Panel Discussion on Comparative Religion Set for April 23

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee of the Fairmont State University Faculty Senate will host a Panel Discussion on Comparative Religion from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 23, in Multi-Media Room A of the Ruth Ann Musick Library.

Moderated by Dr. Tad Kato, the Chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee, the Panel Discussion is the sixth that the committee has hosted since fall 2010.  The forum will compare world religions with a thematic focus on “how each religion explains the foundation for love, compassion and interconnectedness.” The emphasis will be placed on similarities rather than differences.

Students, faculty and staff of FSU and Pierpont Community & Technical College and members of the Fairmont local community are invited to attend.


  • Dr. Tadashi Kato is an Associate Professor of Psychology. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Ohio University and has been on faculty at Fairmont State since 2003.  He regularly teaches History and Systems of Psychology that focuses on Epistemology and Ontology and Seminar that has a strong emphasis on Existentialism. 


  • Father Jude Molnar received his degree in Divinity from Catholic University of American in 1966, was a missionary in Paraguay in late 1960s and belongs to the Franciscan order of Vatican. He was the Director of Newman Center (Catholic campus ministry) for 37 years and also taught numerous classes both at Fairmont State and West Virginia University.
  • Imam Sohail Chaudhry is the Religious Coordinator of the Islamic Center of Morgantown and is a religious leader among the Muslim population in the Morgantown and Fairmont area. 
  • Rosalyn Becker received her master’s degree in Jewish Education from Harvard University and also recently completed a program on Jewish spirituality at Isabella Freedom Jewish Retreat Center.  She has been a passionate Jewish spirituality educator for number of years and also an active member of The Tree of Life Congregation in Morgantown.
  • Dr. Julie Brefczynski-Lewis has been training in Buddhism meditation for about 15 years, mostly in the Tibetan tradition. Within recent years, she has been able to combine this interest in meditation with her scientific training, investigating how the brain responds to different types of meditation. She completed for post-doctoral fellowship at University of Madison Wisconsin with a focused research topic on brain response to various types of meditation using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In her current research as an Assistant Professor of Physiology and as a faculty member at the Institute of Neuroscience of WVU, she has been conducting physiological investigation on compassion meditation.
  • Dr. Adam Podlaskowski is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Fairmont State.  He received his Ph.D. at Ohio State University in 2006 and has been teaching at Fairmont State as a full-time faculty since 2009.  He regularly teaches Comparative Religion along with other areas of philosophy, and his work has appeared in publications in the areas of the philosophy of mind, language and epistemology.      

   Light refreshments will be served, and a “question-and-answer” session will take place at the end of the forum.

For more information, contact Tad Kato, Ph.D., Chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee of the Fairmont State University Faculty Senate, at (304) 367-4759 or