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CCSU Virtual Scholars For Life! Speaker Series

Scholars for Life Speaker Series

During the pandemic CCSU faculty and guest speakers brought their passions and knowledge to you via our Virtual Scholars For Life! Speaker Series.  Because this venue was so popular we are going to continue to offer some talks virtually.  Our faculty are taking a much-needed break this summer after a busy year, but we are working on our new schedule!

We will also offer our Scholars For Life! Speaker Series and other events on campus when the campus fully opens.  We will keep you posted on that progress. 

If you are interested in learning more about lifelong learning, our virtual events and future on-campus events, please join the mailing list  or contact Christa Sterling @ or 860-832-2277.

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! Speaker Series

Route 66: Rediscovering the Mother Road

Dr. Bruce Day & Dr. John Mitrano, Professors of Sociology

7:00 pm

Password: NA

In 1926 a patchwork of country roads and main streets were strung together on a map at the inception of America’s numbered highway system. Connecting the economic power house of Chicago to the rapidly developing Los Angeles basin, Route 66 followed a path that bisected the Southwest, opening travel into areas of the United States few had experienced before. But the story of Route 66 only begins here. The road would be decommissioned as a US highway in 1985, but not before becoming firmly connected to American culture and becoming known internationally. Drs. Mitrano and Day have been fascinated by this process of “cultural production” and will present a variety of historical and cultural milestones that have contributed to the myth of this 2,400+ mile road. Exploring the people and places that have contributed to, and sometimes weave the fabric of what contemporary Route 66 has become, they will share some of what they have learned traveling the length of Route 66 numerous times. Be ready to “Get your Kicks on Route 66!” John R. Mitrano (B.A., Northwestern University; M.A., Ph.D., Boston College) is Professor of Sociology at Central Connecticut State University, where he has taught since 1994. Bruce P. Day (B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of New Hampshire) is Associate Professor of Sociology at Central Connecticut State University, where he has taught since 1998. Together, they created the Route 66 Summer Field Studies Program, a unique experiential learning course for sociology majors that involved travel along 2,400 miles of America's Main Street. Student participants have collected interviews and oral histories with numerous stakeholders along the route, including business owners, authors, artists, musicians, and preservationists as well as both international and domestic traveler enthusiasts. Professors Mitrano and Day are currently writing a book highlighting the students' and their findings on why this road remains so iconic to so many people around the world.

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The Importance of Town Planning!

Patricia Houser, Professor of Geography

7:00 pm

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Ben Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” That leaves the question of what is good planning and how that can happen in our local communities. This session will show why (boring-to-read) zoning laws are actually interesting and what’s at stake when we make various land use decisions. Dr. Patricia Houser Geography Dr. Houser has a PhD in urban planning from Columbia (2007) and she is a certified planner (AICP) with more than 25 years experience teaching geography in New York, Connecticut and Michigan colleges. She has taught at colleges in New York, Michigan and Connecticut for more than 25 years, including geography topics ranging from hydrology and geomorphology to political and population geography and urban planning courses including "urban environmental planning," "tourism planning," "transportation planning," and "land use planning."

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A New Eye on the Universe: The James Webb Space Telescope

Kristine Larsen, Astronomy Professor

7:00 pm

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Learn about NASA's newest telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch on December 18. According to NASA, 'Webb will be the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built and launched into space. It will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe'. Join CCSU astronomy professor Dr. Kristine Larsen as she highlights what makes the Webb Space Telescope unique and what NASA hopes to learn while using it. A proud alum of CCSU, Dr. Kristine Larsen has been an astronomy professor at her alma mater since 1989. Her teaching and research focus on the intersections between science and society, including Gender and Science; the links between pseudoscience, misconceptions, and science illiteracy; science and popular culture (especially science in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien); and the history of science. She has received numerous professional awards, including the Connecticut Science Center’s Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award, the Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Association’s Ralph Donald Award for Outstanding Conference Paper, and the Walter Scott Houston Award of the North East Region of the Astronomical League. She is the co-editor of The Mythological Dimensions of Doctor Who and The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman, and the author of Stephen Hawking: A Biography, Cosmology 101, The Women Who Popularized Geology in the 19th Century, and Particle Panic! Her latest project is a book on Science and Magic in the world of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series.

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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;