Dr. William P. Garvey, Educator, historian and civic leader born in Oil City, Pennsylvania. Currently Dr. Garvey serves as the founding President of the Jefferson Educational Society of Erie, an educational Adult Center and a Think-Tank for Community Progress, dedicated to Erie’s civic progress. Please read Dr. Garvey's full biography in the Lecturers section of our website, which can be found by clicking here.
Mr. Ferki Ferati has been with The Jefferson Educational Society since its founding in 2008, first as Director of Research and Operations, but was quickly promoted to Executive Director in 2009 and then to Vice President in 2013. During those six years, Mr. Ferati has supervised more than 600 programs, including the nationally-recognized annual Global Summit speaker series. He also oversees various publications, such as the Jefferson Essays and the Journal of Erie Studies. For two years, he helped successfully guide the Nation’s largest War of 1812 Celebration for the Erie Area called the Perry 200 Commemoration (72 events over $2 million).
Mr. Ferati is currently pursuing his doctorate in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2012, Mr. Ferati received his Master's in Public Administration from Gannon University. He earned his bachelor degree from Mercyhurst University, majoring in Intelligence Studies and minoring in Russian Studies in 2007.
He is active in the Erie community serving on the board of the Perry 200 Commemoration, the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, and Destination Erie: A Regional Vision. Most recently, Mr. Ferati joined the board of Brookings Institution's Metropolitian Policy Program's Metropolitan Leadership Council. Mr. Ferati is also a graduate of Leadership Erie in 2010 and 2011, and was a member of the Erie Reader's inaugral class of 40 Under 40.
Reverend Charles Brock, an Erie native, is an Emeritus Fellow, Chaplain, and Director of Ministerial Education, Mansfield College, Oxford, UK, where he taught for 35 years. He currently serves as the Director of the Institute on the American Dream at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, where he teaches for the politics and religion departments. Rev. Brock is acting minister of The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Girard, PA and he is a Founding Member of the JES. Rev. Brock will serve as the Director of the Brock Institute for Mega Issues Education at the Jefferson Educational Society.
Dr. Judith Lynch has been a board member of the Jefferson Educational Society since its inception and served as its first chair. Since 2004, Lynch has been employed by Mercyhurst University as Associate Professor of Political Science and History. From 2002 to 2004 Lynch taught at Allegheny College and was part of the Civic Engagement Institute. She received her Doctorate With Distinction in Political Science in 2001 from the University of Pittsburgh and her M.A. in Social Studies from Gannon University. Her undergraduate degree, a B.A. in History and Political Science, is from George Washington University.
Lynch worked as an Analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, taught 13 years at Villa Maria High School, and served 20 years as the County Executive of Erie County, Pennsylvania. She was a delegate to the 1992, the 1996, and the 2012 Democrat Convention and was an Elector for the state of Pennsylvania in the 1996 Electoral College. Dr. Lynch Has served on the State Planning Board, the State United Way Board, and the State Good Schools Pennsylvania Board. She continues to be civically active and was recently appointed director of the Public Policy Academy of the Jefferson Education Society.
Ben Speggen joined The Jefferson Educational Society in February 2015 as its Program Developer, curating the think tank's educational programming. In November 2015, he was named the think tank's Program Director. Putting to good use two degrees in English, he writes press releases and edits The Jefferson's publications, ranging from essays to biographies and beyond. Having served as the Erie Reader's Managing Editor since its inception in 2011 to September 2015, he transitioned to the role of Contributing Editor and authors a recurring column amongst other things. Since June 2014, he has served as producer and host of WQLN's community affairs-based program Weekend All Things Erie. He has also lectured at local universities, teaching writing and literature courses. He received his master's in English from Gannon University, where he also received his bachelor's degree in the same subject along with minors in history and journalism and was a member of the University's Honors Program and its advisory board. He currently serves on the boards for L'Arche Erie and the Erie County Poet Laureate Initiative and previously served on the board for the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Erie chapter of the Torch Club.
Mary Tredway, an Erie native, joined The Jefferson Educational Society in September 2015 after many years in the small-business sector. Holding a degree in history from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, The Jefferson Educational Society offers a natural environment to foster Mary's interests in historical nonfiction and library research.
Angela holds a degree in American Studies and Business from the University of Kassel in Germany. Her prior experience includes working for a Think Tank organization in Washington D.C. and for DHL in Bonn, where she held various positions in international marketing and business development. In 2009, she moved with her family to the United States, where she worked in Special Education, German language teaching, and import logistics. Angela is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Erie County Civic Leadership program of the Jefferson Alliance for Community Progress.