MEET THE PRESENTERS
Edelman, Samuel M.
Samuel M. Edelman, Ph.D., is the former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles and one of the founding faculty members of the Academic Council for Israel. He is also an academic fellow for Israel Studies and Zionism at the University of Miami’s Miller Center for Judaic Studies. He is the former director of the Israel on Campus Coalition Academic Affairs department. He has served as the executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Edelman is also a frequent lecturer on world affairs issues for the high-end cruise ship industry.
Egdall, Ira Mark
Ira Mark Egdall is the award-winning author of Einstein Relativity Simple: Our Universe Explained in Everyday Language and the eBook Unsung Heroes of the Universe. His latest book is Cosmic Roots: The Conflict Between Science and Religion and How It Led to the Secular Age. Mark gives lectures in modern physics as well as the history of the science /religion conflict at Lifelong Learning Institutes in South Florida. He is a retired aerospace program manager with an undergraduate degree in physics from Northeastern University. In his 35-year aerospace career, Mark served as program manager for state-of-the-art optical systems for NASA and DOD while at BAE Systems in Lexington, Massachusetts and at Itek Optical Systems in the same city. When not thinking about writing, Mark spends his time playing with his five grandchildren and driving his wife of 55 years crazy.
Meredith Ellis, PhD,is an Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology at FAU. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Syracuse University, an M.A. in Anthropology, and an M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Rochester. Ellis is a bioarchaeologist who specializes in theoretical approaches to understanding the past through skeletal remains, particularly the remains of sub-adults (children) and remains from the 19th century U.S. She has worked on multiple collections, including the Spring Street Presbyterian Church site and the Donner Party Alder Creek campsite. She is the author of the 2019 book, "The Children of Spring Street: The Bioarchaeology of Childhood in a Nineteenth Century Abolitionist Congregation" (Springer Press)and the co-editor of the 2018 book Nineteenth Century Childhoods in Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives (Oxbow Books).
Engle, Stephen D.
Stephen D. Engle, Ph.D., is FAU's Associate Provost for Academic Personnel. A former Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Engle is a Professor of History with over three decades on the faculty. He currently directs the Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium Series on the American Presidency and has previously served as department chair and graduate programs director. In addition, Engle is a prize-winning author, a C-Span lecturer in American history, and Andrew Mellon Fellow. He is currently a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and a lecturer for the Smithsonian Institution's Associates Program. In 2016, he was named Florida Atlantic University's Distinguished Teacher of the Year, and in 2019, he was appointed FAU's Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA.
Ira Epstein, Ph.D., served as professor and chair of the Communication Skills Department at LaGuardia Community College CUNY, and directed the college's Technology Learning Center. Most recently, he has been lecturing to adults on comedy and the music of Israel and continues to speak at synagogues, senior centers, JCC's, libraries, and meetings of national organizations such as The National Council of Jewish Women, Hadassah and B'nai Brith. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Brooklyn College, CUNY and his doctoral degree from Fordham University.
Wes Ervin, Ph.D., earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in Art History and South Asian Studies from the University of Chicago. He has lived in India and has travelled widely in Asia, Iran, and Europe. He has studied Hindi, Urdu, Farsi and ancient Sanskrit. He has lectured at US universities and conferences in Europe. He is currently serving as a Docent at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.