Mornings with the Professors


Welcome to Mornings with the Professors, which features College faculty and staff presentations on interesting and important issues. The program features eight sessions and will run from September 20 through November 15, with a break on October 18. Each of the sessions will be offered from 9:30 to 11 am on Tuesdays. A continental breakfast will be provided, so join us and bring a friend! We think you will find your time spent with us to be meaningful, informative and entertaining.

We are very pleased to continue our presentations at the Special Events Recreation Center (SERC) at the Eagle’s Lookout. Parking will be available in Lot U. We look forward to seeing you there!

Event series sponsored by Senior's Choice Communities.

Fall 2016 Schedule

September 20

Fostering a New Model of Multigenerational Learning: Older Adult Perspectives, Community Partners, and Higher Education

Intergenerational service-learning initiatives are an increasingly common educational practice designed to engage college students and older adults with one another. The growth of the baby boomer population and a growing interest in lifelong learning opportunities among older adults has the potential to create new models of multigenerational education within colleges and universities. This presentation will describe the multigenerational interaction and educational interests of older adults who reside at St. John’s Meadows and Brickstone in Rochester, NY. Results from a survey and two focus groups indicate a strong interest in multigenerational-learning with college students. Findings from the study will be presented in relation to The College at Brockport’s initiative to engage community elders with students in a variety of educational opportunities.

Dr. Jason Dauenhauer, Director of Multigenerational Engagement and Associate Professor, Social Work

September 27

Water: An Unusual Substance

Water is essential for life. Our body consists mainly of water and we are in daily contact with the substance. Because water is so ubiquitous, it is often taken for granted. Water is a fascinating substance with remarkable properties. This presentation will take a closer look at some of the physical and chemical properties of water and aqueous solutions. Several common applications involving aqueous solutions will be inspected from a chemical point of view. The goal is to achieve a deeper appreciation of the role of water in our daily lives.  

Dr. Markus Hoffmann, Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

October 4

Meditation and Mindfulness

Eastern philosophical traditions have long posited that meditative practices cultivate mindfulness, an attitude of purposeful and non-judgmental acceptance of the present moment’s sensations, thoughts, and feelings. Empirical studies have documented that individuals who are either naturally mindful or who have cultivated mindfulness through meditative activities report an array of positive outcomes: improved health, increased pain tolerance, increased well-being, and decreased negative emotions.  This talk will include brief instruction and practice in meditation, a review of the literature on the biological and psychological effects of meditation, a discussion of mindfulness research conducted at Brockport, and plans for future research projects.   

Dr. Melissa Brown, Assistant Professor, Psychology

October 11

Inhabited Bodies and the Sex Wars: The Handmaid’s Tale Then and Now

One key aspect of The Handmaid’s Tale, published in 1985, is author Margaret Atwood’s attention to the 1980s feminist debate often referred to as the “Sew Wars,”  where radical feminist thought divided around questions of prostitution,  pornography, and reproduction.  Feminist tensions between sexual agency and exploitation common to the "Sex Wars" debate are visible in Atwood’s speculative plotline and character treatment, particularly, the social stratifications of identity that she constructs and assigns to women and men in  the novel. This talk examines these stratifications of identity, drawing parallels between The Handmaid’s Tale and present-day circumstances, as considered across geographies of person and place. Using the “Sex Wars” debate, framed by structures of Education, Politics, and Religion, audience members will have opportunity to contrast Atwood’s Republic of Gilead with contemporary society.  Thirty years forward from the novel’s first printing, as women’s bodies are reproduced and deployed in various ways to discipline and manage populations, how far are we from a Handmaids Tale reality? 

Ms. Marcy Esler, Assistant to the Vice President and Director of Student Retention
Dr. Barbara LeSavoy,
Director, Women & Gender Studies

October 25

64 Campuses, One University: The Story of SUNY

In April, 1948 Governor Thomas Dewey signed the legislation that created SUNY. Facing severe restrictions, determined opponents, and the lack of a public higher education tradition in NYS, SUNY languished for a decade. Few could have guessed it would become America’s largest comprehensive university system, with 64 campuses, nearly half a million students, and over 3,000,000 alumni. But the election of Governor Rockefeller, moral panic accompanying Sputnik’s launch, and Baby Boomers flooding higher education dramatically changed its fortune. In the 1960s the system expanded its mission while student enrollment soared, new campuses were created, and existing ones, including Brockport, expanded.

Difficult decades followed as New York’s economy buckled and SUNY struggled. But in recent years, the system has regained its sense of direction and restored its national reputation. At Chancellor Nancy Zimpher’s initiative, we have written a pictorial history of SUNY and its 64 campuses chronicling this remarkable system. Even as professors for over four decades, SUNY’s scope has amazed us, as we hope it will you.

Dr. Bruce Leslie, Distinguished Service Professor, History
Dr. Kenneth O'Brien,
Director of Transfer Articulation and Associate Professor, History

November 1

Election Season: Conditions and Predictions

It has already been a topsy-turvy election season and nothing suggests that things will change before Election Day.  In this session, Dr. Levy and Dr. Orr will discuss the primaries, the role of the media and, of course, who they predict will become the 45th president of the United States. They will also consider Congressional elections and try to predict which party will hold the majority in the House and Senate.

Dr. Dena Levy, Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science & International Studies
Dr. Susan Orr
Associate Professor, Political Science & International Studies

November 8

You Are Immune To Advertising…Right?

Depending on who you talk with or believe, we are bombarded every day with between 3,500 and 5,000 advertising messages. Those messages vary from standard commercials or ads on television, radio and print, video images, roadside ads, online billboards, logo design, and so much more. This session will investigate recent and historically effective marketing strategies, those that have potentially alienated their respective customer base, plus some that epically failed.

Mr. Warren Kozireski, General Manager of 89.1 The Point and Instructor, Communication

November 15

The Islamic State: A Forum with Updates

Few international events have grabbed as many headlines as the rise and propagation of the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL or Daesh). This organization, by far the best-funded of its kind in history, has established itself as a would-be territorial state amid the ruins of two fractured states in the Middle East. Drawing sustenance from and exacerbating other tragic conditions in the region, Daesh represents an unprecedented challenge to stability and the established system of nation-states in the Middle East. This program will offer a short update and analysis of recent events, and then engage the audience in open discussion of key questions in the situation, such as:

            Why have France and Belgium been targets of the violence?

            To what extent does Daesh represent an existential threat to the US?

            To what extent should the phenomenon of Daesh impact internal politics in the US?

            To what extent is it accurate or responsible to refer to Daesh as “radical Muslims”?

Dr. Carl Davila, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, History
Dr. Skye Paine, Assistant Professor, Modern Languages and Cultures

For more information, or to register, please contact Dawn Schmidt at (585) 395-5227 or