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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 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
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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!

Travelling the Highlands and Islands of Scotch Whiskey

Dr. Brian Sommers

01/21/2021
7:00 pm

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The beauty and isolation of the Scottish Highlands and islands provides a wonderful contrast to a world overrun by mass tourism. Travelling the back roads, taking in the scenery, and finding those places where your cell coverage will not reach, you quickly connect with the world around you. As part of that travel, do not miss the opportunity to visit local distilleries and to sample their products. There are few products more synonymous with place than whisky in Scotland. The histories of the distilleries are intertwined with the histories of their communities. Their whiskies are a direct reflection of their unique environments. And even if the weather can be a bit cool and damp, the people you meet are warm and friendly ambassadors of their products and of the places that they call home. In this edition of the Scholars for Life Travel Series we will virtually visit the Scottish Highlands and Islands. We will talk about what you should expect from your travels. We will also talk about whisky and how whisky tourism adds to your experience of place. If desired, we can even provide suggestions if you (and a group of your socially distanced friends) want to taste some of the products and places we cover.

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Flavors of Poland: Historic and Culinary Travels through Poland

Ms. Renata Vickrey

01/27/2021
7:00 pm

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Travel to our 88 Official Constellations and a Few “Rejects”

Dr. Kristine Larsen

02/04/2021
7:00 pm

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The story of our 88 official constellations that we have today, and the story of some “rejects” (like Limax the Slug and Sciurus Volans, the Flying Squirrel) Dr. Kristine Larsen is Professor of Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University, where she has taught since 1989. Her teaching and research focus on the intersections between science and society, including the history of astronomy and the use (and abuse) of science in popular media. She is the author of the books Particle Panic! , Cosmology 101, Stephen Hawking: A Biography, and The Women Who Popularized Geology in the 19th Century. She is also co-editor of The Mythological Dimensions of Doctor Who and The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman.

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US & Mexico Border

Dr. Juan Coronado

02/11/2021
7:00 pm

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Coming Soon!

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Can Cacao and Chocolate Save Brazil’s Atlantic Forest?

Dr. Mary Ann Mahony

02/18/2021
7:00 pm

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It's a good time to talk about a little chocolate - around Valentine's Day! Mary Ann Mahony received her B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the College of the Holy Cross in 1976, where she was a member of the first class of women. She spent the academic year 1974-75 in the Saint Louis University study abroad program in Madrid, Spain.  She received her M.A. in History from Tufts University in 1986, with a thesis on women in the Sandinista underground in revolutionary Nicaragua.  She received an M.Phil. in History (1988) and the Ph.D. in 1996 from Yale University. Dr. Mahony joined the faculty at CCSU in 2003.  Prior to her arrival at CCSU, she taught at Columbia College of South Carolina, the University of Notre Dame, Yale University, the Universidade Federal da Bahia and the Universidade Estadual da Santa Cruz in Brazil.  Since 2008, she has served as coordinator of the CCSU Latin American Studies Committee, which oversees the minor in Latin American Studies and the Latin American Studies concentration within the International Studies undergraduate major and master’s program. Professor Mahony’s teaching interests includes the broad sweep of Latin American history, Brazilian history, the history of enslavement and freedom in Latin America, the history of export regions in Latin America, as well as social and cultural history.  Her students have worked on topics as diverse as international adoption in contemporary Guatemala, Mexican-American identity formation in nineteenth-century New Mexico, Portuguese colonial policy toward indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombian social movements and Latin American immigration to Spain. Professor Mahony has published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. She is now finishing a book tentatively entitled Horatio Alger in Brazil:  Export Agriculture and Rural Social Mobility in Bahia’s Cacao Region.  She just completed the translation of Crossroads of Freedom, by Brazilian scholar Walter da Silva Fraga, winner of the 2011 AHA Clarence Haring Prize, and under contract with Duke University Press.  Her book reviews have appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including the Journal of Latin American Studies, The Americas and Afroasia.  She has been interviewed on matters related to the history of slavery and cacao growing in Brazil, including on Democracy Now!, Bahian television and the Bahian newspaper, A Tarde.  She has participated in numerous symposia in Brazil, the United States and Europe. She has received both Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships for her work.  Professor Mahony is active in professional organizations.  She has been a member of the Executive Committe of the New England Council on Latin American Studies.  In 2013 she chaired the NECLAS Dissertation Prize Committee.  She has also chaired the Brazilian Studies Committee of the Conference on Latin American History, the largest affiliated society of the American Historical Association.  She has served as a panel reviewer for fellowships with the National Endowment for the Humanities, and as a reviewer for the U.S. Library of Congress Kluge Fellowships.  She has reviewed articles for publication for The Hispanic American Historical Review,Americas, Afroasia, and the Luso-Brazilian Review, among other scholarly journals.

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“Fez, Giza, Kyoto, Istanbul, Paris” Artsy Tourist Highlights

Dr. Leanne Zalewski

02/24/2021
7:00 pm

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Dr. Leanne Zalewski will share tourist highlights in these five cities. Dr. Leanne Zalewski is an Associate Professor of Art History at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). She earned her Ph.D. in art history at The City University of New York. Her current book project focuses on early Gilded Age art collections in New York. At this time, international travel increased as technology improved and fortunes grew. Some of the collectors and artists she covers traveled internationally to Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.

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Artists Around the World

Ms. Beth Malley

03/03/2021
7:00 pm

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Coming Soon!

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

Dr. Kate McGrath

03/11/2021
7:00 pm

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Coming Soon!

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Contemporary Africa

Dr. Sam Zadi

03/16/2021
7:00 pm

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Coming Soon! The week of March 16th

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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; csterling@ccsu.edu

Judy Ratcliffe 860-832-2276; jratcliffe@ccsu.edu