Fall 2018/Spring 2019 membership is $140 per person, per year, non-transferable, and members can register for a maximum of three full courses per semester. A full course is one 6–8-week course or two 4-week courses. Financial Aid is available.
New Courses Added
Maps, Navigation and Discoveries in the Middle Ages - A Voyage in Time and to Newly Discovered Lands (SOCI400)
Fridays 1:45-3:00pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12 Limit: 20
The course may offer a visit to the NY Public Library Map section to look at selected maps documenting the course material. More.
The Psychology of Well Being and Happiness (SOCI450)
Fridays 1:45-3:00pm October 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 30
Through lecture, readings, discussion and individual exercises, life satisfaction and strategies to improve happiness are explored. More.
Fall 2018 Courses
- Regular classes meet on Fridays from:
- NON-FRIDAY OFF CAMPUS COURSES
Only LLI members may attend classes and may not bring guests. Membership fee does not include books, photocopied material, transportation, or other fees.
FALL 2018 CATALOG (you can download this pdf version of the catalog)
The Photo Series, An Ongoing Conversation (ARTS007)Fridays 9:30-10:45am September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 10
This is an introductory course for students who would like to create a cohesive series of 10 – 12 photographs. Students will explore the difference between casually seeing and deliberately searching. Break out of the daily routine and take a slow walk through your neighborhood with a camera to reexamine your surroundings and reflect on the stories that surprise and challenge you. Weekly presentations on contemporary artists combined with shooting assignments and short, in-class writing exercises will aid students in learning how to write and speak about their photographs. Class discussions of students’ work will build towards the final week, when they will present their completed photography series.
Sasha Louis Bush is a Queens-based visual artist who primarily works with photographs. Bush holds an MFA from ICP-Bard (2017) and a BA from Hampshire College (2009). His practice centers on temporal and site-specific activities that encourage participants to occupy dual roles as students and teachers to examine the process of learning. His recent visits to elementary school classrooms have served as an alternate hypothetical studio space that welcomes students and artist alike.
Tools Maketh the Man (SOCI100)Fridays 9:30-10:45am September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 46
Humans are obligate tool makers. We cannot exist without tools and are constantly thinking up new ones. Other animals both make and use tools, but the nature and sophistication of our tools are of an entirely different level. When, why and how did the ability to make elaborate tools develop in human evolution? How is this ability related to human cognition and language? How have our tools made us?
Lucy Johnson is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Vassar College. Her focus in anthropology, for which she taught primarily archaeology and biological anthropology courses, has always been on the relationship between humans and the environment as modified by technology. Lucy is active in environmental organizations in the Valley and is the Curriculum Director for Vassar LLI.
Opera as Politics II (ARTS002)Fridays 9:30-10:45am September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 100
We continue our examination of Opera as Politics. Part II continues to look at governmental, sexual, economic, and religious politics as expressed and reflected in opera. This course will include close examination of important operas, with special focus on the major works of the nineteenth century, including those of Verdi and Wagner, and a look at the current state of opera as a political vehicle. We will experience operatic video performances in class as political themes are developed. Previous attendance in this course is not required, no technical musical knowledge is needed, and familiarity with opera is not assumed.
Chuck Mishaan has been an opera aficionado since the days of the old Metropolitan Opera House. He has been a lecturer on music and opera at several area LLIs, the Bardavon Theater, and the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society. He was an adjunct professor at NYU, lecturing on technology and healthcare, and still consults in this field.
Young Adult Literature in Today's World-Moved to 2019 Spring SemesterFridays 9:30-10:45am October 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 24
Fiction for young adults (aproximately ages 12-18) in the age of Black Lives Matter, Parkland, DACA and #MeToo is very different from the books we may have read back in the day. This four-week course will explore books, one per week, that in some way represent the change in focus from romance and sports stories to novels examining issues of social justice and identity today. We may also bring up works that are tentatively related. This course will not be for those who object to strong language.
Julia Kessler received a BA in English Literature from Connecticut College, an MLS from Syracuse University, and completed all but her thesis in Communication Theory from University of Vermont. She worked as an elementary school librarian in the Arlington School District for 28 years.
Tee Time with Rhett at the Vassar College Golf Course (LIFE600)Fridays 9:30-10:45am September 14, 21, 28, October 5 Limit: 8
Open to all levels of golfers including beginners, the course covers the fundamentals of golf, including short game and full swing instruction, rules and etiquette. Participants should wear comfortable clothing (no cut off shirts or gym shorts). Bring sun screen on sunny days and, if needed, a hat and sunglasses.
Rhett Meyers has been a member of the PGA of America for 28 years, golf professional for 31 years, and Head Golf Professional at Casperkill CC for 14 years. He has instructed many County and State champions and given thousands of lessons over his career. He was voted Hudson's Valley's Best golf professional for 5 consecutive years. He has been a PGA Professional and Proprietor at the Vassar GC for 14 years.
Bees and Beekeeping (LIFE150)Fridays 9:30-10:45am September 14, 21, 28, October 5 Limit: 20
This course, will explore bees and beekeeping. It will be based on our own study and experiences, our attendance at presentations by biologists and commercial beekeepers, and the input of other beekeepers. It will describe the different types of bees, their basic anatomy and physiology, their activities, the benefits of their products (honey and pollen), beekeeping, and the precarious status of bees. We will explain how to establish a hive and what the activities of a beekeeper are. We hope to instill an interest in bees that may result in attendees establishing their own hives. We certainly expect to, at the very least, nourish an interest in, and support of, bees before it is too late.
This course will be developed and presented by a pair of instructors. They have years of beekeeping and related experiences. Rob is a farmer and will provide input about sustainable agriculture and the benefit for, and of, bees to the environment. The two of us are members of the Dutchess County bee club, ‘Hudson Valley Swarm’.
First Ladies (SOCI002)Fridays 9:30-10:45am October 12, 19, 26, and November 2 Limit: 30
The course will consider the following four First Ladies of America: Elizabeth Monroe, Louisa Adams, Rachel Jackson and Hannah Van Buren. We will consider the contributions they made to the history of our country and the lives they led. Their ancestry, family and views will be brought forth during the presentation.
Jim Williams, retired from IBM, collects books, with a library on focused on many important figures of our country. Charles Ford, retired from NY Life, also collects books and has always loved history. Jim and Charles have been lecturing at the Mount, Marist, the maximum security prison in Wallkill, NY, and other venues since 2007.
Music as Energy (ARTS006)Fridays 11:05am-12:20pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 26, November 2 Limit: 20
This course is for people who love listening to, learning about, and discussing music, particularly acoustic music. It is a music appreciation course that allows participants to speak about musical significance, not by attempting to study and absorb the full history of Western music, but by analyzing the energy impulses of musical expression at many levels. Participants may be asked to attend a live performance. Depending on the selection, there may be the cost of the ticket to consider. We'll be listening to lots of music, observing and analyzing energy components, and exploring interesting concepts related to the physical aspects of music. Come, join the conversation!
Jeannie Kern Chenette has been the featured performer in concerts sponsored by the Hudson Valley’s Con Brio, Iowa Arts Council, Great Lakes Harpers, and Orchestra Iowa, where she held the principal harp position. A dedicated teacher and composer of pedagogical harp works, Ms Chenette has seen her ensemble arrangements and solo collections, published through Prairie Harp Music, featured at harp festivals and conferences nationwide. Jeannie holds a MM in Harp Performance from the New England Conservatory and a BM Ed from Butler University. She has held faculty appointments in music theory and harp at Iowa State University, Grinnell College, and SUNY Dutchess..
Medieval West Africa, ca. 1000 - 1600 CE (SOCI300)Fridays 11:05am-12:20pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 20
This course will consider West Africa in the medieval era (ca. 1000 - 1600 CE on the geography and the peoples of the area (how their art, religion and learning overlapped), as well as the three major African kingdoms which waxed and waned in those times. Most importantly we will consider the trans-Saharan trade from southern Morocco to the northern fringe of the rainforest. Each week students will be assigned short readings relevant to the next class topic. In class the instructor will present the topic of the day and then invite the members of the class to participate, with emphasis on having them consider the content of the presentations, speaking together, and formulating and expressing their own questions, observations, lessons from their separate experiences and perhaps readings.
Gary W. Clendennen began formally studying African history and geography at SUNY New Paltz, and completed such work at the University of Edinburgh. He has visited southern Africa three times and West Africa never (although he flew over it four times!). He grew up in Poughkeepsie, but most of his life has been spent at least 1000 miles away, east and west. He has done some writing on baseball and birdwatching, among other topics.
The Revolutionary War, Spies, Gods and Guns...(SOCI005)Fridays 11:05am-12:20pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 100
The Revolutionary War reopened age old rivalries between British Anglicans and Scots-Irish Presbyterians, who by then had settled in the wild frontier. In the south, it was a bare knuckles fight over generations-old grudges, but in the north, George Washington had realized the absolute need for a well-organized spy network for information gathering. We'll explore how both of these efforts were successful, and led to America’s gaining her independence. Topics to be covered include the history of Scotland, the Scots-Irish in America, how religions came to America, riflemen and the rifles that made them famous. We will conclude with a bio of a frontier general, Daniel Morgan, whose leadership resulted in two of the most important victories of the entire war. Muskets vs Rifles? Pilgrims vs Puritans? Conestoga wagons vs Prairie Schooners? We’ll get to it all
Bob Ulrich has lectured at all of the area's LLI program and has appeared as a lecturer at the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot, Ft Montgomery, the Henry Wallace Visitor Center, the Poughkeepsie Lions Club, the Dutchess County and Wappingers Falls Historical Societies, the West Point Club (for Road Scholars), Mohonk Mt. House, and the NJ Revolutionary War Roundtable.A graduate of Cornell with an MBA from Columbia, he served two years in the US Army, then spent 30 years with IBM. His 'story telling' approach and effective use of images, add greatly to his presentations.
Geography and the Environment (SOCI200)Fridays 11:05am-12:20pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 30
This course will examine several major civilizations from Eurasia, North Africa and North America in order to learn how people adapted to their terrain and its resources during their development. Looking at these histories might help us better face our future challenges and opportunities. We will look at the classical civilizations of Asia and North Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, Western Europe and Russia, and the American Experience.
Thomas Walker graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1966. He served as a Carrier Pilot and Legal Officer from 1968-1990 and retired from the US Navy with 22 years’ service as a Commander. He earned 20 Post-Graduate credits in History at University of Rhode Island 1973. He then served for 20 years as a New York State Veterans Counselor, the last five years supervising fourteen offices from the Canadian border to Putnam County. He is married with four adult children and has been a resident of the City of Poughkeepsie for 19 years.
Stay Safe, Stay Active, Stay on Your Feet (LIFE010)Fridays 11:05am-12:20pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12 Limit: 15
Poor balance and leg weakness are primary risk factors for falls among adults older than 65. Evidence indicates that programs which incorporate balance, strengthening and flexibility exercises are effective in preventing falls. This class will combine all three exercise types for a comprehensive approach to fall prevention. Balance exercises will proceed from elementary to more challenging, depending on participants' abilities. Elements of Tai Chi, yoga and physical training approaches to balance will be included. A Tai Chi practitioner will join the first and third classes as co-instructor. Distraction and poor concentration are also risk factors for falls. At the end of the exercise session, participants will engage in several minutes of guided meditation. The goal of the meditation will be to train class members to maintain focus during daily activities. A doctor's note is not necessary, but participants should speak to their health care practitioners if they have any limits to exercise.
Dr. Anne Lancellotti, PT, DPT practiced physical therapy for thirty years before her retirement in 2014. For twenty-two of those years, she had a private practice in Poughkeepsie. Anne was a specialist in orthopedic physical therapy and taught therapeutic exercises for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. For fifteen years before her retirement, Anne worked to educate older adults in fall prevention. She also studied and taught exercise to promote the lower extremity strength, flexibility and balance necessary for fall prevention. For this class, Anne has created an exercise program which includes the most effective of these exercises. Anne has recently been certified as a trainer for a short form of Tai Chi. She will augment her exercise program with the principles of this ancient martial art.Presenter: Denise Fecketter
Denise Fecketter is a Tai Chi and Qi Gong practitioner and teacher. Last year she travelled for one month throughout China, where she studied both of these movement arts. Denise is also a practitioner of the Asian healing art, Jin Shin Jyutsu. She will bring her experience with these ancient healing practices to the balance portion of our exercise.
Thirty Years of Theater (ARTS100)Fridays 11:05am-12:20pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 100
Readings of August Wilson's Fences, Tony Kushner's Angels in America -- Millennium Approaches, and Tracy Letts' August: Osage County. Discussions will follow and all discussions will place the plays in the context of theatrical presentation through the ages.
Lou Trapani is the Artistic and Managing Director of The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. He has taught acting, directing, theatre history, and dramatic literature at all levels: middle school through university. He has been an active presenter for the LLI program at Bard College for 13 years. This is his first year at Vassar.
It’s the Law: A Primer on American Jurisprudence (SOCI050)Fridays 11:05am-12:20pm October 12, 19, 26, November 2 Location: 20
This class will be presented in four sessions.
structure of the judicial system; trial courts and appellate courts; subject matter jurisdictionHERE COME DA JUDGE
what courts do and do not decide; the role of precedent; the respective roles of judges, jurors and lawyers; what happens at trials and hearings; standards of proofIT'S A CRIME
brief history of the criminal justice system; traditional societal goals in criminal justice; Constitutional considerations in criminal justice; classifications of criminal conduct; culpable mental statesLET'S BE CIVIL
brief history of the civil law system; the ‘common law’ then and today; differences between civil law and criminal law; actions at law and equity actions. The last 15 minutes or so of each session will be reserved for participants to raise issues, ask questions, or discuss any topic related to that day's topic or generally to ‘the law’
Mickey Steiman graduated from Colgate University in 1968 and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 1972. From 1972-1980 he was a Senior trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice, Office of Special Litigation, in Washington, D.C. and from 1982-1989 he was an Adjunct Professor at Marist College. He has been in private practice for 35 years in Dutchess County.
Understanding Movies: The Language of Film (ARTS050)Fridays 1:45-3:00pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 35
Most of us know how to read literature, an art that deals essentially with words, but films convey ideas very differently. There are images and sound to consider. This course provides insight into the variety of ways in which films communicate. The goals are to examine the range of film’s unique language and form, (e.g., shot composition, camera movement, sound, editing, etc.) and to explore how the essential properties of the medium are used by filmmakers as a means of expression. In-class screenings will include sequences from recognizable films that illustrate the unique aesthetics of motion pictures.
Sybil DelGaudio recently retired from Hofstra University, where she was Professor of Radio/Television/Film and served for six years as Dean of its School of Communication. She has written many journal articles, as well as a book, Dressing the Part. Dr. DelGaudio's own production work has combined her interest in animation scholarship with a passion for documentary, resulting in two projects she directed for public television, Animated Women and Independent Spirits. Both films have been shown on PBS stations around the country as well as at international film festivals, garnering festival prizes, as well as an Emmy for Animated Women.
Just the Facts: News and Politics in the Age of New Media (SOCI070)Fridays 1:45-3:00pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26 Limit: 46
Politics in the U.S. is more polarized now than it has been in decades. Transformation of traditional print newspapers and popularity of new means of distribution of the news via web-based news services, aggregators and social media like Facebook and Twitter have changed how people receive their news. This course will examine news and politics in the changing media environment from several different angles. Presenters will discuss how people experience partisan media, what drives them to familiar and accepted narratives of the news, how to sort fact from fiction using fact-checking sources, and how politicians connect directly to constituents using new media among other topics.
Producers: Kathy Kurosman, Barbara Durniak
Popping the Vassar Media Bubble- September 14
Election night 2016 was a wakeup call for many liberals, much of the media and the political establishment. The status quo was shattered by Donald Trump's historic upset, and in the aftermath, some sat up and realized they had to make a change. Frustrated with the unflinching progressivism of the Vassar body politic and eager to raise the bar on campus political commentary and journalism, Alexander Barzacanos and Andrew Solender founded the Vassar Political Review, an ambitious startup with a wide-reaching mission. Their goal was to encourage reasoned, diverse and pluralistic political debate–less isolated from the outside world–bring non-activist students off the sidelines and into the political conversation, and employ new media strategies in an effort to better engage a millennial and generation z student body.
Andrew Solender, founder and editor-in-chief of the Vassar Political Review, is a political science major/history minor. He’s a former columnist for Vassar's Miscellany News, a reporter with Inside Sources, a policy and politics startup in DC and NY, and covers New York's 19th district election for The River.Presenter: Tiana Headley
Tiana Headley is prospective political science major with an interest in medieval and renaissance studies. She’s a writer for OUTLOUD Multimedia and was an intern/writer for The Miami Herald. Awards include the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, The Miami Herald Silver Knight Award, and a Scholastic Gold Medal.
From the Mean to the Extreme: How Politicians, Interest Groups, the Media, and Donald Trump Have Polarized America- September 21
Political party polarization in the U.S. is currently more intense than at any other time since the late 19th century. This talk will focus on the reasons for this polarization at both the rank and file and elite levels. It is very important to understand that causal responsibility rests with many reinforcing factors, so that amelioration of the problem will be, at best, extremely difficult.
Richard Born is Professor of Political Science at Vassar College. His research interests center on congressional elections, most recently, on the effects of redistricting on U.S. House voters. His courses include American Politics, Congress, the American Presidency, Political Parties and Public Opinion, Political Analysis, and Seminar on Congressional Politics.
How Newspapers are Adapting to the Changing Media Landscape- September 28
This talk will be a discussion of the digital revolution and how it has changed what once were traditional newspapers into multimedia organizations.
John Penney has been the opinion engagement editor of Poughkeepsie Journal Media since November 1999. In that capacity, he writes editorials on behalf of the Journal, engages with the public, represents the Journal at various events and oversees the publication of the opinion content, both online and in print. He is the recipient of numerous opinion-writing awards, including Best of the USA Today Network, New York State Publishers Association and New York State Associated Press honors.He resides in the Village of Rhinebeck with his, wife, Dugan Radwin, who is a former content editor at Poughkeepsie Journal.
News Parody as News- October 5
This presentation discusses the development of news parodies on television in order to understand the richness of the genre in contemporary television. It also explores critical concepts like satire and parody. Finally, it ends with a discussion of news parody’s role in and impact on contemporary politics, especially in relation to some of the unprecedented aspects of the Trump presidency.
Philip Scepanski is an Assistant Professor of Film and Television at Marist College. His book project explores the ways in which television comedy manages and negotiates instances of national trauma. Philip’s work has appeared in numerous journals and books including including Television and New Media and The Comedy Reader and he has forthcoming work in Taking a Stand: Contemporary Stand Up Comedians as Public Intellectuals.
Just the Facts, Ma'am- October 12
This presentation will look at how to pick reliable news sources, how to distinguish facts from fiction and how to find fact-checking sources.
Deb Weltsch is the Head of Adult Services for the Poughkeepsie Public Library District where she has worked for over 30 years as a Reference Librarian. She is also Coordinator of Central Library Services for the Mid-Hudson Library System, serving a five-county area. Deb provides service to the public at the Adriance Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie and support and training for the 66 member libraries in communities throughout the Mid-Hudson Region.
Manipulating Images and Video- October 19
This talk will focus on how we need to check our instinctive belief in the truth of what we see. It is not that the images are photoshopped or faked (though this does happen on very rare occasions), but rather the images chosen are a) ripped out of crucial context, b) selected because of their intrinsic emotional power and c) edited together or packaged in such a way as to lead viewers to inescapable conclusions. Educated citizens must learn how to read and interpret visual imagery.
Sarah Kozloff has taught film history at Vassar College for 30 years. The author of numerous books, chapters, and articles, she holds the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowed Chair.
Your Best Health: Advancing Care Close to Home (LIFE015)Fridays 1:45-3:00pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 100
Providers from Health Quest, the regional network that includes Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie and Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, will discuss the latest treatments and technologies available to patients in the mid-Hudson Valley. This will include heart and vascular, oncology, neurology, nutrition, surgery, rehabilitation and more. Each week will feature different specialists talking about advances in their respective fields. Students will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the cutting-edge work of these physicians and other professionals who are on the front lines of healthcare in the region. Each class will be interactive and student questions are encouraged.
Producer: John Nelson is the Director of Public and Community Affairs for Health Quest.
Digestive Digest: Breaking Down How We Break Down Food- September 14
Health Quest Medical Practice general and bariatric surgeon Dr. Brian Binetti will give a general overview of the digestive system, and then talk more-in depth about acid reflux, constipation and gallbladder disease.
Dr. Binetti is a general surgeon with Health Quest Medical Practice in Rhinebeck and is medical director of Northern Dutchess Hospital’s bariatric program. Fellowship trained in minimally invasive and robotic surgeries, he also repairs all types of hernias and treats gastroesophageal reflux and acid reflux diseases. Binetti was trained as a resident at St. Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey. He now lives in Rhinebeck.
The Mole Truth: Skin Cancer and You- September 21
Health Quest Medical Practice surgical oncologist Dr. James Nitzkorski will discuss the basics and epidemiology of melanoma. His talk will touch on UV radiation as a risk factor for DNA mutations, surgical treatment for routine and advanced cases with examples of reconstruction and an overview of new therapeutic options, including immunotherapy.
Surgical Oncologist Dr. James Nitzkorski is the Director of GI and Melanoma Oncology at Health Quest Medical Practice. He graduated cum laude from SUNY-Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biological Science and completed his surgery residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, where he served as chief resident. At Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Dr. Nitzkorski completed a fellowship in surgical oncology, focusing his research on gastrointestinal and rectal cancer. At Dyson Center for Cancer Care he partners with Al Haitham Al Shetawi, MD, DMD, maxillofacial, head and neck surgical oncologist, to manage melanomas that occur at or above the neck.
At the Heart of the Matter: Preventive Steps You Can Take Now- September 28
Cardiologist Dr. Ethan Gundeck of The Heart Center will lecture about heart disease. Attendees will learn prevention, detection and treatment facts regarding many cardiac and vascular diseases.
Dr. Ethan Gundeck attended medical school at Emory University, and did his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at the University of Chicago, where he also served as chief resident for internal medicine. He has been with The Heart Center since 2005. He has two daughters, 15 and 19, and his wife, Elizabeth, works in the development office at Vassar College. During his free time, he enjoys walking and playing guitar.
Fall Prevention: Tips for Older Adults and Caregivers- October 5
Dawn Watson-Yager, manager of the Trauma Program at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, will give fall prevention tips and discuss some of the health repercussions after someone has a traumatic fall. She will also cover the physiologic risks for trauma as we age..
Dawn Watson-Yager received her nursing degree from the State University of New York Orange County in May 2011 and now attends Loyola University in New Orleans in pursuit of her master’s degree in nursing. She has managed the trauma program at Vassar Brothers Medical Center since August 2017. She is board certified in emergency nursing and is a trauma-certified registered nurse as well as a member of the American Trauma Society, the Emergency Nurses Association and the Society of Trauma Nurses.
Trauma Class: How a Neurosurgeon Treat Serious Spinal Injuries- October 12
Vassar Brothers Medical Center medical staff spine surgeon Craig Shannon, of Brain and Spine Surgeons of New York, will follow up the previous week’s lecture on traumatic falls with a more specific talk on spine trauma.
Dr. Craig Shannon was born in Manhattan, but grew up in the small town of Zanesville, Ohio. He is the son of a private practice neurosurgeon and his mother is a registered nurse. He has a twin sister and a younger sister. He attended the University of Toledo College of Medicine and graduated with his medical degree in 2007. Dr. Shannon began his training in neurosurgery in 2007 at the Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College. He joined Vassar’s medical staff in 2016. He is interested in all aspects of neurosurgery, which include cranial neurosurgery, trauma and spine surgery.
A Dose of Reality: Facts about Herbal Medications- October 19
Yuly Belchikov, director of the pharmacy at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, will lecture about herbal medications and their interaction with prescription medications. Students will learn how supplements can alter the effects of medicines, while others can cause unwanted – and sometimes harmful – side effects.
Yuly Belchikov has been a pharmacist for more than 15 years in various states across the Northeast. He graduated from Long Island University in downtown Brooklyn with a doctorate degree in pharmacy and spent several years in residency training for internal medicine with a focus in critical care. Prior to joining Vassar Brothers two years ago, he served as the Clinical Pharmacy Director at both Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens and Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.
Pace Land: How Technology Helps Abnormal Heartbeats- October 26
Cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Sarah Levin of The Heart Center will talk about the history and future of pacemakers that help control abnormal heart rhythms. These devices have evolved from large machines with a short life to miniature devices that can be implanted with minimally invasive techniques. Thanks to this new technology, the modern-day pacemaker can have an estimated average 12-year battery life.
Dr. Sarah Levin is a board-certified cardiologist with The Heart Center in Poughkeepsie. Dr. Levin, who comes from a family of physicians, specializes in cardiac electrophysiology and treats a variety of issues impacting the specialized electrical system of the heart. In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing with her family and going on hikes, playing tennis and getting involved with a local farm project to teach her children the importance of living locally and eating sustainably.
Nutrition Corner: Eat Right, Get Healthy, Stay Happy- November 2
Roufia Payman, certified dietitian and nutritionist, will talk about how healthy food is medicine. She will touch on a number of food topics, but focus on how everyone, especially senior citizens, can eat more while staying healthy and without gaining weight.
Roufia Payman, certified dietitian and nutritionist, provides one-on-one nutrition counseling at Northern Dutchess Hospital, helping people love the food that loves them back. As supervisor of outpatient nutritional education, she leads group programs for bariatric surgery support, weight loss, diabetes prevention and childhood obesity. Payman devotes much of her spare time to making the community healthier. She rarely turns down an opportunity to tell people healthy food is medicine.
Magic for Grandparents - or Aunts, Uncles, Friends (ARTS200)Fridays 1:45-3:00pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 10
As an adult have you ever seen a child’s eyes light up with wonder at the completion of a magic trick? Have you watched his/her amazement when a coin is made to disappear and subsequently is pulled from the back of his/her ear? Or, when he/she has picked a card from a shuffled deck and it is immediately identified by the magician? Or, read minds? Or, sitting at the table after dinner, the child tears a paper napkin to shreds, then rolls the pieces into a little ball, squeezes it very tightly and proceeds to open it up only to find the paper napkin restored?
All his life, Andy Weintraub has enjoyed magic as a hobby, performing for friends, at birthday parties, and in theatrical and parlor settings. He is the founder of The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck and has been its resident magician for the last twenty years. He is also an economist - not so different from being a magician - having been a member of the Lehigh and Temple University economics departments from 1966 to 1999.
The Psychology of Well Being and Happiness (SOCI450)Fridays 1:45-3:00pm October 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 30
This timely course is the study of what is often a life changing examination of what determines life satisfaction and happiness. Positive Psychology refers to the 'intentions, thoughts and actions' that have more impact on happiness than our presonal circumstances and the condition of the world around us. Well being and happiness can be increased at any point in life, resulting in emotional an physical improvements in health as well as increased life expenctancy. Improvements in managing stress of any osort are also achieved. Through lecture, readings, discussion and individual excercises, life satisfaction and strategies to improve happiness are exploresd.
Dr. Denise Morett is a clinical psychologist and best-selling author with a 29 year career in the local Husdon Valley. She prectices privately and consults to local hospitals, nursing homes and schools providing clinical services, lectures and training. She has taught psychology classes at the university level throughout her career. Her recently published best selling book LIFELINE deals with catastrophic stress and coping during the serious or life-threatening illness of a family members. Dr. Morett's study of and expertise in positive psychology concepts are helping individuals dramatically improve their lives.
The Creative Self (ARTS150)Fridays 1:45-3:00pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 20
The imagination is the gateway to the soul. To stimulate the imagination and to open up the channels of creativity is as important as anything else in a person’s life. Through varied creative processes, through reflection and interpretation the individual can understand how every moment lived is a creative moment, how every moment is an inspiration. When an individual explores his or her inner landscape, the exploration creates a deeper understanding of life. Through process oriented exercises, active imagining and personal journeying one changes his or her life by tapping into his or her creative impulses. Through the creative process we can touch that which is infinite in ourselves. Bring writing materials and wear comfortable clothing
Lois Walden's life and music have been profiled on CBS Sunday Morning and Good Morning America. She is a published novelist, lyricist, librettist, composer, producer. performer, recording artist and teaching artist. Walden founded the gospel group, The Sisters of Glory, which performed at Woodstock '94. She has written for television. For twenty years Lois has traveled America with The Acting Company using an integrated, interactive approach teaching teenagers and adults how to tap into their innate creativity. Currently, she is co-librettist of the opera, Mila, and is writing a collection of autobiographical essays, the first of which was recently published.
Sustainability: Definition, Issues, Ideas (SOCI060)Fridays 3:20-4:35pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 46
What is Sustainability? What are we sustaining, why, and how? In this course, professors and practitioners will discuss these questions and indicate the ways that their fields and interests embrace or interact with or question environmental sustainability.
Producer: Lucy Johnson
Introduction to the Topic of Sustainability- September 14
This class will introduce students to the study of sustainability. Students will learn the components of the 'Triple Bottom Line' and become familiar with the systems nature of the topic. These components will be examined from the perspective of our food system for the purpose of illustrating the application of the topic.
Darryl Mosher MS CHE is an associate professor in Liberal Arts at The Culinary Institute of America. An expert on the topic of sustainable agriculture, he teaches Sustainable Food Systems in the Applied Food Studies bachelor’s degree program. In addition he has developed required curriculum for all students titled “Introduction to Food Systems, Cooking for the Environment.” This course provides students with an understanding of how choice can play a role in lessening the impact of the food system on our environment. He is an active farmer and the owner of Brittany Hollow Farm in Rhinebeck, NY.
Through lecture and an introduction to the work of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, along with small group conversations and personal reflection, this session will give participants a chance to assess their own understanding, relationships, and engagement within the social and ecological systems that make up the communities where they live and work.
Laura Weiland, director of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), created Omega's 4-week Ecological Literacy Immersion Program. She holds a master's degree in sustainable development with a focus in community development, and has spent over 20 years living, studying, and working between the United States and several other countries. Through her work in partnership with Project Drawdown, Laura is currently part of a core organizing team that will host the October 2018 launch of a collaborative global initiative to coordinate a solutions-based approach to reversing global warming through education, awareness, shared resources, and community action.
This class will provide a contextual foundation of behavioral and cognitive science insights and strategies, and be structured to help students begin to build a working toolkit to apply to their own interests and challenges. The workshop will include an introduction to the topics, a review of concepts from the field, discussion of real-world applications, identification of useful reference and source materials.
Concepts to be covered may (depending on student needs/interests) include:
• A review of System 1 vs. System 2 Thinking
• Bounds of decision making
• Common heuristics/biases
• The role of Information Frames
• The Fundamental Attribution Error (i.e., importance of situation over individual characteristics)
Affect vs. Cognition
• Methods of behavior change (e.g., Community Based Social Marketing)
• Introduction to insights associated with group/organizational decision making
Jeffrey Domanski is a Senior Manager of Energy and Sustainability programs at IBTS, a not-for-profit focused on serving municipal governments and other organizations. His work at IBTS includes municipal programs for energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies and professional education and training programs. He is a LEED AP and an expert in human behavior-focused strategies, which he has used to increase technology use and program participation. Jeff is a LEED AP, received his BS in Chemistry from SUNY ESF at Syracuse, and a MPA from Princeton University. He proudly served in the U.S. Peace Corps.
The Hudson Valley Region contains densely populated urban areas with business, commercial and educational centers contrasted with sparsely populated rural communities. We are a region with pockets of great wealth and pockets of deep poverty. Historically, water is one of the greatest sources of wealth and has been the lifeblood of our communities, industries, and livelihoods. Water scarcity is a worldwide concern and, exacerbated by climate change, could cost our region up to 6% of the GDP, spur emigration, and spark conflict unless action is taken soon before our current water abundance is no longer available. This lecture will address water resources security as an economic driver in the Hudson Valley (abundance/scarcities), climate change resilient economies in the global landscape, rising waters and new pollutants, exporting of water, drought effects on agriculture, food and beverages, new water innovations, stewardship opportunities and investments, and public perception and behavioral realities.
David Dell, Ph.D., has a background combining research, management consulting, executive leadership, and investment banking. Through publications, conference presentations and news citations, he has been recognized as a thought leader in Sustainability, Outsourcing, M&A integration, HR, Corporate IT strategy, and other areas. Currently as CEO co/founder of Sustainable Profitability Group, Dr. Dell is active in developing new water & energy investments. He is active on the boards of Luminary Publishing, the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, and the Tibetan Classics Translators Guild of New York. David has a Ph.D. from Columbia University in the languages and culture of India.Presenter: Victor-Pierre Melendez
Victor-Pierre Melendez, is a community outreach professional and multidisciplinary environmental economics expert working in the food quality assurance industry. He directed the Green Cities initiative for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and works in depth on a range of issues from environmental justice to green infrastructure and watershed protection. Victor received his B.S. in Environmental Science & Marine Biology from the University of Tampa, an M.S. from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and M.S in Public Administration from the College of New Rochelle.
The development of public policy is a complex and highly interconnected process, whether at the federal, state, county, or local level. As we have gained a clearer understanding of the environmental benefits and cost savings associated with sustainability actions, we have seen all levels of government taking measures in support of sustainability. Community residents and local and regional nonprofits have played an important role. This lecture will provide a brief history on how public policy is set in the United States, the role of public participation in setting public policy, and explore the power that an engaged community can have in influencing public policy to better support sustainability actions locally.
Carla Castillo is a Senior Planner / Clean Energy Communities Coordinator for the Hudson Valley Regional Council. Carla directs NYSERDA’s CEC Program, promoting economic development and supporting municipal cost-savings through energy efficiency and clean energy projects, resulting in municipal energy use and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Carla received an MCP in City & Regional Planning and an MS in International Development from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Latin American Studies from UCLA. Carla volunteers in the Town of Cornwall, chairing the Cornwall CAC, partnering with schools to implement recycling programs, and sits on the Comprehensive Plan Committee.
The most powerful tool kit we have for accelerating progress into a sustainable civilization is understanding of human potential and social organization. While there are many efforts to market sustainable behavior by making it convenient and 'ordinary', the degree of change we need is extraordinary. This session will examine the psychology of peak performance and social movement dynamics to identify ways to inspire imaginative solutions, motivate stronger leadership, and create movements with the ability to self-sustain. We'll explore 'self-in-relation' theory as it inspired the modern women's and civil rights movements, and see how it is applied in 'eco-psychology'. We'll consider how environmental and social injustice gives rise to psychological trauma, and how the movement for sustainable development can heal and empower communities by uncovering ways to reassert control in our lives. Messaging, organizing and leadership development will be covered.
Melissa Everett, Ph.D. is Executive Director of Sustainable Hudson Valley and received her PhD from Erasmus University in an interdisciplinary program on sustainable development. She is author of 'Making a Living While Making a Difference' and two other books of psychological portraits of dissidents. Further info can be found at www.sustainhv.org.
I argue that taste is not merely an index of cultural preference; the sensation of taste is a form of embodied and entangled perception that implicates a wide range of agents. How do we recognize these agents, from bacteria to migrating geese, global warming, evolution and nomadic plants and give them a seat at the table? Embracing aesthetics as the process of co-composing sensation allows us to joyously experiment with cooking as a site of radical emergence – creating new affiliations, pleasures and potentials. If we transform our cooking techniques, might we also fundamentally shift the ways in which we engage with the world around us?
Matthew Friday is graduate director for the Art Department at SUNY New Paltz. He is a member of the ecosystem research and design collective SPURSE, whose projects range from large-scale, sustainable, urban design to community consultation and organizing. As part of SPURSE, Matthew Friday has exhibited in a number of venues including the MassMOCA, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the BMW Guggenheim LAB. A passionate activist and ecologist with over 20 years teaching in higher education, Matthew believes that art can deepen our engagement with our social and ecological systems and catalyze a more just and resilient society.
Concerns about the sustainability of current cultural norms is vitalizing the creative imaginations of many of today’s most innovative artists. Their originality and ingenuity is often directed toward critiques of current habits of consumption and strategies of production. This illustrated talk presents seven representatives of this burgeoning eco-art movement. Each will represent one of seven archetypes of human / material interaction. Their environmental concerns are conveyed through fascinating and innovative art mediums, themes, and creative processes. Those who attend will be invited to assess the environmental implications of each archetype, and their personal involvements with it. This lecture is based on a chapter in Weintraub’s newest book: WHAT’s NEXT? Eco Materialism & Contemporary Art (Intellect Books, 2018).
Linda Weintraub is an artist, curator, educator, and author of several popular books about contemporary art. Her recent writings explore the intersection between contemporary art and environmentalism, including the series, Avant-Guardians: Textlets in Art and Ecology and TO LIFE! Eco Art In Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet , and WHAT’s NEXT? Eco Materialism and Contemporary Art. Weintraub is also the author of In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Artists and Art on the Edge and Over. Currently she is a visiting artist at the NOMAD9 MFA program at Hartford University’; and maintains a homestead in upstate New York.
Latin Via Ovid II (ARTS010)Fridays 3:20-4:35pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 10
We will continue learning Latin through adapted myths from Ovid's Metamorphoses. This class is open to all who took last spring’s class. If you didn't, and want to join us, you may -- if you've had some Latin before, and/or are willing to make your way through the first five chapters of our textbook Latin Via Ovid, by Goldman & Nyenhuis.
Ann Patty is the author of Living with a Dead Language, My Romance with Latin (Viking/Penguin 2016). She began learning Latin at the age of 60, and for the past six years has continued auditing college Latin courses. Before becoming a writer she worked in New York trade publishing for over thirty years. She was the founder and publisher of The Poseidon Press (Simon & Schuster) and an executive editor at Crown Publishers and Harcourt Inc. She teaches Latin to both teens and adults at local libraries.
Memoir Writing (ARTS160)Fridays 3:20-4:35pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 Limit: 14
Do you want to publish or simply pass on to the next generation the stories that make up your life? There will be assignments to trigger your memory and help you write a compelling memoir. The class will learn about the essential ingredients including dialogue, setting, interior monologue, historical framework, description of people, anecdotes, humor and most importantly, finding and writing from your own voice. Students will work on their own memoirs. There will be constructive feedback from students and instructor.
Beverly LeBov Sloane is a writer, writing instructor and writing coach. She has taught and lectured at several colleges and presently teaches at Bard College Institute for Lifetime Learning and Marist College Center for Lifetime Studies. She is a graduate of Vassar College and received her MA from Claremont Graduate University in California. Sloane and her late husband wrote four books on health administration. She is now focused on the subject of medical ethics and working on her own memoir. Sloane is a fellow of the American Medical Writers Association.
Chinese Tea Art 中国茶道艺术 (ARTS500)Fridays 3:20-4:35pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19 Limit: 20
Chinese tea art involves tea spirit, kinds of tea, tea art and tea ceremony. It teaches the thought and spirit of Taoism, which is a relationship between human beings and the universe (天人合一).
It will take 8 hours for students to learn:
1. The spirit of tea, the history of tea, the evolution of tea.
2. Kinds of tea, origins, types, process and steeping of each tea.
3. Tea art, judging tea, tea wares, water for tea, etiquette for tea, preserving tea, tea benefit, surrounding of Zen tea.
4. Tea ceremony.
A guided trip to the tea areas of China is being planned for Spring Break 2019 for interested students.
Xiaodong Smith is an instructor of Chinese language and culture. For more than ten years, Xiaodong taught foreign students at Fudan University in Shanghai and managed a cultural organization. She has taught at Ecole de Management, as well as China-based corporate employees at Price Waterhouse, General Motors, National Instruments, and others. She grew up in the south of China and Chinese tea and tea culture have been her lifelong passion.
Astronomy: What to Expect (SOCI003)Fridays 3:20-4:35pm September 14, 21, 28, October 5 Limit: 60
We will discuss several areas in astronomy where there is justifiable hope for exciting advances: (1) giant telescopes in space and on the ground, (2) habitable planets, (3) black hole physics outside the event horizon, and (4) the history of the universe after the Big Bang. We will also look at several areas where the questions are just as exciting, but the hope for advances is less well founded: (1) the nature of dark matter, (2) the nature of dark energy, (3) black hole physics inside the event horizon, and (4) the history of the universe before the Big Bang.
Fred Chromey is Professor of Astronomy Emeritus, and Emeritus Director of the Vassar College Observatory from 1990-2016. He is the author of the text: To Measure the Sky: An Introduction to Observational Astronomy (2nd ed., 2016).
NON-FRIDAY OFF CAMPUS COURSES
Women of the New Deal (SOCI010)Mondays 11:00am-12:30pm September 17, 24, October 1, 15 Location: Roosevelt Museum and Library, 4079 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538 Limit: 60
An exploration of women in the Roosevelt Administration who played a substantive role in the policies and organizations that made up the New Deal. Their accomplishments paved the way for future generations of women to assume positions of power within the federal government. Each class will explore a few women and track their careers and the impact they had on the major issues of the 1930s, including Frances Perkins and the labor movement, and Hallie Flanagan (Davis), director of the Federal Theater Project. Their stories will be contextualized with explanations of the social norms of the period.
Paul Sparrow is the director of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, and former Associate Director of the Newseum in Washington D.C.
Experience the Hudson Valley Healing Center (LIFE020)Wenesday 1-2:00pm September 19, 26, October 3,10 Location: 51 Springside Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603, tel: (845) 849-0838 Limit: 15
Sample the diverse types of healing available, and find the right one for you! Each class is taught by an area expert. REIKI is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. PRANAYAMA is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force. We will experience some pranayama exercises and poses, breathing techniques and sequences. MEDITATION is the practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference. It can involve focusing on the breath, on a word or phrase known as a mantra. This session will be held in our unique SALT CAVE. Finally, TAPPING is a set of techniques which utilize the body's energy meridian points. You will learn how to stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them with your fingertips. Tapping provides relief from chronic pain, emotional problems, addictions, phobias, and physical diseases.
Mindfulness has transformed Elisa's life and she is very pleased to introduce these practices to others at the Hudson Valley Healing Center. After completing the MBSR practicum at U Mass Medical Center, Center for Mindfulness, Elisa continued her studies and is currently receiving mentorship through the University of California San Diego, Center for Mindfulness. She is also a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Elisa earned a Masters of Education with a focus on mindfulness. She is currently engaged in a doctoral program focusing on Transformational Learning and offers Salt Cave, Yoga, Lifestyle and more at her HVHC.
Gentle Walks in the Hudson Valley (LIFE025)Thursday 10:00am-12:00pm September 27, October 4, 18, 25 Location: tba Limit: 20
Join fellow Vassar LLI members for a couple of hours of fresh air, education and community building as we walk in our beautiful Hudson Valley. This course offers 4 Thursday morning walks each paired with a cultural/educational experience. Participants meet at the designated location each week at 10:00am. A van may be possible. If not, carpooling will be encouraged.
meet at Val-Kill and walk the grounds, followed by a program presented by Val-Kill staff.Harlem Valley Rail Trail and Harney Tea Company Factory Tour - October 4
Meet at the Harlem Valley Rail Trail on Main Street in Millerton. Members can walk the trail for up to 75 minutes. We will then drive to the Harney Factory just south of Millerton on route 22 for a tour at 11:30. Participants are required to wear closed toe shoes/sneakers for the tour.West Point Foundry Preserve in Cold Spring - October 18
Scenic Hudson will direct us on a 2 hour walk and talk through this historic property.Rosendale Trestle Bridge and the Women's Studio Workshop - October 25
Meet at 10 at the Binnewater Kiln parking lot on Binnewater Road in Rosendale. Walk for an hour then proceed to the Women's Studio Workshop for a talk and tour.
David Bloom is a retired special education teacher and active walker. He successfully shared this course with the Bard LLI.Presenter: Mark Boujikian
Mark Boujikian is a retired Mental Health Counselor and once upon a time hiker, now walker, who often needs some guilt and a little motivation to break away from his book reading. These walks will hopefully provide that little motivation without the guilt for anyone interested.
Art and the Enduring Legacy of the New Deal (SOCI012)Tuesdays 11:00am-12:30pm October 9, 16, 23, 30 Location: Barrett Art Center, 55 Noxon Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, Map for Free Parking: http://www.barrettartcenter.org/contact/ Limit: 15
This course looks at a series of Dutchess County personalities and organizations whose enduring significance in the county came about as a result of the New Deal. Poughkeepsie-born artist, Thomas Weeks Barrett, Jr. founded the Dutchess County Art Association in 1935; Rhinebeck native (and artist) Olin Dows, worked as an Administrator for the Public Works Arts Project (later part of the WPA) and Vassar College's Experimental Theater, founded by Hollie Flanagan Davis, became the prototype for the Federal Theater Project's successful ‘Living Newspapers.’ The course is rounded out in our historic art gallery with a talk on'New Directions' a national juried mixed-media exhibit and a hands-on arts experience. In addition, we will conclude with a visit to the third floor studio installed by Thomas Weeks Barrett, Jr. in the attic of his family's home, which is now the Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie.
Joanna Frang is Executive Director of Barrett Art Center, the Dutchess County Art Association. Frang earned her B.A. in History from Haverford College and a Masters of Arts in Early American Art from the University of Delaware and the Winterthur Program. She completed her doctoral work as a Rose & Irving Crown Fellow in American Civilization at Brandeis University and appointed as a residential Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum & the National Portrait Gallery by the Terra Foundation for American Art, with additional fellowships in the U.S. & Great Britain from the Andrew Mellon & Samuel Kress Foundations.