June 10, 2010

Back To The Classroom

The College will welcome back some familiar faces for Alumni Summer College July 15-18. President Dan Weiss will lead the academic immersion program, which will feature 90-minute sessions on a variety of topics. So far, registered alumni represent each decade from the Class of 1951 to the Class of 2003.

Participating professors include Diane Cole Ahl, Arthur J. ’55 and Barbara S. Rothkopf Professor of Art History, Jamila Bookwala, associate professor of psychology, David Brandes, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, Dru Germanoski, Dr. Ervin R. VanArtsdalen ’35 Professor and head of geology and environmental geosciences, and Robert Weiner, Jones Professor of History. In addition to providing a unique educational experience, Alumni Summer College will present many opportunities for networking among alumni, faculty, staff, and parents.

It was Weiner, in fact, who led international affairs graduate Tracy Hagert Sutka ’82 to sign up. She could not pass up the opportunity to attend lectures on “The Nature and Impact of World War I” and “The Origins of World War II” given by one of her favorite professors.

“I am eager to study history again with Professor Weiner, but I will also be exposed to art history, geology, engineering, and psychology professors,” says Sutka, who teaches French at a private school in Wilton, Conn. “I look forward to an educational experience that provides a taste of what Lafayette is offering its undergraduates.”

Cynthia Strahler Rhodes ’90, who earned her A.B. degree with a major in economics and business through the evening and part-time program,views Alumni Summer College as a “win-win” event. She is a financial specialist in accounting for the Washington Township Board of Education in Long Valley, N.J.

“I’m very fortunate to have had the [evening and part-time] opportunity when I did,” she says. “I’m glad Lafayette has decided to offer the Alumni Summer College program as a continuing education opportunity. It provides a chance for lifelong learning and an attachment to the College.”

The prospect of taking a class without the pressure of a blue book is a big draw.  Ed Auble ’61, owner and managing partner of Auble Financial in Paoli, Pa., says these classes will be fun and allow him to indulge his love of learning, which was nurtured at Lafayette.

“My informal learning comes mostly from reading and The Teaching Company courses,” says the economics and business graduate. “Professors Weiner and Andrew Fix, Dana Professor of History, have contributed to the latter. The Alumni Summer College offers me a break from my usual routine, and the courses this year are an eclectic mix of subjects in which I am interested.”

Sutka agrees that revisiting life as a student is an exciting venture, one she hopes will become a College tradition.

“Programs such as the Alumni Summer College give alumni a chance to reconnect with the old college days,” she says. “Wouldn’t we all like to relive our student years — for a few days — with no tests or papers? I hope the program is successful so it becomes an annual event.”

For more information on registration and a schedule of courses, visit the Alumni Summer College web site.

posted in Alumni, Committed Teachers and Scholars, Faculty and Staff, News and Features

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