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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 Cisco WebEx for our talks.   Once you register, a link will be sent to you the afternoon of the talk.  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
Travel Series!

Artists Around the World

Ms. Beth Malley

7:00 pm

Password: NA. A link to join the talk will be sent at 3:00 pm on 3/3

We are visiting the US, Italy, Holland, France, Austria, Belgium, England, Spain, Egypt and China. Explore Art from the Wadsworth Atheneum, as we travel around the world with artists from different lands and time. The tour will allow time for an interactive discussion at the end. Participants will learn more about the history of the museum and its diverse holdings as we move from country to country. The art covers centuries and a variety of subject matter as well as a diverse group of artists. Beth Malley retired after twenty years in the Marketing and Communications field, Beth has focused on avocational interests. She has been a docent for over 25 years, and has given both adult and children's tours, and now virtual tours. Her interest in art has led her to become a Certified Zentangle teacher. Zentangle is an abstract art form using patterns learned one stroke at a time, while focusing on a meditative approach. Beth also knits and crochets and leads a Prayer Shawl Ministry for Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartford, where shawls and lap blankets are made for the sick. Beth is also the co-curator for the Monastery Gallery of Art in West Hartford. Beth, her husband Jim, and their dog Cheli  live in Farmington. They have three children and nine grandchildren.

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Gallery Central Artist Talk with artist and CCSU faculty Ted Efremoff

Dr. Ted Efremoff

7:00 pm

Password: NA. A link to join the talk will be sent prior to the talk

I am interested in the kind of literal and metaphoric travel through space and time that storytelling allows us to experience. The stories I tell focus on the creative solutions people find in living their daily lives. My suspicion is that human creativity is not attached solely to the handle of art, but to ordinary activities that intersect every aspect of our lives. Spurred by my personal interest in social justice, I envision collaborative activity as a social instrument that builds critical relationships between people. While the process of creating for (and with) others is a challenge, it provides stimulus for discovery and discourse. To facilitate dialogue, I begin by creating situations, spaces, or events that then engage people to question their relationship to the status quo. Efremoff ( has presented work nationally at Winkleman and Sideshow galleries in New York City, The Museum of American Art in Philadelphia, Free Speech TV and many other venues. Internationally his work has been seen at the Gongju National Museum in South Korea, The National Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia and The National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. His work is in the collections of the Sound Museum of Rome, The Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts and the Culture House of Bad Sobernheim, Germany.

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Secret London: Romans, Rogues and where to sell your wife…

Dr. Richard Benfield, CCSU Professor Emeritus Geography

7:00 pm

Password: NA. A link to join the talk will be sent at 3:00 pm on 3/8

He who is tired of London is tired of life itself” said Dr Johnson in 1777. This of course suggests that there is a myriad of attractions and events for the visitor to London to see. But most visitors only see the more famous Royal Palaces, Royal Parks, the Tower of London and the world-class museums. On this tour we will look at twenty sites, sights, historic places, and attractions that most visitors to London are not only unaware of but also whose location is unknown; so, from Roman London, through Chaucer’s taverns to the haunts of Jack the Ripper, come with us for an hour of mystery, surprise and discovery and maybe most importantly, where you might be able to sell your wife, around Secret London.

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The Paradoxes of Medieval Chivalry: Love and Honor, Shame and Violence

Dr. Kate McGrath

7:00 pm

Password: NA. A link to join the talk will be sent at 3:00 pm 3/11

In this talk, Dr. McGrath will explore the rich history of the development of chivalry. While the concept often elicits images of damsels in distress and knights in shining armor, the reality was much more complicated and complex. Rather than focusing on its portrayal in literature, this talk will explore chivalry in practice by looking at how it played out on the battlefield and in feuds between nobles. In the process, it will highlight how medieval Europe operated according to developing norms of honor and shame and masculinity and prowess. Before serving as Associate Dean for Planning and Resources in the Carol A. Ammon College of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr. Kate McGrath was a full professor of history. Her work, including her book Royal Rage and the Construction of Anglo-Norman Authority, c. 1000-1250 (2019), focuses on how monastic chroniclers wrote about aristocratic feuds in order to characterize and evaluate acts of anger and violence by medieval knights and kings. This work allows us to understand the early developments of chivalry as certain violent actions were labelled as either honorable or shameful displays of anger. In addition to various courses on medieval history, Dr. McGrath has also taught courses in world history, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and social studies secondary education.

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Contemporary Africa

Dr. Sam Zadi

7:00 pm


Coming Soon!

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Anne Bradstreet: The Mother of All American Women Writers

Dr. Gil Gigliotti CCSU Professor of English

7:00 pm

Password: NA. A link to join the talk will be sent the day of the talk

A look at the life and work of Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), the first English language poet to capture the effects of the trans-Atlantic migration and the American wilderness on the New England colonists (and beyond.) 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

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Kaselehie! (Welcome!) Island Hopping: The Federated States of Micronesia

Dr. Robbin Smith CCSU Professor of Political Science

7:00 pm

Password: NA. A link to join the talk will be sent the day of the talk

Robbin Smith is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Central Connecticut State University. She teaches both the introductory courses on U.S. Government and state and local government as well as advanced courses on U.S. public policy, the judicial process, and civil liberties. Her research interests include civic engagement, judicial elections, and the Supreme Court. Her most recent research project focuses on the efficacy of state courts of last resort.

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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;