WILKES-BARRE, PA. (April 4, 2013) – The Drs. Robert S. and Judith. A. Gardner Educational Forum Series will hold a panel discussion titled, “Faith, Education and Community: Strategies that will help young people succeed in school and in life,” on April 16 at 4:30 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Wilkes University Henry Student Center Ballroom, 84 W. South Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Panelists will include Mahmoud Fahmy, professor emeritus at Wilkes University; Rabbi Larry Kaplan, Temple Israel; the Rev. Dr. Robert Zanicky, pastor, First Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre; and Monsignor Vincent Grimalia, chaplain at St. Luke’s Villa. The panelists will discuss the resources available to teachers and their students in Wilkes-Barre's faith communities. They also will detail opportunities for community service for students and ways in which interfaith understanding is valuable for teachers and their students.
Fahmy served as special assistant to the president of external affairs at Wilkes University and held the academic rank of full professor or education as well as the position of dean of graduate affairs and continuing education. He formed an interreligious encounter group to conduct an in-depth study of the World’s Great Religions and to promote meaningful dialogue among the religious leaderships in the region. Fahmy was the recipient of the 1997 Citation of Distinction of the Wyoming Valley Interfaith Council.
Kaplan is an instructor of World Religions at Misericordia University and Old Testament at King’s College. He is the father of 10 children.
Zanicky has served at First Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre since 1988. Previously, he served as pastor for First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, Ill. Zanicky also teaches part-time at Misericordia University in the Religious Studies Department.
Grimalia has served in a variety of ministries, parishes, schools and diocesan administrations. He has been involved in ecumenical, community and inter-faith activities such as the Wyoming Valley Inter-faith Council and Central City Ministerium.