Single Classes

Spring Semester 2019

Single classes are individual adult sessions designed for expanding your mind alongside good friends. These classes last 90 minutes and each cover a unique topic. Schedule is subject to change. 

Note: If you are new to CLIR and would like to sample a free single class, please contact

The History of Socialism; The Evolution of a Movement


Thursday, April 4

1:15 - 2:45PM

Scott Moore, Assistant Professor of History, ECSU

Emerging from the inequality produced by industrial society, socialism promised a path to shared prosperity. The nature of that path was hotly debated, however, some socialist thinkers pushed for reform while others called for revolution. These debates shaped not only socialist thinking but also the course of history. This talk offers an overview of socialism's complex history and the way it continues to influence our work today.

The History of Polo at UConn


Tuesday, April 9

1:15 - 2:45PM

Helen Scanlon, local equine artist and author of several books on horses

The author of "Dust and Determination: A History of UConn Polo", discusses how UConn started its modest polo program in 1969 without a practice space or its own string of ponies, and went on to produce multiple national championship teams.

The Art of Weather Forecasting


Wednesday, April 10

1:15 - 2:45PM

Malaquias Pena Mendez, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UConn

Early Methods of Forecasting Using Frogs. Numerical Weather Prediction has revolutionized the way weather forecasts are made. This talk covers why forecasting is still and art, and the challenges facing this old area of study. Will it survive the "machine learning trend"?

The Psychology of Attraction and Romantic Relationships


Thursday, April 11

1:15 - 2:45PM

Madeleine Fugere, Professor of Psychology, ECSU

What attracts us to some people and not others? How does our unconscious help determine our attraction to some mates? Our real-life mate preferences may not match our stated preferences. Professor Fugere also discusses her research into similarities and differences between the mate preferences of offspring and what their parents would like those preferences to be.


The Origins of the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Roberts


Thursday, April 16

1:15 - 2:45PM

Kent Newmyer, UConn History Professor Emeritus and Professor UConn Law School


How Learning a New Language Changes Your Brain


Thursday, April 18

1:15 - 2:45PM

Emily Meyers, Professor Department of Speech, Language & Hearing and Department of Psychological Sciences, UConn

“You Have Made Your Way from Worm to Man, and Much In You Is Still Worm” (Nietzsche)


Thursday, April 25

1:15 -2:45PM

Amy C. Groth, Professor Department of Biology, ECSU

How the microscopic worm C. elegans can be used to study genes involved in human development and disease, using modern genetic and molecular techniques including the cutting-edge genetic engineering technique CRISPR.

Lifestyle and Memory: Maintaining a Healthy Brain


Wednesday, May 1

1:15 - 2:45PM

Peter Perrino & Ryan Troha, graduate students, UConn Department of Psychological Sciences

The Torture Memos


Tuesday, May 7

1:15 - 2:45PM

Timothy Fisher, Dean, UConn Law School

The secret legal memos written in August 2002 authorized U.S. agents to use interrogation methods universally understood as torture. This talk gives the background and inside story of those memos and the consequences once they were revealed.

Making the Chinese-Mexican Past: History, Memory, and Cultural Work


Wednesday, May 8 (CLASS CANCELLED)


Jason Chang, Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies and Director of the Asian American Studies Institute, UConn

The subject of Chinese migration is quite well known, but their history in Mexico is not. This talk explores the experiences of Chinese immigrants in Mexico and the struggles of their descendants to remember them.

Rebecca Lobo Speaks


Thursday, May 9

1:15 - 2:45PM

Rebecca Lobo, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, WNBA player, 1995 UConn National Championship, commentator for ESPN

Please Note: Registration is required, and is limited to the first 75 members who register by contacting Kathy McKee at 860-477-0928 or

Her playing career, her life as a wife and mother of four, and -of course- UConn's Women's Basketball.

Rebecca Lobo Speaks at UConn Rebecca Lobo Speaks at UConn Rebecca Lobo at UConn

Understanding Plant Responses to Climate Change in a Biodiversity Hotspot (South Africa)


Tuesday, May 14

1:15 - 2:45PM

Tanisha Williams, graduate student, UConn Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2015-16 U.S. Fulbright Student-South African and 2017-19 U.S. Fulbright Alumni Ambassador

Projections suggest that by 2100 up to one of every six species will be extinct. To predict long-term effects of species adaptive responses to climate change we must understand them across all their geographic ranges. Tanisha Williams is researching how to use historical and current plant records coupled with garden experiments of climate change on plant communities throughout South Africa.

Displaced Puerto Ricans, a Year after Hurricane Maria


Thursday, May 16

1:15 - 2:45PM

Charles Venator, Associate Professor of Political Science, UConn

A comprehensive overview of the status and debates over Puerto Rico and a summary of the key issues surrounding the displacement of Puerto Ricans from the Island to the Mainland.

An Overview of Structure-from-Motion (SfM) Digital Photogrammetry as Applied to Geological Problems from Coastlines to Dinosaur Tracks


Wednesday, May 22

1:15 - 2:45PM

James A. (Drew) Hyatt, Professor of Geomorphology, Department of Environmental Earth Science, ECSU

SfM algorithms and new point cloud software enable enhanced analysis of topography for two very different projects: quantifying coastal change in Rhode Island and constructing maps and models at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT.

A New History of Abolition


Tuesday, May 28

1:15 - 2:45PM

Manisha Sinha, Draper Chair in American History, Department of History, UConn

This talk reimagines abolition as a radical, interracial social movement from the American Revolution to the Civil War. It centers slave resistance in the history of abolition and examines how abolition overlapped with contemporary radical movements such as feminism, utopian socialism, pacifism, and the struggle for the rights of working men, immigrants, and Native Americans.

When Your Passion is Tapeworms, You Spend a Lot of Time Explaining Why They’re Cool


Wednesday, May 29

1:15 - 2:45PM

Janine Caira, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UConn

Say Aloha to my Little Friend: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Ukulele


Wednesday, June 5

1:15 - 2:45PM

Luis A. Cordon, Professor of Psychological Science, ECSU

Recent research suggests a link between learning to play a musical instrument and improved cognitive functioning, both for children and as a buffer against cognitive decline and dementia in later life. This hybrid lecture/performance highlights Professor Cordon's own musical experiences and the humble ukulele's particular suitability as a point of entry to the world of music-making for even the complete novice.

Why Don’t They Just Become Citizens: The Complexity of the U.S. Immigration System


Thursday, June 6

1:15 - 2:45PM

Erin O'Neil-Baker, Esq., Hartford Legal Group

The obstacles immigrants face when attempting to obtain legal status in the U.S., including how the Trump administration has create ad "invisible" wall in addition to pushing for a real wall to prevent immigration, and how Trump's immigration policies test "checks and balances".

Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti: Victorian Women Poets and the Idea of a Savior


Wednesday, June 12

1:15 - 2:45PM

Frederick Roden, UConn Professor of English, Stamford Curriculum Coordinator for English and Stamford Liaison for Judaic Studies

Poems by these 19th-century women created images of a female Christ, as did a feminist tract by Florence Nightingale. Learn how literature and religion shaped Victorian culture in a time of tremendous social change when the notion of salvation inspired women's emancipation.

So You Think Your Team is Tough: Working and Living in a Crew Going to Mars


Thursday, June 13

1:15 - 2:45PM

John Mathieu, UConn Board of Trustees and Distinguished Professor of Management, UConn School of Business

The holder of UConn's Friar Chair in Leadership and Teams shares insights and lessons learned from working with NASA to develop team resilience for long-duration space missions.