The William E. Phipps Religion & Philosophy Interdisciplinary Lecture will return to Davis & Elkins College after a two-year hiatus at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 in Senate Commons in Myles Center for the Arts. The fireside chat format with three presenters is titled “The Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine: What does this mean for me?”
Participating in the discussion will be D&E Assistant Professor of History Dr. Bryan Kozik, D&E Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Andrew Jones and the Rev. Jason Charron, pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Wheeling. Jean Snedegar, a veteran journalist in public broadcasting, will serve as moderator.
The panelists will share their insights as scholars and former residents of Eastern Europe in the context of their specific disciplines.
Kozik received his Ph.D. in European history from the University of Florida in 2018. From 2019-2021, he conducted research and taught at the University of Warsaw in Poland as a postdoctoral fellow of the Foundation for Civic Space and Public Policy. His research and teaching focus on the religious, social and political history of Central and Eastern Europe from the Middle Ages to the present, with a special emphasis on religious reform in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the early modern period.
Jones serves as interim director of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy at Davis & Elkins College and as affiliate faculty with LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania. He was the first recipient of the Hinderliter Endowed Faculty Fellowship, a recipient of the European Consortium of Liberal Arts and Sciences Julie Johnson Kidd Research Fellowship, and a regular participant in the ERASMUS+ and COSTaction schemes. Jones is a frequent presenter at international conferences in rhetoric and communication in Europe and the U.S. His publications include research in political communication, presidential rhetoric in Eastern Europe, and rhetoric in popular culture.
Charron was ordained to the priesthood in the Ukrainian Catholic Church for the Diocese of St. Josaphat in 2008 and has served in parishes in North Carolina, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. He also is a member of the presbyteral council of the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Parma, Ohio.
Prior to his ordination, Charron taught English as a second language at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine, served as spiritual director and professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology at Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and worked as the Roman Catholic chaplain at Jefferson Hospital in Pittsburgh.
The war in Ukraine prompted Charron to lead a rescue mission the day after the Russian invasion on Feb. 24 to aid orphans and refugees. He and a parishioner entered Ukraine on the fourth day of the war and rescued 22 orphans and 20 refugees, and then escorted them to safety in the European Union. In June, he visited a hospital in Ukraine to deliver 96 pallets of medical supplies and has continued to be active in Ukrainian relief through his parish in the Pittsburgh area.
A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Charron attended Wadhams Hall Seminary-College in the diocese of Ogdensburg, New York, where he graduated with a double major in philosophy and religious studies. He attended Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Ottawa, Canada, where he studied for his baccalaureate in sacred theology before transferring into the Master of Theology program. He was awarded his M.A. by the University of Ottawa upon completion of his thesis “On the modern therapy of Akedia in light of Evagrius of Pontus.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Toronto.
Charron and his wife, Halyna, were married in Ukraine in 2000, as permitted for Ukrainian Catholic seminarians. They are the parents of six daughters a one son.
Snedegar, a native of Elkins, worked 35 years as a reporter, producer and presenter in public broadcasting. For more than 25 years she worked primarily for BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service in London. After returning to West Virginia, Snedgar spent the last 10 years of her career making programs for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in international affairs from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
The annual Phipps Lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will take place afterward. The 2022 Phipps Lectureship Committee is comprised of Jones, Kozik, Instructor of Psychology Kim Morgan and Coordinator of Foundation & Church Relations Tina Vial.
Established in 1995, the Phipps Lectureship brings accomplished scholars from a wide range of backgrounds to campus to provide opportunities for sharing ideas and experiences in religion, philosophy and related disciplines. Dedicated to continuing Dr. Phipps’s legacy of scholarship, inquiry and the candid discussion of ideas, the lectureship connects students and the public with leading scholars through classroom visits, small group meetings and an annual free public lecture.