Community Education

Speaker Series

Join us for our Speaker Series at Desmond Campus

Disasters and Near Disasters in Opera
Opera is an incredible art form requiring the simultaneous efforts and talents of dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of people. The opportunity for misadventure is, in fact, unavoidable. Ron De Fesi, operatic bass and conductor, details a string of operatic nightmares (mostly of the side-splittingly laughable kind) that he has personally witnessed in his career or has gotten on good authority.
Thursday, July 10, 1-3 pm, R. De Fesi, Fee: $15

Solar Energy
Learn the science and mechanics of photovoltaic energy generation systems; explore the many misconceptions associated with alternative energy in general and solar energy systems in particular; discuss the role of fossil fuels in the furthering of anthropogenic climate change; look at the environmental and political implications of non-traditional energy sources such as nuclear and fracking/shale gas; look at the financial benefits and investment potential in utilizing reusable power sources; explore the polemics of government subsidies of both alternative energy and fossil fuels; and discuss the state of the solar industry in terms of both economics and innovation.
Monday, July 14, 7-8:30 pm, L. Lanigan and R. Galbreth, Fee: $15

Asteroids and Near-Earth Objects, and Why We Should be Concerned!
Asteroids, what are they? Where are they located? How many are out there? Do they pose a threat to Earth? (Yes, ask the dinosaurs.) What exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia a year ago in February? How is NASA involved in finding potentially dangerous Near-Earth Objects? These questions will be answered and Dr. Holmes will finish by describing NASA’s recently announced project to capture and place into orbit around the moon a house-sized asteroid, followed by astronauts riding on NASA’s new Orion spacecraft who will go to the asteroid, land on it, and return samples back home.
Tuesday, July 15, 1-2:30 pm, C. Holmes, Fee: $15

Barns of the Hudson Valley
It’s a great feeling to be driving down a road and see a beautiful barn. Barns add romance and charm to the countryside, as well as a piece of history. Come take a virtual tour with Tom Daley as he shares his outstanding photographs of old barns and country estate barns in our area.
Monday, July 21, 1-3 pm, T. Daley, Fee: $15

Lesser Known Estates of the Hudson Valley
Great men and women have been drawn to the Hudson Valley over the course of time. Some of the best architects were hired to build their homes, which show a variety of styles, grounds, and interiors. In this class, we will view estates that are not so well known through the beauty of Tom Daley’s photographs.
Thursday, Aug. 21, 1-3 pm, T. Daley, Fee: $15

A View of Dutchess County
Dutchess County is 800 square miles and abundant in scenic beauty. Come tour with Tom Daley as he shares his beautiful photographs of country scenes and old barns, and opens our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us.
Monday, Sept. 8, 1-3 pm, T. Daley, Fee: $15

The Beatles, Transcendence, and Meditation
Inspired by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Beatles went to an ashram in India, practiced Transcendental Meditation with its founder, and awakened to the Transcendent within them. A number of songs about the higher realities of Life flowed out of them in that meditative peace—songs that helped to spiritually awaken a whole generation. As you hear these songs in class, they may help awaken you, too.
Monday, July 28, 6:30-9 pm, C. Bayer, Fee: $15
* This presentation will take place on the main Mount Campus, 330 Powell Avenue. Please call for room location: 845-565-2076. Please pre-register.

Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County
In 1870, the New York Herald proclaimed that Ulster County was New York’s “Ulcer County” due to its lawlessness and crime. Within a 6 month period, Ulster County was the scene of no less than four cold-blooded and brutal murders, six suicides, and four elopements. Local authors A.J. Schenkman and Elizabeth Werlau will discuss their recently released book.
Wednesday, Aug. 6, 1-2:30 pm, A.J. Schenkman & E. Werlau, Fee: $15

Ice Age Landscapes of the Hudson River Art Trail
The Hudson River School is America's first major art movement, having dominated American visual arts for over 50 years with over 100 artists between 1825 and 1875. The scenes on the Hudson River School painters' canvases, now hanging in major museums all over the world, are the views that surround us here in the Hudson Valley. Many of the views remain remarkably unchanged since the 19th-century, and are instantly recognizable as the scenes depicted in the paintings. In 2005, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site officially unveiled the first phase of the Hudson River School Art Trail project, which maps the painting sites of 19th-century artist Thomas Cole and his contemporaries including Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey, Sanford Gifford, and Asher B. Durand. Forming the core of the art movement now known as the Hudson River School, these artists hiked, sketched, and painted in the region surrounding Thomas Cole's home in Catskill and Frederic Church's home near Hudson. Many of these views are spectacularly preserved and accessible to the public. Join Robert and Johanna Titus, local Ice Age experts and authors, describing the geology at each of the sites.
Thursday, Aug. 28, 1-3 pm, R. and J. Titus, Fee: $15

The Educational Value of Stamp Collecting
You don’t have to collect stamps to enjoy this informative presentation that examines the educational benefits derived from this interesting pastime. Conducted by Anthony Musso, who himself has collected autographed first day covers (a unique segment of stamp collecting) for nearly 40 years, he will review its unique learning opportunity with interesting stories, while displaying many of his own items. By researching the history of a person, place, or event featured as the subject of a postage stamp, you can learn about a topic that might have never entered your mind to explore. In Musso’s case, he also researches a personality associated in some way with the stamp subject, from which he requests an autograph on the cover. But that process requires research of the personality as well, in effect bolstering his knowledge about two completely different subjects. Whether it’s a study of the JFK Assassination, the Watergate scandal, sports, arts and entertainment, and/or virtually any other topic imaginable, there has been a stamp issued on it, which provides opportunities to collect and to learn in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
Monday, Sept. 15, 10-Noon, A. Musso, Fee: $15

Ghost Stories
The Hudson Valley is filled with history—and hauntings. This program takes a look at historic sites in the region that have evidence of ghosts, and explores why they may be there. Join ghost investigator and author, Linda Zimmermann for this interesting and scary presentation! Books will be for sale following the lecture.
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 6:30-8 pm, L. Zimmermann, Fee: $15

The Orange County Mastodon (a.k.a. Tunkamoose Mastodon)
In 2009, Tunkamoose mastodon tusks that were 14,000 years old were exhumed from the Wallkill River. Gary Keeton was instrumental in this successful recovery. In fact, his son, an archaeologist, was one of the two men who spotted the mastodon tusks exposed in the river bank while canoeing at the convergence of the Wallkill River and Tunkamoose Creek in 2008. The tusks were 9 1/2 feet long and the second longest ever found in New York. Gary will talk about the excavation of the tusks in detail.
Friday, Sept. 26, 10-11:30 am, G. Keeton, Fee: $15

Studying the Civil War through Monuments and Memorials at West Point
Lt. Col. David R. Siry will explore how the story of the Civil War comes alive through analyzing the physical evidence at West Point. Siry’s specialty is the American Civil War and he has led numerous staff rides for cadets and soldiers at Gettysburg, Antietam, Murfreesboro, Chickmauga, and Chattanooga.
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 6:30-8 pm, D. Siry, Fee: $15

Enterprise and Courage: The Civil War Years at Lake Mohonk
While tensions brew between North and South during the 1850s, an idea brews in the mind of an Ulster County farmer. His idea is simple yet grand: establish a must-see destination at a remarkable lake high atop the Shawangunk Mountains. Discover how it all began at Mohonk Lake as local author Robi Josephson presents this fascinating illustrated program.
Friday, Oct. 10, 10 am-Noon, R. Josephson, Fee: $15

Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer is one of America’s foremost 19th century artists. Homer’s career began as a visual reporter for Harper’s Weekly during the Civil War, and later built his reputation as a painter of contemporary life. During the late 1870’s Homer was a frequent visitor to the Hudson Valley, and created imagery still loved and recognized today. In this presentation, we will explore the various aspects of Homer’s artistic journey and discover the delights of his Hudson Valley connections.
Friday, Oct. 17, 1-3 pm, L. Nicholls, Fee: $15

Share this page