SILK ROAD THEN AND NOW: 2200 years in the making

By Geographical Society of Philadelphia (other events)

Wednesday, March 30 2022 6:30 PM 9:00 PM EDT

Thanks to the Silk Road tea, coca, tobacco, cotton, whisky, and Marco Polo (1254–1324), famous for traveling to China's Yuan Empire when he was 17, earned their well-respected appreciation through the centuries. 

March 30th, in-person 6:30-9 PM, join the Geographical Society of Philadelphia’s panel of experts at the Gloria Dei historic site. 

We’ll meet for a conversation, refreshments, and live jazz to hear about the old and modern Silk Road's effects on geography, trade, the Belt & Road Initiative, and cultures of the world as well as their impact on Philadelphia.  




  • Moderator: DR. BERRIN GUNER, ROWAN UNIVERSITY, and a Geographical Society board member

Co-sponsored by the Geographical Society of Philadelphia and the Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation, and presented in collaboration with Citizen Diplomacy International Philadelphia, the program will take place in the church sanctuary, followed by a reception in Riverside Hall with live jazz music provided by The Jazz Sanctuary

We thank Candace Roberts, Board Chair of the Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation and Amy Grant for their continued support. 

Limited parking at the Church Lot. Street parking is available on Water Street and the neighborhood.



Berrin Guner is a Professor of Marketing at the Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University. She holds a Ph.D. in marketing from Drexel University and an MBA from St. Joseph’s University. She has an extensive teaching and research background in the areas of International Marketing and Marketing Strategy. She has published in International Business Review, Journal of Global Marketing, and Journal of Marketing Management. Berrin has also broad experience in experiential learning, from curriculum development to course delivery. She has overseen over 25 client projects within the last 5 years, which involved various profit and non-profit organizations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Berrin serves as a board member of the International Management Development Association whose mission is management development through the transfer of information and knowledge, learning, cooperation, and exchange of personnel. She is also a board member of the Geographical Society of Philadelphia, currently serving as co-chair of its Planning and Marketing committee. Berrin loves to travel with her students. As a regular spring break tradition, she took her students to Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Qatar, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. She strongly believes that travel changes people in multiples ways; from providing different perspectives in life to self-discovery and self-actualization. Berrin has traveled to more than 40 countries and continues to explore. 

Marco Airaudo's areas of expertise include monetary economics, macroeconomics, international finance, international economics, and computational economics. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Universita' degli Studi di Torino, Facolta' di Economia Italy and a doctoral degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, a Professor of Economics in the School of Economics at the LeBow College of Business, he teaches at Drexel University. Dr. Airaudo’s articles have appeared in top-tier academic journals such as the Journal of Economic Theory, the International Economic Review, the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, and many others. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Franco Modigliani Research Fellowship Award which allowed him to conduct full-time research at the Collegio Carlo Alberto (Turin, Italy). He has held Visiting Scholar positions at the International Monetary Fund (Washington, D.C.) and the University of California at Irvine. In his spare time, Dr. Airaudo finds time to train and compete in 140-Mile Triathlons and plays tennis. 

Samuel K. Chueh serves as the International Business; Global Strategy Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia. With a background in Chinese, Russian, Japanese, and English linguistics has devoted himself to making Philadelphia a welcoming city through the development of immigrant businesses and the promotion of Philadelphia as a world-class destination. Mr. Chueh has reached out to thousands of businesses and clients locally and internationally since he joined the Philadelphia Commerce Department in 2011. His effort has given rise to the creation of hundreds of jobs in diverse
corridors in Philadelphia. In recognition of Mr. Chueh’s contributions, former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter honored him with the 2014 National Service Award. He was awarded the Leading for Change Fellowship in 2019 and the Philadelphia Leadership Core Cohort of 2021 by Mayor James Kenny.
Mr. Chueh has both a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the National Chengchi University in Taiwan and a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration on Global Marketing, from Drexel University.

Judy Okun has over 15 years of college-level Geography teaching experience and is currently an instructor of Geography at both Rowan University and West Chester University. Judy has taught a wide variety of courses at Rowan over the past 11 years and is currently developing a new offering, Geography of Russia and its Neighbors.  She has also taught at Rowan College at Gloucester County and Camden County College. Judy regularly leads workshops and lectures for high school homeschoolers, senior lifelong learners, and teachers seeking professional development. With a multidisciplinary approach, she has presented specialty courses on the Spice Trade, the Silk Road, the Ancient Mediterranean, North America, plate tectonics, the Great Ice Age, regional geography, the American West, East Asia, the Pacific, the Age of Exploration, among others. In the past, Judy was involved in curriculum development for Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts. She recently received an Outstanding Teaching Award from West Chester University. Judy has earned a Master of Arts in Environmental Conservation Policy and Education from New York University and a Master of Arts in History from Villanova University. Her main academic interests are exploration and history of the American West and Alaska, seaways, the Age of Exploration, plate tectonics, ice ages, and international trade. She is an avid traveler and has been to 49 states, pursuing her love for national parks, exploration on back roads, and hiking. She also loves to paint and has been fortunate to have her artwork displayed at many art venues in Southern New Jersey.

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