Lifelong Learning Lecture Series

Lifelong Learning (2) (1)

Session 3 Tuesday, January 31, 2023, 5:30-7:00 pm

Speaker: Jacquelyne Luce, Professor and Director, Gender Studies, Mount Holyoke College Director, Five College Women’s Studies Research Center

Title: Retrospective Exposure: Understandings and Experiences of Gender/Sex/Sexuality over a Lifetime

Join us for a conversation about gender/sex/sexuality and how our understanding and experiences of these terms might change over the course of a lifetime, shaped by our relationships, experiences of health, illness, and disability, and encounters with emerging scientific and social knowledge. We will have the chance to view Retrospective Exposure, an art-research exhibit by Jacquelyne and Anjali Rao-Herel, a Mount Holyoke College alum. The exhibit accompanies a chapter by FTGC in a new book, Synthetic Becoming, which shares how circulating knowledge about in utero exposure to DES (diethylstilbestrol) – a synthetic estrogen and endocrine disruptor - is drawn upon to make sense of gender/sex/sexuality experiences. 

Dr. JacqJacquelyne Luceuelyne Luce is a senior lecturer in Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and Director of the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center. Her teaching and research explore the interconnected worlds of health activism, scientific research, and health care, especially as related to rare diseases, reproductive health, and emerging predictive and diagnostic medical technologies. She designed and leads the Feminist Technoscience Governance Collaboratory (FTGC), which offers hands-on research experience in gender studies, medical anthropology, and feminist science studies.


Session 4: Tuesday February 21, 2023 5:30-7:00 pm

Speaker: Dr. Travis Hodges, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Education, Neuroscience Program, Mount Holyoke College

Title: Awkward Adolescents and Grumpy Old Males (The effects of stress and life experience on behavior)

Learn about the effects of life experiences on behavior and symptoms of depression across the lifespan, and the role that biological sex can play in these effects. As we age, stress affects us differently and changes in negative and positive thinking can increase our risk of disease and symptomology, and this also varies depending on sex. This session will go over some of the latest findings in the field of neuroscience concerning age- and sex-specific symptoms of depression and what mechanisms underlie these differences. Rodent models will be discussed that give insight into how adolescents are affected by specific stressors and what happens to the brain across aging that changes cognition and increases risk for depression. This session will also discuss what these findings mean for future treatments of mental health disorders and individual differences in susceptibility and resilience to life experiences.

Travis HodgesDr. Travis Hodges is an assistant professor at Mount Holyoke college in the Department of Psychology and Education and in the Neuroscience program. Through the use of rodent models, his laboratory work aims at discovering new ways to treat depression and stress-induced symptoms through an age- and sex-specific lens. Dr. Hodges specializes in investigating the roles of brain activation, the immune system, hormones, and their link to behavior.


Session 5: Tuesday March 7, 2023 5:30-7:00 pm

Speaker: Karen Jane Stromgren Blanchard, Professor Emerita, School for International Training Graduate Institute

Title: Communicating Across Differences: Intercultural Communication and its Influence on our Everyday Lives.

Dr. Karen Blanchard will draw from her extensive academic study and professional career in the U.S. and around the world to share theoretical and practical knowledge of intercultural communication, including its various dimensions and its contributions to conflict as well as to positive social interaction. Her service in the local community with a number of organizations, most recently focused on restorative justice, arts activisms and cultural orientation and resettlement for Afghan refugees at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont will provide many examples of the importance of intercultural communication.

Karen Jane Stromgren BlanchardKaren Jane Stromgren Blanchard, Professor Emerita, School for International Training Graduate Institute Karen was a member of SIT Graduate Institute’s faculty from 1988 -2018 where she developed and taught the institute’s first course in conflict transformation as well as other graduate courses and training programs related to intercultural communication. She also directed a training program for Southeast Asian development professionals in the US and in Southeast Asia and was an academic director for students studying abroad in Nepal. Karen began her professional journey as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia, and later managed programs for the Peace Corps and for the Intergovernmental Organization for Migration in Switzerland and Eastern Europe. She has also consulted on various educational projects in Thailand, Bosnia, and, Ethiopia. Karen’s Ph.D. is entitled Stories of Forgiveness, Reweaving the Fabric of the Heart. She taught the Journeys of Forgiveness course at SIT Graduate Institute, was the faculty advisor for the on-campus spirituality exploration group, and taught courses in intercultural communication and multicultural team development both on campus and abroad. She has language skills in Spanish, French, Amharic, Thai, and Nepalese, has lived in Switzerland, and feels at home in several Asian countries.



Session 6: Tuesday April 18, 2023 5:30-7:00 pm

Speaker: Jean Janecki, Director, Mount Holyoke College Language and Culture Commons

Title: It's Never Too Late to Learn a New Language


If you have always contemplated learning a foreign language but never had the opportunity, well now is the time. It's never too late to learn something new. In this lecture, I will discuss the fun and simple ways to learn about new languages and cultures and/or review those that might have fallen by the wayside. Communicating in more than one language is not only fun, but it's great for your brain! While it is true that language learning is a process that takes time and practice. These tips will get you started and on your way to new explorations.

Jean JaneckiDr. Jean Janedki has been the Director of the Language and Culture Commons at Mount Holyoke College since 2014. Before joining MHC, she was a Spanish professor at the University of Wisconsin. She enjoys traveling, exploring new cultures, and sports (especially soccer)!


Session 7: Tuesday May 23, 2023 5:30-7:00 pm

Speaker: Dr. Aaron Miller, Associate Curator of Visual and Material Culture and NAGPRA* Coordinator, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum *NAGPRA - Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act 

Title: The Mysteries of History Tour of the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum

Join the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum's curator Dr. Aaron Miller for an introduction and tour of the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum. Skinner was a voracious traveler and collector and a longtime champion of Mount Holyoke College and the greater South Hadley community. In 1932 he opened his Museum to the public housed in a transplanted Quabbin meeting house. His Museum, largely untouched since his passing in 1946, contains an impressive hoard of treasures. Come see nearly 7,000 objects including suits of armor; rare documents, letters, and maps; a 150 pound meteorite; a sword owned by President Ulysses S. Grant; a hippopotamus skull; and much, much more.

Aaron MillerAaron Miller assists with the general research, interpretation, display, and care of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum’s collection, with a focus on decorative arts, archaeological artifacts, and other objects of material and visual culture, including the holdings of the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum. In his role as NAGPRA coordinator, Miller researches materials and consults with Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities in support of the Museum's ongoing repatriation efforts. With a background in anthropology and history, he holds a PhD in Historical Archaeology from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.


Session 8: Tuesday June 13, 2023 5:30-7:00 pm

Speaker: Rachel Beth Sayet, Five College Native Community Development Fellow (Mohegan Nation)

Topic: Indigenous Cultures / Food / Gardening and preservation

Rachel Beth Sayet(Details: Title& Description Pending)