The American Tapestry: 1968/2022 - The Seeds of Our Discontents

May 26th,2022 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: Andrew Roth, Ph.D.
Join Jefferson Scholar-in-Residence Andrew Roth, Phil Payne of St. Bonaventure University and Jefferson Vice-President Ben Speggen as they discuss "1968/2022: The Seeds of Our Discontents". Their discussion explores the roots of our endless culture wars by examining six phenomena from that other era still roiling American society: Politics as Theater & Angry Partisanship; Race in America; Women's Rights; The Counterculture Beyond 'Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll; Music, Music, Music; and Media, Media, Media. Audience participation is encouraged!
 Phillip G. Payne is a professor of history at St. Bonaventure University. He joined the faculty in 1998. Dr. Payne teaches a wide variety of classes on post-Civil War United States History and courses in digital and public history. He is the author of Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Harding's Scandalous Legacy (Ohio University Press, 2008) and Crash! How the Boom and Bust of the 1920s Worked (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015). You can learn more about his work here.

 Ben Speggen joined the JES team in February 2015. Prior to his current role, chiefly focused on the growth and development of the think tank's hallmark Global Summit speaker series, he led the group's introduction of digital programming; guided its satellite programming initiative; directed its year-round programming and its Civic Leadership Academy; and put his writing and editing skills to work on a wide range of publications; and more. Born in Morgantown, West Virginia, Ben grew up in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania in Carmichaels and went on to study literature, history, and journalism at  Gannon University, where he also earned his master's degree.

 Andrew Roth, Ph.D., has been working in the higher education sector for 49 years, and his experience is global. Beginning at Gannon University and then Mercyhurst University, he was a faculty member in three departments: English, Communications, and Business; as a coach he founded Mercyhurst's women's soccer team; and for more than 20 years, he was a senior administrator: Director of Admissions, Vice President for Enrollment, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dean of the College. He served as President of Notre Dame College from 2003 to 2014 before being named President-Emeritus. After a brief retirement, he served as interim President of St. Bonaventure University during 2016-2017. He is now a scholar-in-residence at the Jefferson Educational Society, where he directs its Raimy Fellows Program as part of the Jefferson Civic Leadership Academy and presents frequently on American cultural issues. He is also author of the Jefferson's popular "Book Notes" series.


This event is in partnership with Erie County Public Library's histERIE Week. It is free to the public and will be live-streamed on our Facebook page and made available on YouTube afterward.

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Andrew Roth, Ph.D.
Scholar-in-Residence, Jefferson Educational Society

As a Scholar-in-Residence at the Jefferson Educational Society (JES), Roth is working with his colleagues to enhance the Jefferson Civic Leadership Academy by including an academically oriented research component to the program. At the JES, Roth is also doing research on and preparing presentations about “1968: The Far Side of the Moon and the Birth of the Culture Wars”, which is a component of a larger research project on “The American Story: What Binds Us Together as Americans.” Previous work at the JES has included presentations on “Xander Hamilton: From St. Kitts to Weehawken to Hip-Hop Hit: The Life of Alexander Hamilton”; “George Washington: Primus Inter Pares”; “On Leadership: Towards a Practical Theory of Leadership”; “An Unlikely Trio: Washington, Lincoln and The Jesuits”. Roth also teaches graduate level leadership courses  on “Leadership: Theory and Practice” and “Leading Change: The Leadership Challenge.” Lastly, he works with independent colleges on strategic visioning, strategic planning and enrollment management.


In 2016-17, Roth served as the Interim-President of St. Bonaventure University leading the transition from Sr. Margaret Carney to Dr. Dennis DePerro. During his brief tenure, he helped the University implement its strategic plan, created an Operational Efficiency Task Force to address systemic budget issues, fostered significant conversations on campus about the University’s identity, oversaw an increase in enrollment, approved the consolidation of student support services, initiated two campus beautification projects, and instituted Martin Luther King day as an observed holiday.

Previously, he served as president of Notre Dame College, from 2003 until his retirement in June 2014, upon which he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his leadership and was named President-Emeritus. During his presidency, Notre Dame College experienced a transformational growth that became the subject of three separate doctoral dissertations. At Notre Dame, in addition to establishing a number of intercollegiate athletic programs, Roth established a Nursing program, an Academic Support Center for students with learning differences, an Abrahamic Center to foster inter-faith dialog, a “Books That Changed the World” discussion forum, and other academic programs.


Prior to Notre Dame College, Roth served for almost thirty years at Mercyhurst University (nee College), where he was a tenured faculty member; a coach – he founded the women’s soccer team; and for over twenty years a senior administrator: Director of Admissions, VP for Enrollment, Vice-President of Academic Affairs, and Dean of the College. Roth holds degrees from John Carroll University, Case Western Reserve University, Gannon University and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is also engaged with various civic organizations in Cleveland and Erie. When not working on his various projects, he enjoys reading, working out, and cycling on Presque Isle.  He is married to retired banker Judy Owens Roth; they have three children and seven grandchildren.