Alumni College

For more information on Alumni College, contact Nick Redman '12, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at 717-337-6514 or

Thursday, June 1, 2017

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
AC 101: The Eisenhowers of Gettysburg
Gettysburg was home to Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower. This course will examine the Eisenhowers’ Gettysburg connections from World War I forward, including the period when Mamie stayed on at the farm after Ike passed away in 1969. We will try to provide a sense of Eisenhower as a personality, his relationship with Mamie, her persona, and the importance of the Gettysburg farm to them. Among other topics we will touch on Eisenhower's recreation and relationships, his family, and Mamie's commitment to being a good citizen of Gettysburg. We will not neglect the Eisenhowers’ connections to Gettysburg College.

Michael Birkner ’72, P’10, Professor of History and Benjamin Franklin Professor of Liberal Arts

Michael is Professor of History at Gettysburg, where he has taught since 1989. Michael has published more than a dozen books on a variety of topics, among them a young adult biography of Dwight Eisenhower. He is currently working on a book on the 1952 presidential election. He and Carol Hegeman collaborated for 18 years on a week-long summer workshop for teachers focused on Eisenhower and the 1950s.

Carol Hegeman ’73, Retired Supervisory Historian, Eisenhower National Historic Site

Carol is the retired Supervisory Historian at Eisenhower National Historic Site. In addition to overseeing the visitor services and educational programming at the historic site, Carol has conducted over 200 hours of oral history interviews with Eisenhower friends, family and associates. She is a writer and editor of the book, Eisenhower National Historic Site Museum Collections. Carol collaborated with Michael Birkner on their newly published book, Eisenhower’s Gettysburg Farm.

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

AC 102:
What to Expect When You’re Expecting America to Be Great Again: Macroeconomic Policy in the Trump Administration
We will discuss the major macroeconomic policy initiatives of Congress and the Trump Administration and their impact on the economy in the years to come. The Federal Reserve’s actions will be of particular interest: in a potentially hostile political environment, how will the Fed balance the Trump Administration’s desire for strong growth with its mandate to control inflation?

Char Weise, Professor of Economics 

Char Weise earned his BS in Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1985 and his PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1993. He taught at the College of William and Mary before coming to Gettysburg College in 2000. His research interests include the effect of new technologies on the business cycle, political influences on monetary policy in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the macroeconomic effects of fiscal and monetary policy, and new ways of teaching macroeconomics to undergraduates. Professor Weise teaches courses at all levels of macroeconomics. He is the adviser for the College’s Fed Challenge Club, a group of students who participate in an annual monetary policy competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve System.

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
AC 103: Man Ray—A Mathematical Artist?
In 1934, the Dada and Surrealist artist Man Ray visited the Institut Poincaré and found inspiration in three-dimensional plaster models of complicated mathematical formulas. Although he claimed that the formulas meant nothing to him, his work and notes suggest a keen interest in mathematical reasoning. We will consider how Man Ray intentionally used mathematical forms and logic to contrast emotional elements in his art and heighten the irrational effect.

Kimberly Spayd, Assistant Professor, Mathematics - Sciences
Kim has been teaching at Gettysburg College since the fall of 2012. She has a BS from Notre Dame, a Masters in Statistics from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and a PhD in Math from North Carolina State University. Her primary research area is partial differential equation models of fluid flow. Other research interests include the intersection of math and art and using fractal geometry to characterize an instability that can occur when one fluid tries to displace another.

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
AC 104:  But Is It Crazy Enough? How We Know What We Know
We all know that the Earth goes around the Sun and that the Loch Ness monster doesn’t exist. But we constantly hear about many other less obvious ideas in the news: Do vaccines cause autism? Are human actions causing the earth to warm? Does taking Prozac increase the risk of suicide? How do we know the answers to these questions, and just how sure are we of the answers?

Eric Remy, Director for Educational Technology
Eric Remy is the Director for Educational Technology at Gettysburg College. After receiving his Ph.D. from Stanford in physical chemistry, he switched professions and has worked in instructional technology for the past 20 years working on projects from mapping art history to building 3d printers. A Sceptical Chymist, he teaches a first year seminar covering these topics and more. His other interests include music and astronomy.

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
AC 105 : The Manatawny Experience!
Take a journey of 10,000 years: from the first fermented spirits, through the birth of our nation and Prohibition, to the modern revitalized spirits industry. A look at Manatawny Still Works, a state-of-the-art distillery embracing tradition and innovation, will help us on this journey. Together we’ll explore the 4 steps of production: Fermenting, Distilling, Aging, and, of course, Tasting! Enjoy each of our hand-crafted “grain to bottle” spirits.

You’ll leave with a greater appreciation for how spirits are produced and how many factors impact their taste. And, hopefully, you’ll appreciate how exciting these times are for those who enjoy distilled spirits.

Brett Goodrich '82, Partner, Manatawny Stillworks

Brett has a successful Financial Advisory practice in Towson, MD. His journey in whiskey production began with a glass of whiskey and a simple “wouldn’t it be fun…”! With a keen interest in history and a growing passion for spirits, Brett looks forward to sharing his knowledge and experiences with you. Brett and Becky (Cook) ’82 have two grown and independent sons. Brett’s interests include competitive tennis, volunteering with the National Park service, reading, and, of course, Manatawny Spirits!

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
AC 106: Buildings of Gettysburg
Explore the history of campus buildings from 1836 to the present day through an interactive, map-driven database. This presentation will explore the unique history of buildings like Penn Hall, and also lesser-known structures and campus buildings that were torn down long ago. How has the College landscape changed over the years, and what hidden history still exists on our campus?

Andrew Dalton ’19, History major
Andrew is a sophomore History major at Gettysburg. He is also the Assistant Collections Manager at the Adams County Historical Society in Gettysburg, and a summer '16 Mellon Scholar. Dalton, who grew up in Gettysburg, is the author of a book and several articles relating to local history. He has given lectures and walking tours locally, and curated a 2015 exhibit in Musselman Library.

9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
AC 107: An Evening at the Observatory
Activities Activities for this annual-favorite course will include tours of the Gettysburg College Observatory and our local night sky. We’ll start with a look at the array of equipment used in our astronomy survey courses, upper-level lab courses, and student-faculty research. Weather permitting, you’ll see how we use our larger optical and radio telescopes to acquire the data that informs our labs and research projects. We will also have smaller telescopes and binoculars set up to observe a few seasonal favorites and give you some pointers to guide yourself around the night sky. This promises to be an exciting and unique Gettysburg alumni experience, so come out and interact with the astronomy faculty. Please note astronomical observatories are purposefully remote; as part of the course takes place outdoors please plan your attire accordingly.

Ian Clarke, Hatter Planetarium Program Director and Adjunct Assistant Professor of English
Ian earned a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has been the director of the Hatter Planetarium and an astronomy lab instructor since 2000. In addition to his duties in Physics, Ian is adjunct assistant professor of English. He has held a poetry fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Ian also writes the monthly astronomy column for the local newspaper and works as a naturalist at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve.

Craig Foltz, Lab Instructor, Physics
Craig joined the Physics Department in 2015, having retired from a 40-year career as a research astrophysicist, observatory director, and federal program manager. He holds a BA in physics from Dartmouth College and a PhD in astrophysics from The Ohio State University. His research interests include quasars and active galaxies, the intergalactic medium, degenerate stars, and astronomical instrumentation and telescope technology.

Jackie Milingo, Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Jackie received BS degrees in physics and astronomy from the University of Kansas and her PhD in astrophysics from the University of Oklahoma. Her current research interests include magnetic activity cycles in cool dwarfs and chemical abundance studies of Galactic planetary nebulae. In addition to teaching and research Dr. Milingo serves on the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium Affiliate Management Advisory Board and as the vice chair of the National Undergraduate Research Observatory steering committee.

Friday, June 2, 2017

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
AC 208: :
A Simple Game with Complex Play: Perspectives on Perfect and Practical Play of Pig
The rules of the jeopardy dice game "Pig" can be described in two sentences, yet optimal play of 2-player Pig is surprisingly complex. After introducing Pig, we will see how playing to maximize points per turn differs from optimal play, we will present equations that describe perfect play, and show how they can be solved with a fairly simple algorithm. Finally, we will learn how to evaluate simpler, human-playable strategies, highlighting one that closely approximates optimal play while requiring nothing more than elementary mental arithmetic.

Todd Neller, Professor of Computer Science
Todd is a Professor of Computer Science at Gettysburg College. A Cornell University Merrill Presidential Scholar, he received a BS in Computer Science with distinction in 1993, and in 2000, he received his PhD with distinction in teaching at Stanford University, where he was awarded a Stanford University Lieberman Fellowship, and the George E. Forsythe Memorial Award for excellence in teaching. A game enthusiast, Neller has in recent years enjoyed pursuing game artificial intelligence challenges, computing optimal play for jeopardy dice games such as Pass the Pigs and bluffing dice games such as Dudo, creating new reasoning algorithms for Clue/Cluedo, analyzing optimal Risk attack and defense policies, and designing logic mazes.

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
AC 209: The U.S. Congress in the Age of Trump
This course will explore how the U.S. Congress has responded to and operated during the Trump presidency. Topics we will cover include congressional policymaking, oversight over the executive branch, and the continuing polarization of the two parties in Congress. We will conclude by taking a preliminary look at how the 2018 congressional midterm elections are shaping up.

Bruce Larson, Professor of Political Science
Bruce (PhD, University of Virginia) is professor of political science at Gettysburg. A specialist in American political institutions and processes, he teaches and conducts research on a variety of topics, including the U.S. Congress, political parties and elections, and the politics of public policy. Larson was a Fulbright Scholar at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing during the fall 2013 semester. His most recent book is Congressional Parties, Institutional Ambition, and the Financing of Majority Control, co-authored with Professor Eric Heberlig (University of Michigan Press, 2012). In 2014, the book won the 26th DB Hardeman Prize for the best book on the U.S. Congress published in 2012. The prize is awarded by the LBJ Presidential Library, Austin TX.


11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
AC 210: Preparing for Leadership in the 21st Century: Practices and Perspectives
This session explores current and emerging concepts of leadership development used by the Garthwait Leadership Center (GLC) in its work with students and young alumni. GLC Director Andy Hughes will facilitate interactive activities and discussion to help participants learn about the importance of leadership development today and how alumni can be a part of Gettysburg College’s goal to offer an unparalleled leadership development experience.

The Garthwait Leadership Center (GLC), founded in 2010 to enhance the tradition of leadership at Gettysburg, helps students and alumni recognize their potential as leaders and their responsibility to serve. The GLC's name recognizes the alumnus who has endowed the program, Robert Garthwait, Jr. '82, a trustee of the College and CEO of Cly-Del Manufacturing in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Andy Hughes, Director, Garthwait Leadership Center
Andy is a thoughtful and passionate leadership educator who strives to empower others to see their potential for leadership and to make a positive difference. For more than thirteen years, Andy has worked with hundreds of students, professionals, and organizations inspiring them to perform to their best ability. As the founding director of the Garthwait Leadership Center. Andy is committed to building an exceptional leadership center that serves as a model for how to prepare young people for leadership in the 21st century within the liberal arts environment. Previously, he served as assistant director of the Explorations program for first-year students and the co-director of student involvement and leadership at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. Andy earned a bachelor's degree majoring in English literature from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., and master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Hughes grew up in Broomfield, England and moved to the United States more than 20 years ago.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
AC 211: Hatter Planetarium, The Sky This Month

Hatter Planetarium has been serving the Gettysburg College campus and surrounding community since 1966. The Hatter Planetarium, located in the north wing of the Physics Department's Masters Hall, was built in 1966 as the result of a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. George G. Hatter. In summer 2016 it was renovated to become an immersive classroom with a full-dome digital projector with support from the George I. Alden Trust. This class offers a chance to visit our immersive, full-dome digital theater for a guided tour of the current night sky and an historic murder mystery that involves Abraham Lincoln, the moon, and an almanac!

Ian Clarke, Hatter Planetarium Program Director and Adjunct Assistant Professor of English
Ian earned a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has been the director of the Hatter Planetarium and an astronomy lab instructor since 2000. In addition to his duties in Physics, Ian is adjunct assistant professor of English. He has held a poetry fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Ian also writes the monthly astronomy column for the local newspaper and works as a naturalist at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
AC 212: The Great War: 1917
Revolution in Russia, war in the Middle East, industrialized slaughter in France and Belgium, and the United States decision to enter the First World War … 1917 was, to put it mildly, a big year.  In this lecture Dr. Ian Isherwood will present a panoramic portrait of the events of the First World War. From the gates of Jerusalem to the gates of our quiet liberal arts campus, the year 1917 proved to be a monumental one in world history.

Ian Isherwood '00, Visiting Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Ian is a 2000 graduate of Gettysburg College, Dartmouth College, and the University of Glasgow, the latter where he earned his PhD. He specializes in modern history with a focus on war and memory studies, and this will be the third in a series of Alumni College courses he’s offered over the last few years. Ian lives in Gettysburg with his wife, Samantha, also a 2000 Gettysburg College graduate.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
AC 213: The Dynamic Landscapes of Climate Change Science—from Washington D.C. to Arctic Greenland
Climate change has been and will likely continue to be a defining issue of our time. The topic has become so politicized that it is difficult to decipher the status of the science from the amplified political noise that currently engulfs it. Prof. White will provide a concise overview of the current state of knowledge, including insights from his own research on landscape responses in Arctic Alaska and Greenland. He will also explore the changing political landscape and how it affects the advancement of the science, which is essential to development of policy.

Dr. Jeffrey White ’77, Professor of Environmental Science, Indiana University-Bloomington
Jeff received a PhD from Syracuse University in 1984, following completion of a Masters from Rutgers University and a Bachelors of Arts in Biology from Gettysburg in 1977. He is currently a professor of Environmental Science at Indiana University- Bloomington, where is has served for his entire career.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
AC 214: Black Poets Matter
Together we will consider the role of African American poetry and lyrical expression in advancing social justice movements. We will discuss contemporary spoken word artists and musicians within a tradition of writers whose work explores questions of identity, equality, and justice within American society, and we will engage in lively discussions about the value of poetry and lyricism as well as the power of words to impact the world in which we live.

McKinley Melton, Assistant Professor of English
McKinley received his PhD from the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his BA in English and African American Studies from Duke University. His primary teaching interest is in 19th- and 20th-century African American literature, and his courses focus on the intersections of social, political, and cultural movements as part of a critical approach to Africana literature.

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m
AC 215: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About French Wines but Were Afraid to Ask!
A fun and interactive look at why France is always considered the standard of comparison for the world’s wines. We will take a look at the various French wine regions, grapes, styles and food pairing ideas. Most importantly, we will taste a few exceptional values and answer questions.

Kenneth Scupp '77, Co-owner Top Terroir, LLC
Ken is currently co-owner of Top Terroir a wine importer based in New Hampshire. Formerly, he was the New England regional manager for Kobrand Corp., a national wine importer based in New York City and Director of Marketing for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. Ken has both the CSW and WSET industry certifications and volunteers his time to teach wine courses at the University of New Hampshire and Southern New Hampshire University.

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
AC 216:  Religion and Politics of the Middle East
This course will examine the historical background of Arab-Israeli conflict and how this was affected by the Arab Spring, as well as tensions with Iran.

Stephen Stern, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Judaic Studies
Stephen is the Director of Judaic Studies with an affiliation with the department of philosophy. He has studied the Israeli-Arab conflict over the years and has spent a great deal of time in Israel and Palestine. He has served on many panels with Palestinians to help inform people of the issues that generate this conflict, and has earned accolades from his students for his ability to challenge them, while also serving as a mentor to them.