Friday, March 30, 2012

Saturday: SWAC Breakfast welcomes guest speaker Dr. Andy Schmookler

Dr. Andy Schmookler has accomplished many things in his 65 years including earning degrees from Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley, authoring seven books, teaching at the high school and college level, and sitting in as an infrequent commentator on NPR's "All Things Considered."

Now he has added another accomplishment: Running as the Democratic candidate for the 6th District Congressional seat.

On Saturday, SWAC (Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta County) Breakfast will continue its Congressional series of hearing from each of the candidates running for the 6th District Congressional seat.  Last month, we heard from Republican challenger Dr. Karen Kwiatkowski, and next month Congressman Bob Goodlatte will address the group. This month we will hear from Dr. Schmookler.

Who is Andy Schmookler?
Andy Schmookler was born in the spring of 1946 to parents who had grown up in poverty.

During the depression, Andy’s mother, Pauline, had to drop out of school at the age of 15 to support her ill mother and her two younger sisters. Decades later, though she never graduated from high school, she got her college and two masters degrees and became a high school teacher of literature.

His father, Jacob was able to go to college thanks to his own mother’s working 14-hour days at a sewing machine to make it possible. After World War II, Andy’s father earned his doctorate in economics and began an academic career.

By the time Andy was 10, his family had a secure footing in the American middle class.

His parents raised him and his brother, Ed. They taught their sons to have passion for justice, a deep commitment to honesty and integrity, and they instilled the value of hard work. For Andy’s father, the honest pursuit of the truth was a paramount value. He taught the discipline of reasoned inquiry. And for his mother, a key value was that human worth does not lie in rank or wealth, but in beauty of soul, and that gems can be found in every group and at every stratum.
Andy graduated as the valedictorian in his high school class, earned a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and Graduate Theological Union in a program specially created to accommodate his original theory to explain the way that human civilization has developed.

In 1992, Dr. Schmookler and his wife, April, moved to Mt. Jackson in Shenandoah County where they raised their three children. Married for 25 years, they continue to reside in the Shenandoah Valley.

Along the way, Dr. Schmookler has been involved in the communities around him:
  • Serving as an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. He helped with the analysis of possible future challenges for American policy-makers.

    • Spearheading a project with the Public Agenda Foundation, in which he interviewed the best minds in the country, in various related fields, on how the United States might best achieve security in an age of weapons of mass destruction.
    • Being hired, in the 1990s, by the United States Army to help with a project on the prevention of biological terrorism.
    • Teaching at both the college level (Prescott College, Georgetown University) and at the high school level (Albuquerque Academy).
    • Speaking at forums across the country such as the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the Washington Ethical Society, and as Presidential lecturer at the University of Montana.
    • Publishing his commentaries in newspapers across the country for the past thirty-five years, and broadcasting them on radio stations nationwide.
    • Serving as a consultant to one of America’s premier corporations.
    His doctoral work was published The Parable of the Tribes (University of California Press, 1984; second edition from SUNY Press, 1995), which was awarded the Erik H. Erikson prize by the International Society for Political Psychology.

    This book led the way to a successful career as the author of many published books, most of them seeking to understand the forces that must be dealt with by our country, and by humankind generally, in order to create a good future for ourselves and for the generations to come. The books are entitled:
    • Out of Weakness:  Healing the Wounds that Drive Us to War (Bantam Books, 1988),
    • Sowings and Reapings:  The Cycling of Good and Evil in the Human System (Knowledge Systems, 1989).
    • The Illusion of Choice:  How the Market Economy Shapes Our Destiny (SUNY Press, 1993, with translations published subsequently in Japan and Korea)
    • Fool’s Gold:  The Fate of Values in a World of Goods (Harper Collins, 1993).
    • Debating the Good Society:  A Quest to Bridge America’s Moral Divide (M.I.T. Press, 1999).
    Saturday will offer an opportunity to hear Dr. Schmookler's thoughts about the future of the 6th Congressional District. Bring your questions and join us for this informative breakfast.

    If you're going:

    SWAC Breakfast
    Speaker: Andy Schmookler
    Date:  Saturday, March 31, 2012
    Time:  8:30 a.m.
    Place:  Shoney's Restaurant
    Location: 30 Sangers Lane, Staunton, VA 24401
    Dutch-treat: Buffet breakfast $7.99, plus $1.99 for coffee & juice

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