History, Politics, Languages and Cultures Department
Xin-zhu Chen, MBA and Ph.D. in history, came to Edinboro in 1999. Prior to her arrival, she contributed a number of articles in the quarterly newsletter The Forum for History and Business, published by Blue, Johnson and Associates, Menlo Park, CA, distributed to its paid subscribers. In 2006 her article, “China and the U.S. Trade Embargo, 1950-1979” (a refereed article) in American Journal of Chinese Studies, Vol. 13, October, 2006, was translated in Chinese and was published in Zhonggong Dangshi Ziliao (Materials on History of CCP), Vol. 102 (Second Quarter, 2007).
In May and June, 2008, by invitation of Peking University’s History Department, she gave two lectures to its students and faculty: “China and the U.S. Trade Embargo, 1950-72” (For undergraduates) and “A Controversy over the Korean War: Truman vs. MacArthur” (For graduate students and faculty).
As the first full-time Asian specialist at EU, she created and has taught several new Asian history courses. Utilizing her expertise in Chinese and Japanese economics and the MBA background, she also teaches International Business online.
As faculty advisor to the Asia Club, she helped students organize various activities designed to promote deeper understanding of Asian culture, such as group study of conversational Japanese and Chinese using native students as tutors. She is also instrumental in placing EU graduates at several colleges and universities in China as English instructors on an average contract of one year. Thus far, more than forty former EU students have benefitted from such an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Dr. James Daniel Fisher has been teaching at Edinboro University since 2000; he is also an alumnus of the school (class of 1993, with degrees in political science and English). He is a professor of politics and legal studies and chair of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice.
Professor Fisher holds a law degree from the College of William and Mary and a PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He teaches courses in law and politics, political theory, and American politics. He is particularly interested in “reproductive politics” (the law and politics of abortion, contraception, population control, and sex education), civil liberties (particularly First Amendment issues), and the United States Supreme Court. He regularly gives public lectures and participates in public forums discussing constitutional and legal issues. He has provided political analysis to the Erie Times-News and local television news organizations.
Professor Fisher trained as a community organizer with the Gamaliel Foundation and has served in leadership positions in several nonprofit organizations. He has been nominated twice for Edinboro’s Educator of the Year award.
Gerry Gendlin came to Edinboro University in 2002 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was doing research on Russia's infrastructure in the Center for International Studies. He has also taught at Tufts University, College of the Holy Cross, and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), where he was the first foreign full-time faculty member. Since coming to EU, he has taught 13 different courses, including American Foreign Policy, National Security, Politics of Russia, and American Politics. He maintains an active research agenda and has frequently presented papers at annual meetings and conferences, including those held by the Midwest Political Science Association, the Southwest Social Science Association, and the American Association of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Often sought by the media for comment on global affairs, he has appeared locally on WICU (Channel 12) and nationally on CBS radio. Beyond Edinboro, he has been involved with community education, serving on the board of a local early learning program and the Ready for Life Scholastic Center. His undergraduate degree is in journalism, with a minor in philosophy, from California State University, Northridge; and his master’s and doctoral degrees are from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Dr. Leo H. Gruber is an associate professor at Edinboro University, who teaches German, and military history in the Department of History, Anthropology, and World Languages.
Dr. Gruber received his Ph.D. in German linguistics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and completed graduate coursework in military history at American Military University. Some of his research interests are German youth language, slang, and idioms. Professor Gruber is an avid traveler, who has visited over 45 countries. He spent one year in Hannover, where he taught English as a Second Language and attended the University of Bayreuth, where he conducted research for his dissertation: Morphologische Aspekte der Jugendsprache Deutscher aus Russland.
Dr. Gruber taught a summer course at the Fachhochschule (Technical University) Würzburg-Schweinfurt for five years in a row, beginning in 2009. He has presented numerous papers in the US and Germany and has published articles in both English and German. In 2011, he returned to Eastern Germany to teach English for one month at the Sommerschule Wust in Sachsen-Anhalt.
In the summer of 2013, he received a grant from the Goethe-Institut in New York to attend a two-week continuing education program for teachers in Munich and Berlin. He was part of a 24- person contingent of German educators representing five continents.
He recently accepted the position of managing editor for Visions and Revisions: New Scholars and New Interpretations, which is an inter-disciplinary undergraduate journal in the Department of History, Anthropology, and World Languages.
Dr. Jerra Jenrette came to EU in 1992 as an instructor of history. She earned a double major in history and theology from Mars Hill College, a Master of Arts in History from Appalachian State University, and her Ph.D. in history from West Virginia University. She has been promoted to full professor of history, served as chair of the Department of History, Anthropology, and World Languages from 1999-2014, and is currently the program director for the MA Social Sciences.
She has presented papers at academic conferences including the Ohio Valley Historical Society, Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Conference, and the Georgia Association of Historians annual meetings. Dr. Jenrette has published in the Journal of Popular Culture, West Virginia History, the Journal of Erie Studies, the Historical Journal of Massachusetts, and is co-author of a book entitled Erie, The Invisible City: 1930s-1960s. Her most recent research focuses on women and war, and she has an article forthcoming on NC women during World War I as well as a book-length manuscript on women, propaganda, and World War II, from the University of Tennessee Press. She served for 14 years on the University Wide Curriculum Committee, served in APSCUF, and the Advising Quality Committee. She has been a member of the College Bowl Planning Committee since its inaugural year in 2007, and was the 1998 recipient of the Educator of the Year Award.
She loves to travel widely, reads historical novels and southern fiction, walks daily, and enjoys living in Edinboro with family and cats.