Alumni College Schedule

For more information on Alumni College, contact Maggie Mulderrig '11, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at 717-337-6514 or

Thursday, May 28, 2015

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
GC 101: Don Quixote de la Mancha
We will read together and discuss passages from the new Edith Grossman translation
of Don Quixote de la Mancha in search of the source of the novel’s comedy.

Paula Olinger, Associate Professor of Spanish
Paula joined the faculty of Gettysburg College in 1979. She received her Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1981. Her book, Images of Transformation in Traditional Hispanic Poetry, interprets symbols in the oral poetry of medieval Spain. She still specializes in poetry, but in recent years has focused on the poetry of women in Latin America. She believes in the value of service learning and requires students in her language classes to tutor and mentor children in the community. She believes passionately in social justice and works on behalf of many social causes in the United States and Latin America. Her primary goal as a teacher is to educate her students, future leaders in the United States, about the injustices the United States has perpetrated in Latin America. Her greatest hope is for world peace.

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
GC 102: The Death of Retirement
This class will focus on the funding crisis in traditional defined benefit (DB) pensions. What are the issues around DB pension funding in the public and private sectors and what – if anything – can or should be done to fix them? We would be remiss not to cover at least briefly what is happening to Social Security and other pensions.

Brendan Cushing-Daniels, Associate Professor and Chair of Economics
Brendan has taught at Gettysburg College since 1995, except for a brief spell to work for Congress on Social Security reform. He lives in Gettysburg with his two daughters.

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
GC 103: Divided America: The Causes and Consequences of Party Polarization in the U.S.
This course will explore the causes and consequences of America’s current polarized politics. Tracing the evolution of party politics in the postwar period, the course will attempt to explain how we arrived at the contentious partisan divisions in place today.
We will also consider the extent to which reforms can help mitigate partisanship.

Bruce Anders Larson, Associate Professor of Political Science
Bruce (Ph.D University of Virginia) is an associate professor of political science at Gettysburg. A Fulbright Lecturer at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing during the fall 2013 semester, Professor Larson is a specialist in American political institutions and processes. He has taught and conducted research on a variety of topics, including the U.S. Congress, the politics of public policy, and political parties and elections. He has authored and co-authored several articles and books on U.S. Politics. 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).

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
GC 104: The Underground Railroad and the Coming of the Civil War
Historians have long debated what were the key causal factors that pushed the United States to a civil war. This session will outline that debate, examine how the Underground Railroad functioned, and then argue that black men and women who sought to escape slavery, though overlooked by most historians in this debate, were key players in pushing the nation to war.

Scott Hancock, Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies
Scott came to Gettysburg College in 2001. His scholarly interests focus on the African American experience from the mid-seventeenth century to just before the Civil War. His work considers African Americans’ engagement with the law, and incorporates other disciplinary perspectives such as law and society and geography. He is particularly interested in how black interaction with the law in a variety of ways, from small disputes in lower courts to escaping via the underground railroad, shaped constitutional law, legal ideologies, black identity and U.S. society. Some of his work has appeared in the anthologies Paths to Freedom, We Shall Independent Be, and Slavery, Resistance, Freedom, and more recently in the journal Civil War History.

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
GC 105: The Wines of Madeira: A Study & Tasting Tour
This course will look across the Atlantic and “visit” the wineries of Portugal, which have developed an international following, especially with its world-famous Madeira. The course will include an overview of the Portuguese wine region, as well as offer “students” the opportunity to taste and discuss a variety of wines from the country, including Madeira. Come ready to take notes, learn and sip. Participants must be 21 or older.

Joe Lynch, Sr. P’85, Wine Consultant, Total Wine & More
Joe earned a B.S. in chemistry from Philadelphia University in 1952. He was employed by E.I. Dupont for 40 years in Development and Marketing Management of Textile Fibers. Currently, he is a fine wine consultant and journalist for Total Wine & More, a retail chain of more than 100 stores around the country. He has traveled extensively to major wine regions of the world and has also “taken” Alumni College classes to Australia, Chile,
Italy, Spain, South America, California, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest in
previous years.

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
GC 106: Using Physics to Hide Diseases
From the instant we are conceived, we are stuck with the genes that make up our bodies for the rest of our lives. These may be good, like the genes that give us our lovely blue eyes or our kinky brown hair, or bad, like the ones that make us prone to heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. While we are unable to change these bad genes, we may be able to turn them off through a simple trick: Hiding them. In this class, you will both learn about how we are trying to accomplish this trick through DNA packing and become familiar with some of the exciting new research instruments we are using to investigate this fundamental process.

Kurt Andresen, Assistant Professor of Physics
Kurt received his B.A. in physics (with a minor in music) from Boston University and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Cornell University. His research is in the electrostatic properties of biological molecules. In particular, he is interested in how life uses electrostatics to manipulate the packing of DNA in our bodies and how this special packing is utilized by
everything from viruses to humans.

9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
GC 107: Night at the Observatory
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.

Dick Cooper ‘65, Senior Laboratory Instructor of Physics
Dick graduated from Gettysburg College in 1965 and received his M.Ed. from Western Maryland College. He served as a mathematics/ computer science teacher at the New Oxford High School for 22 years and a computer coordinator for the Conewago Valley School District for five years. Cooper served as an astronomy lab instructor at Gettysburg College from 1990 through the present and as a co-investigator on Project CLEA (Contemporary Laboratory Experiences in Astronomy) since 1992.

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.

Jackie Milingo, Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Jackie received B.S. degrees in physics and astronomy from the University of Kansas and her Ph.D. 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, May 29, 2015

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
GC 208: The Necessary Man: The Life of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose 125th birthday we will mark in October, was best known as Supreme Commander in the Western Theater during World War II and as the nation’s popular two-term president during the 1950s. This session will explore the wellsprings of Eisenhower’s world view, his military career, as well as his goals, accomplishments, and legacies as the nation’s 34th president.

Michael J. Birkner ’72, Franklin Professor of the Liberal Arts/Professor of History
Michael is Professor of History and Benjamin Franklin Professor of Liberal Arts at Gettysburg College, where he has taught since 1989. He is the author or editor of twelve books, including a young-adult biography of Dwight Eisenhower and numerous articles on aspects of the Eisenhower presidency.

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
GC 209: Moby Dick’s Guide to Life
Based on the First Year Seminar “A Whale of a Tale: Moby Dick in American History and
Culture,” this seminar will discuss the historical context of America’s most famous novel, the life of its enigmatic author Herman Melville, and its continuing relevance in our modern world.

Timothy J. Shannon, Chairperson/Professor of History
Tim has been teaching early American history at Gettysburg College since 1996 and has been chair of the History Department since 2008.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
GC 210: Music of the ‘70s: From punk to disco, and postmodern classical to Latin jazz. How music shaped the decade.
This course will explore the music of the 1970s focusing on popular music, classical music and jazz. How did punk rock, disco, postmodern classical, Latin jazz and other genres change the musical world? This course will also explore the role the club scene and television had in shaping music during the decade.

Mark A. Stickney ’95, Assistant Professor of Music/Graduate Music Education Program Coordinator, Plymouth State University
Mark is an Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Bands, and the coordinator of the Graduate Instrumental Music Education program at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from Rutgers University and his Master’s degree in Tuba Performance from Montclair State University. He has held conducting and brass teaching positions at Southern Utah University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Salve Regina University (RI), and the Community College of Rhode Island. Mark is regularly invited to guest conduct at festivals throughout the United States. In addition to teaching and performing, he has served as the Production Coordinator for the Newport Music Festival for the past 13 seasons, and has worked for the festival for 26 years.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
GC 211: 
There Once Was a Class from Nantucket: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Humor
What is a joke? How do we judge the quality of a joke? Are there some jokes that are morally wrong to tell? Should you be embarrassed to find certain jokes funny? We take a lighthearted, yet serious look at the nature of joking.

Steve Gimbel, Chair, Philosophy Department
Steve is the chair of the philosophy department and an amateur stand-up comic. His paper “Heckler Ethics” won the annual Joseph Ellin Memorial Prize for best paper at the 2013
conference of the Lighthearted Philosophers Society. He is currently working on a book on the philosophy of humor, but has not yet found a clever enough title for it.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
GC212: Funding of International Terrorism|
This course will provide an overview of the complex issue of how international terrorist organizations are funded and discuss the origins of that money. It will also examine the
various methods of transferring and transporting money and trace the methods employed
to fund operations such as 9-11.

Richard C. LaMagna ’70, President, LaMagna & Associates, LLC
Richard retired as Deputy Chief of Intelligence for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), having held assignments to U.S. Missions in Asia and Europe as well as the White House, National Security Council as Director of Counter Narcotics and Counterterrorism and to FBI HQ Drugs and Organized Crime Branch. He was recruited by Microsoft as Director of Worldwide Anti-counterfeiting Investigations and later Director of Law Enforcement Training and Outreach--he was employed at MSFT for seven years. He currently has his own consulting firm in the Washington, DC area. He graduated from Gettysburg College in 1970 and earned an MALS from Georgetown University in 1996.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
GC 213: The History of Astronomy at Gettysburg College
Want to know where on campus the OLD observatory used to stand? What was in an 1850s astronomy course? Or who taught it? With vintage photos and records, we will look back at the science, the equipment, and the people from 1832 to the present.

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.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
GC 214: Modern Art and Contemporary Exhibitions
This course will provide an overview of developments in modern and contemporary art. Particular attention will be given to exhibitions of modern and contemporary art at Gettysburg College’s Schmucker Art Gallery, including works by well-known artists Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, and Paul Strand, among others.

Shannon Egan, Director of the Schmucker Art Gallery
Shannon received her M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Art from Johns Hopkins University and her B.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is Director of the Schmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College, where she curates exhibitions of contemporary and historical art. Shannon is the author of articles on photographers Edward S. Curtis and Jeff Wall, and An American Art: Edward S. Curtis and The North American Indian, a book-length manuscript examining Curtis’s photography in the early twentieth century. Shannon also teaches courses at Gettysburg College on contemporary art, the history and theory of photography, twentieth-century European art, and art and public policy. Additionally, Shannon serves as Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. 

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m
GC 215: 1960’s Presidents: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
We will take a look back to the 1960s when, thanks to the Presidents and the Congress
working together, the legislative output in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations was amazing compared to the little that gets done today. We’ll also consider the extent to which the three administrations helped undermine America’s trust in government and created the belief that, in the words of Ronald Reagan, government isn’t the answer to our problems; government is the problem.

James (Jim) S. Todd ’65, Lecturer in Politics, University of Virginia
After graduating from Gettysburg, Jim got M.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of
Georgia and then taught for two years in Georgia community colleges. He left teaching and practiced law for ten years in Washington, DC, seven of them with the Interstate Commerce Commission. He left law practice and obtained his Ph.D. in government from the University of Virginia. He went on to teach courses in American government and constitutional law for a year at Tulane and twenty-one years at the University of Arizona in Tucson before retiring and moving back to Charlottesville where he teaches courses for the Politics Department at UVA and for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLU) at UVA.

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
GC 216: Religion and Politics of the Middle East
The historical background of Arab-Israeli conflict and how this conflict is affected by the
Arab Spring and tensions with Iran will be discussed.

Stephen Stern, Chair of the Religious Studies Department 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.
A big fan of Arizona basketball, Stephen lives in Gettysburg and is often seen around campus with his dog, Little