Mini-Courses Offered to the Public

Galloway, N.J. – The Stockton University Institute for Lifelong Learning (SILL) will host several mini-courses for the general public in February, March and April.

Each course meets once a week for four weeks. All courses are taught by Stockton faculty and held virtually through Zoom. The cost for each course is $45.

“These short courses are an opportunity for community members to learn something new from the same professors who teach the courses at Stockton,” said Christine Ferri, Associate Director of the Stockton Center on Successful Aging (SCOSA) and Associate Professor of Psychology. “Participants can learn from experts and meet peers who are curious about topics as varied as African American music and the environment to brain health and poetry.”   

More information and registration information are at or call 609 652-4311.

The Spring 2021 schedule is:

Protect Our Planet: Problems and Solutions

Patrick Hossay, Ph.D., Professor of Sustainability and Tait Chirenje, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Sciences and Sustainability 

February 1, 8, 15 & 22, Mondays 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
This course covers some of the major environmental issues: urbanization, water quality, air quality (including climate change), and loss of biological diversity and subsequently examines some of the most promising solutions, including alternative energy, smart community design, and electric vehicles. 
 The first two sessions will discuss how increased urbanization affects water recharge, traffic and commuting times as well as air and water quality. The next two sessions will examine some of the most promising solutions to these challenges.

Introduction to Visual Literacy

Jedidiah Morfit, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art (Sculpture)

February, 3, 10, 17 & 24, Wednesdays 2 - 3 p.m.

Never before in human history has communication been so inextricably linked with visual images. Every photograph that accompanies every article in every newspaper or magazine, every ad on TV or the internet, every package of every product in the grocery story, every photo on Instagram, every scene in every movie - they all have a job to do. They are all intended to tell a story, generate a response, or make an argument. This class will provide a very broad overview to how images do their work, and how we can be smarter and savvier consumer of the visual culture that surrounds us.

Music of African Americans
Beverly Vaughn, D.M., Professor of Music and Africana Studies
February, 4, 11, 18 & 25, Thursdays 1-2 p.m.
This course explores the development and influence of African Americans in the context of music-making in the United States. It surveys the West African musical influences as well as the growth of diverse genres of music ranging from spirituals to jazz, ragtime, soul, gospel, classical music, rap and hip-hop music with special emphasis on history, folklore and culture.

Think Humanities, Act Creatively: An Environmental Humanities Overview 

Kristin J. Jacobson, Ph.D., Professor of American Literature, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, and American Studies  

March 1, 8, 22, & 29, Mondays 3 - 4 p.m.

What do the humanities have to say about the climate crisis? How do the humanities help us “think globally and act locally”? This short course will overview the roles the humanities play in local and global environmental interventions. We will primarily focus on contemporary texts and contexts related to the United States but comparative examples will be included as well. Each week will introduce specific genres and disciplines, providing examples of how the humanities shapes and is shaped by environmental thinking: (March 1) environmental fiction and philosophy, (March 8) environmental art and history, (March 22) eco-popular culture and cultures of the extreme, and (March 29) environmental justice and film. A list of recommended titles to explore during or after the course as well as a short, optional full-text reading for each week will be provided electronically. 

Optimal Brain Wellness: Current Research and Practical Strategies 

Christine Gayda-Chelder, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology    

March 4, 11, 18 & 25, Thursdays 1 - 2 p.m. 

Evidence-based research continues to demonstrate the power of lifestyle factors in maintaining and enhancing brain health. This course will cover the neuroscience and neuropsychology of how various lifestyle choices impact the human brain. The field of psychoneuroimmunology will also be highlighted. Students will design and develop their own “roadmap to brain health” to begin a personalized program of brain wellness that is realistic, practical, and enjoyable.

Reading Poems: Celebrating Spring and the Natural World 

Nancy Reddy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Writing and First-year Studies 

April 7, 14, 21 & 28, Wednesdays 3 - 4 p.m.

In this course, held during National Poetry Month, we’ll read poems about the natural world. After a tough 2020 and another winter of the pandemic, we’ll explore how poems can bring joy and wonder into our lives. We’ll read a range of contemporary poems, and the course will provide multiple entry points to reading and understanding poems. Whether you’re already an engaged poetry reader, or if you’re looking to explore something new, this course will have something for you.  

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Diane D’Amico
Director of News and Media Relations
Galloway, N.J. 08205