Community Education

Speaker Series

Join us for our Speaker Series at Desmond Campus

Nature's New Deal: The Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt in New York's Hudson Valley
Franklin Roosevelt grew up along the banks of the Hudson River. Years later during the Great Depression, New Deal work programs created by President Roosevelt returned to the Hudson Valley to provide jobs to tens of thousands of unemployed New Yorkers. Neil Maher's interactive presentation traces this history to illustrate how Roosevelt's experiences in New York, both running his family's estate and as Governor, greatly influenced many of his later New Deal conservation programs. Maher will focus in particular on Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and its impact on both the natural environment and local communities of the region. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing. This event is made possible through the Public Scholars program with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Tuesday, April 12, 6:30-8:30 pm, N. Maher, Fee: Free, please register

On the Origin of Birds: from Dinosaurs to Ducks
Modern birds descended from a group of two-legged dinosaurs known as theropods, whose members included the towering Tyrannosaurus rex and the smaller velociraptors. The theropods generally weighed >100 lbs., giants compared to most modern birds, and had large snouts, teeth, and scales. How and why did the descendants of T. Rex become smaller and grow feathers? Join Professor Robinson for a discussion that will trace the ancestral lineage of the modern birds.
Friday, April 15, 11 am-Noon, D. Robinson, Fee: Free, please register

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been? Revisiting the Red Scare in Hollywood
The purpose of this presentation is to describe one aspect of the historical period in American history known as the "Red Scare" that occurred after World War II when the world was divided ideologically between East (communism) and West (democracy). During this period the congressional House un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) came to Hollywood to investigate communism in the film industry. HUAC's hearings came to focus on 10 writers and directors, who came to be known as the Hollywood Ten. Were they really villains or were they heroes?
Friday, April 22, 1-2:30 pm, E. Giglio, Fee: $15

International Development Assistance in Public Health
You will have a better understanding of foreign assistance after this presentation. Bill Goldman will give you an overview of international development assistance and the role of USAID describing the content, purpose and funding of USAID citing specific examples of successful programs in family planning, child health, and for controlling HIV/AIDS.
Monday, April 25, 1-2:30 pm, B. Goldman, Fee: $15

Money and Mysticism
This fascinating exploration reveals how finance and the medium of money have been connected with religions and spiritual practices for thousands of years. The beliefs and practices of many societies, secret organizations, and philosophical schools are explored and shown to interconnect in a pattern that has tremendous importance to events of today. We will cover many little known aspects of something that we encounter every day and see that there is far more than meets the eye.
Tuesday, May 3, 6:30-8:30 pm, N. Rosenblum, Fee: $15

What is Islam?
One in five persons on this earth is a Muslim. Yet, Islam is the most misunderstood religion. What does Islam teach? What are the major beliefs of Muslims? Through the media we do not have a clear view about Islam, but this presentation will answer your questions.
Friday, May 6, 1-3 pm, R. Hosein

Beware the Hidden Dangers of Antibacterials
Learn how too many antibacterials in everyday products may be contributing to health and environmental problems.
Thursday, May 12, 10-11 am, R. Williams, Fee: $10

The Gunks Ridge and Valley Towns through Time
The Shawangunk Mountains (The Gunks) are renowned for stunning landscapes on and off the ridge in a region that has remained a favorite destination for visitors since the middle of the 19th century. In addition to presenting information about the fabled Lake Mohonk and Lake Minnewaska hotels, Ronald Knapp and Michael Neil O'Donnell's new book ranges across the ridge from Sam's Point in Warwarsing to Joppenberg in Rosendale. It puts a spotlight on the economic and social changes over the past century in the towns of New Paltz, Gardiner and Rosendale in the Wallkill Valley and to a lesser extent on locations in the Rondout Valley. A book signing will follow the talk and all proceeds for the sale of the book benefit the Mohonk Preserve.
Monday, May 16, 10 am - Noon, R. Knapp, Fee: $15

Colonial Medicine: A Case History
This talk will cover the medical issues feared and endured by people in 18th century Colonial America. By reviewing a single, well-documented case, we can learn much about the the problems of health and of health care at the time. We will explore what physicians and ordinary people understood about epidemic infections and what they did to treat them. Featured prominently in the story's time line are the Revolutionary War and the transition from colonies to the United States. The presentation will include a modern interpretation of the diseases incurred by this individual and the interventions meant to cure them.
Thursday, June 2, 10 am - Noon, R. Phillips, Fee: $15

Penned Behind Bars: Prison Writers
There is hidden talent inside all of our prisons, particularly in the field of creative writing. We will meet a few prize-winning writers with whom Harriet corresponds. They won awards from PEN American Center, an organization founded in the early 1920s. PEN holds a prison writing contest each year receiving over 1500 submissions. They choose winners in poetry, memoir and essay. Harriet will share some of her favorites. As one writer has said: "Writing lances old wounds and helps them heal." Copies of creative writing will be given out to each participant.
Monday, June 13, 10:30-Noon, H. Hendel, Fee: $15

The History of Manhattan Bridges
Today, 20 bridges link the island of Manhattan to the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, and to New Jersey. Hear the stories of how and why the most famous bridges were built. This program is illustrated with original photographs and historic images of Manhattan's iconic bridges - past and present - and of the city they helped to shape. Copies of the book will be for sale and available for signing following the presentation.
Tuesday, June 14, 6:30-8 pm, K. Woyce, Fee: $15


The Desmond Campus for Adult Enrichment offers non-credit, life-enriching education geared toward the adult learner. Browse our website to learn more about our Community Education, Day Trips, Speaker Series, Road Scholars, and L.I.F.E. programs (for 55+), or download our most recent catalog to browse courses. You can register online, mail in the registration form from the catalog, or call us to register at 845-565-2076. For more information, please email desmondcampus@msmc.edu or call 845-565-2076.

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