Office of Continuing Education

Contact Us | Member Log In

CCSU Virtual Scholars For Life! Speaking Series

Scholars for Life Speaker Series

CCSU faculty and guest speakers bring their passions and knowledge to our Scholars For Life! Speaking series. We look forward to the time when we can safely gather again and enjoy our time together over dinner, but for now, we are happy to bring you our series online.

We use different platforms for different events. Information about logging on, passwords and assistance is embedded in each individual description.

If you are interested in learning more about lifelong learning, our virtual events and future on-campus events, please join the mailing list.

Thanks to our Sponsors

Hartford Health Care Sponsor
CCSU Sponsor

Life & Leisure #3

Life Long Learning is a great way to keep your mind sharp!  The Speaking Series is a great program at CCSU – diverse subjects, well done! 

Gary Robinson, New Britain Resident and Life-long Learner!

Life & Leisure #2

I go to the fitness center to exercise my muscles, and I go to CCSU’s Life & Leisure Speaking Series to exercise my brain!  I have a high ‘curiosity quotient (CQ)” so the variety of topics covered in this series helps to satisfy my CQ.  It’s said that curiosity killed the cat, but for me curiosity makes for a more interesting life!

Reverend Dolores, Avid Life-long Learner!

Life & Leisure #1

Education is still important to us and now through the CCSU Continuing Education, ‘Life & Leisure Speaking Series’ it’s also fun again.  Thank You!”

Nick ’70 and JoAnn, Active Life-long Learners!

Scholars For Life! Speaking Series

Filipiniana Dress History

Raven Ong, Assistant Professor Costume Design Dept of Theatre

7:00 pm

Password: if needed- Dress

Filipiniana clothing refers to the distinctive aspects of the national costumes in the Philippines. Although the changing world affects the evolution of clothing, influences in fashion are also greatly dictated by colonialism. Philippines is one country that is a perfect example. Colonized for hundreds of years, Philippines has thrived and triumphed, and has stood the test of time to tell its own unique tale in its fabrics and silhouettes. Raven Ong is an Assistant Professor of Costume Design at Central Connecticut State University. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Production Design at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, School of Design and Arts in 2007 and since then designed shows for various theater companies in the Philippines. He left the country in 2014 to pursue his master's degree in Costume Design at the University of Connecticut (UCONN). His training enabled him to gain connections and design opportunities with theater companies in New York City such as New York Lyric Opera, where he designed shows performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Raven also worked at Eric Winterling Inc., one of the largest costume shops in New York City, building and creating costumes for Broadway productions. His body of work includes: International premieres of Waitress, Kinky Boots, Matilda and Beautiful: Carole King Musical (Manila, Philippines); The Producers, La Cage Aux Folles, Alice in Wonderland, Jekyll and Hyde, Wizard of Oz, Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairytale, Pride and Prejudice, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, To Kill A Mockingbird, On Golden Pond, Steel Magnolias, to name a few. Raven is a recipient of Syracuse Area Live Theatre (SALT) Award Best Costume Design of a Musical for La Cage Aux Folles.

Learn more
Register Here

Sinatra at 105

Dr. Gil Gigliotti, CCSU Professor of English

7:00 pm

Password: No Password option

From the Sinatrauma of the Bobbysoxers, through his storied fall-and-rebirth, to his becoming the Chairman of the Board (and beyond!), Frank Sinatra embodied the "American Century." During "Sinatra at 105," we'll listen and view some of his most entertaining, powerful, and significant performances in song and film -- with a peek behind the scenes at his wives, lovers, friends, and politics. Gilbert L. Gigliotti is a professor of English and Latin at Central Connecticut State University and the host for more than two decades of "Frank, Gil, and Friends" every Tuesday morning on WFCS 107.7 FM. He earned his PhD in comparative literature at The Catholic University of America. His books on Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra belie his more traditional academic interests in American Puritans like Cotton Mather and Anne Bradstreet, the late 18th-century writers The Connecticut Wits, and the literature of ancient Greece and Rome. For comments, questions or assistance please contact Christa Sterling @ 860-832-2277 or After you register you will be sent a link to access the talk.

Learn more
Register Here

Deconstructing the Civil Rights Movement; Chasing the Dream

Mr. Stephen Balkaran, CCSU Professor of Philosophy

7:00 pm

Password: if needed- Rights

Stephen Balkaran, is currently an Instructor of African-American Studies at Central Connecticut State University, where he initiated, developed and coordinate a Civil Rights Project (2006-Pres). He also serves as an Instructor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University (2011-Pres.) The University of Connecticut-TRI CAMPUS (2005-06), Post University (2003-04), and Capital Community College (1999-03). He has also served as research Fellow for The Human Rights Research Fund at Yale University working under Black Panther and Yale Professor of African-American Studies, Mrs. Kathleen Cleaver. Before launching his academic career, Mr. Balkaran worked for the African National Congress (Nelson Mandela’s ruling party in South Africa) in partnership with the University of Connecticut. He was also a Research Associate for the United Nations in New York and was a former Legislative Aide to the CT Secretary of State. Mr. Balkaran has authored 8 books: America’s Promise: Chasing the Dream of Civil Rights (2020), Introduction to African American Studies; A Reader, (2018) Broken Promises, Broken Dreams, Disparities, and Disappointments: Civil Rights in the 21st Century (2017), Before We Were Called Hispanics: Conversations on the Politics, Race, and Immigration Reform (2016), The Continuing Significance of Race: An American Dilemma, (2014). and Re-Tracing the Civil Rights Movement (2011). His 8th and forthcoming book is entitled Trouble in Paradise: The African-American Experience in Key West. He has also authored over 70 articles in Academic Journals, Magazines, and OP-ED’s on Race Relations, Diversity & Inclusion, American Foreign Policy, and Public Policy. He has also given over 100 speeches on his research, publications, and books throughout the United States. For comments, questions or assistance please contact Christa Sterling @ 860-832-2277 or

Learn more
Register Here

Imagining the World Anew

Dr. Jim Malley Associate Professor Emeritus Counselor Education and Family Therapy

7:00 pm

Password: if needed- Goodbye2020

The author, Suzanna Arundhati, wrote that pandemics often serve as turning points that compel humans to imagine the world anew. Will the allure of a fresh New Year serve as a portal to a new and re-imagined world? This session we be devoted to exploring what such a new and more hopeful world might look like as we put the catastrophic year of 2020 behind us. Come prepared to share what changes you believe will be needed for humanity to continue to survive and thrive on planet Earth? Dr. Jim Malley is an Associate Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Department of Counselor Education and Family Therapy at Central Connecticut State University.(CCSU)  He is a founding member of CCSU’s Forum for Contemplative Practices and played a key role in introducing mindfulness to the CCSU campus. Prior to teaching at CCSU, Dr. Malley worked as a counselor for 2 years in a Federal Prison for drug offenders in Lexington, Kentucky and for 27 years as a Counseling Psychologist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Hartford, Connecticut. For comments, questions or assistance please contact Christa Sterling @ 860-832-2277 or After you register you will be sent a link to access the talk.

Learn more
Register Here

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Mahatma Ghandi

CCSU’s Office of Continuing Education offers life-long learning opportunities that are friendly, stimulating and informal.
There are no tests and no grades! You will join a learning community that is full of diversity, conversation, stimulation and friendship.

Expand Your Horizons. Meet New Friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be over 50 to attend any Life, Leisure & Community Programs?

Most of the programs are scheduled to cater to our retired audience, however, anyone can attend.  Just be sure you can keep up with them!

Are there any discounts?

  Check back for our 2019 listing coming soon!

Are there any free events?

Yes.  AARP hosts many events on CCSU’s campus, and these events are free.

Where do I park?

Each individual event will have specific driving and parking instructions.  The events are at various locations, and we will provide the closest parking option.

Is there assistance to the event location?

Yes.  We have handicap parking at every location.  However, because we are a campus and you cannot drive to the front door of most buildings, we use a golf cart to transport those that need assistance.  Please let us know when you register if you require assistance.  Only authorized personnel can drive the carts, so we need to plan ahead.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Christa Sterling 860-832-2277;

Judy Ratcliffe 860-832-2276;