identity, and our role as citizens in a democracy.

The story of Scranton is one of striving and struggle to realize the American ideals of freedom and justice for all. While its economy has oscillated, Scranton serves as an exemplar of community and resilience and of our ongoing American efforts to form a more perfect union. 

University and Community Planning Committee Members

The University of Scranton Project Team Members:

Julie Schumacher Cohen, assistant vice president for Community and Government Affairs and Project Director

Carolyn M. Bonacci, community and civic engagement coordinator

Patrick Clark, PhD., associate professor of theology and religious studies

David J. Dzurec, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of History and interim executive director of the Slattery Center for the Humanities

Colleen Farry, assistant professor and digital services librarian

Teresa A. Grettano, Ph.D., associate professor of English and theatre

Aiala Levy, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, Latin American studies, and women’s and gender studies

Michelle Maldonado, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Matthew Meyer, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy and faculty director of the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for the Humanities

Sondra Myers, senior fellow for international, civic and cultural projects and director of the Schemel Forum

Jessica A. Nolan, Ph.D., professor of psychology

Adam J. Pratt, Ph.D., associate professor of history

Sheli E. Pratt-McHugh, assistant dean of the Weinberg Memorial Library

Hank Willenbrink, Ph.D., Theatre Program director and associate professor of English and theatre

Community humanities partners include: 

Erika Funke, senior producer, classical producer and program host at WVIA Public Media

Maureen McGuigan, director of the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department

Glynis Johns, founder and CEO of the Black Scranton Project

Sarah Piccini, assistant director of the Lackawanna Historical Society

Mary Ann Moran-Savakinus, director of the Lackawanna Historical Society

In the News

Project Director Julie Schumacher Cohen reflects in an op-ed in The Scranton Times-Tribune on the Scranton's Story, Our Nation's Story project a few months in and looks ahead to collaborative programs coming up that will focus on both national and local themes.