History is a calling for Professor Scharff

enjamin Scharff, Ph.D., became one of Mercyhurst University’s 14 new full-time faculty members at the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year.

Some people fail to understand why people chose the path of history and spend their life, quite literally, living in the past. But to many of those in the department, history is more of a calling. “Many people like history and enjoy it, but they could never make a career out of it,” said Scharff. “I’ve tried to have other careers, but none of them worked for me.”

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Toledo, Oh., Scharff earned his undergraduate diploma from Wake Forest University. He went on to pursue his graduate from Slippery Rock University, eventually acquiring his doctorate from West Virginia University.

Scharff, 35, is a relatively young staff member, but already has experience teaching at six colleges, among them Robert Morris University, West Virginia University, and Penn State Fayette.

With his expertise in early colonial history, Scharff hopes to incorporate his favorite areas of study into Mercyhurst’s curriculum.

His favorite class to teach currently is Cultural Resource Management, and during the spring term he will be offering a class on Pennsylvania history. He hopes to teach a class on Native American history in the future as well.

Scharff said he chose Mercyhurst because he enjoyed the school’s atmosphere. He admitted that he has yet to experience an infamous Erie winter.

In honor of Constitution Day, this Wednesday, Sept. 17, Scharff will be giving a lecture titled “Assembly of Demigods: Farmers, Framers and the Development of the Constitution” in the Mercy Heritage Room located in Sullivan Hall. The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is sponsored by the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics.