By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item
Susquehanna University faculty and borough business owners are teaming up on a summer education program designed to bring the public into the downtown area to hear professors talk about their research projects.
Spearheaded by Jennifer Elick, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, the five-week program came about after parents of children who attend the Saturday Science program during the school year “lamented that there was no similar summer program for their kids or them.”
Elick came up with a program that mixed entertainment and education by inviting professors to speak briefly about their research studies and discuss their findings with the public.
“I have some colleagues who are doing some fascinating research,” she said, including the region’s geology, climate change and how to write a memoir.
The first presentation in the Early Bird Special — so called because all discussions will begin at 4 p.m. — will be today at Isabella’s Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, 23 S. Market St., with Leann Mischel, associate professor of management, discussing entrepreneurship.
Main Street Manager Mary Bannon is thrilled that the project is a collaboration between the university and business sector.
“The university is an untapped resource. There’s a lot of expertise in interesting fields,” she said.
Discussions will be informal and interactive. All are free and open to the public, and dining is optional.
The next Early Bird discussion will be held June 22 at BJ’s Steak & Rib House, 7 N. Market St., and feature Elick, who has studied the Centralia coal fire for 10 years.
Elick said the restaurant manager liked the idea of hosting a talk on a long-time simmering fire inside an eatery known for its barbecue.
On June 29, at Selinsgrove Hotel, 225 N. Market St., Jonathan Niles, adjunct faculty member in the biology and English departments, will discuss fish populations in changing ecosystems.
The location of upcoming events will be available soon.