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James Paharik, Ph.D., Named Director of Seton Hill’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education

Seton Hill University President Mary C. Finger has announced the appointment of James Paharik, Ph.D., as Director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education. His tenure began on July 1, 2019. 

“Jim Paharik brings a depth of experience to the role of Director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, particularly in his scholarly research in the areas of comparative genocide and peace studies,” Dr. Finger said. “He will continue the successful outreach that has been a hallmark of the NCCHE, including The Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference and the Eva Fleischner, Ph.D. Endowed Lecture Series. He will also deepen the Center’s commitment to educating K-12 teachers about how to address the Holocaust in their classrooms and engage with Seton Hill faculty to integrate complementary curriculum within the Humanities and Liberal Arts at the university.”

Seton Hill Provost Susan Yochum, SC, Ph.D. added, “Jim Paharik directed the Genocide and Holocaust Studies Certificate program of study at Seton Hill for 10 years and has been deeply involved in the work of the NCCHE, writing scholarly articles for the Center’s newsletter and presenting at The Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference. These experiences will certainly serve him well as he takes on this new role as director of the NCCHE.”

“I am humbled to be appointed Director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill, a center founded in 1987 in response to the urging of Saint Pope John Paul II to recognize the significance of the Holocaust, and to ‘promote the necessary historical and religious studies on this event which concerns the whole of humanity today,’ said Dr. Paharik. “I look forward to working with community leaders, Holocaust scholars, K-12 educators and Seton Hill faculty on continuing and expanding the important work of the NCCHE.”

Dr. Paharik, who most recently served as Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Behavioral Health Program at Seton Hill, joined the university’s faculty in 1982. Paharik, who holds a doctorate degree in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, teaches courses in the Sociology and Behavioral Health programs as well as in the Liberal Arts curriculum. 

Dr. Paharik has been active in Holocaust Education on the international and national levels, having presented several times at the International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on topics such as Catholic-Jewish relations in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the intellectual roots of Nazi racism.

A member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the Peace and Justice Studies Association, the Catholic Peacebuilders Network, and the North Central Sociological Association, Dr. Paharik brings to his classroom and his research a worldview that calls for understanding and respect of “the other” and upholds the dignity of all people.

Dr. Paharik and his wife, Helene, were recognized by the Diocese of Greensburg as members of the Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. They are members of Holy Trinity Parish in Ligonier. 

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