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Forum and Non-Credit Programs

Forum Classroom

Welcome!

The Forum, Rosemont’s Non-Credit Program

The Forum has been offering courses to local alumni and friends of the College on our campus for decades, and we are thrilled to be able to extend our programing to alumni across the country and the world.

Rosemont College is pleased to bring you another semester of non-credit offerings through the Forum. We invite you to explore facets of art, religion, history, theatre, literature, and more through our coffee lectures and courses. Our instructors include retired Rosemont faculty members as well as scholars and experts from the greater Philadelphia community.

The Forum is open to adults of any age. A nominal fee is charged for each course to cover the costs of the stipends offered to each talented instructor. The fee is not tax-deducible.

Unless otherwise noted, all courses during the Fall 2020 term will be held virtually on Zoom. For more information, please contact Ali Curth in the Office of College Relations by calling (610) 527-0200 x3102.

Thank you for taking the time to browse our Fall 2020 lineup. We are proud to offer programming that welcomes a community of lifelong learners dedicated to academic excellence and fostering joy in the pursuit of knowledge. We hope to see you on campus soon!

Ali Curth
Event and Theater Coordinator
Office of College Relations

*Courses offered through the Forum and the opinions expressed within them by instructors or students do not necessarily represent the official policies of Rosemont College.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Presenter: Marrea Walker-Smith, M.A., MPA
Mondays, October 5th, 12th, 19th from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
This course is designed to broaden awareness of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  You will learn how to lead DEI discussions, identify opportunities to improve DEI in your network, and create a DEI plan of action.

Playmaker’s Lab: Intro to Playwriting
Presenter: Christopher Dayett, M.A.
Tuesdays, October 6th, 13th, 20th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Enter the magical world of theatre by diving into your imagination and turning a story idea into a play of your own creation. Using a given series of “ingredients” that must be included in your play, along with playwriting tips and exercises, each Playmaker will “bake” a 5- to 10-minute play by the end of the third class.

Theatre Experiments and Disney Animation
Presenter: Christen Mandracchia, M.A.
Wednesdays, October 7th, 14th, 21st from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Not all theatre laboratories happen in a designated theatre space or context. This is the general premise of this lecture series, which examines three times that the Walt Disney Company's animation studio became a place that pushed the boundaries of live theatre as a medium, craft, and application. The first lecture examines animator Bill Tytla's experiments with Staniskavski's acting "method" on his animation of the seven dwarves in Snow White. The second lecture investigates the ways that Peter Schneider fashioned Disney Feature Animation after a repertory theatre company in the 1980s and 1990s. The third lecture describes how two children's theatre veterans, Linda Woolverton and Howard Ashman, joined forces to make Beauty and the Beast have a strong lesson for its young viewers. These experiments applied and expanded the craft, organization, and form of theatre, and blurred the lines between the performing arts, hand-drawn pictures, art, and industry.

Bebop Down The Road: Jazz in Philly
Presenter: Brishen Miller, M.A.
Thursdays, October 8th, 15th, 22nd from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Discover how Philadelphia emerged as a vital landmark on the jazz touring circuit until the late 1960s, and how it affects music today. We will explore musicians from as far back as Charlie Gaines, to John Coltrane, and to Derrick Hodge today.

Know Your Rights! The Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court
Presenter: Diana Rodgers, M.A., Ed.D.
Thursdays, October 22nd, 29th, and November 5th from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
The Bill of Rights is the first 10 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and since its passage in the late 1700s, the Supreme Court has been busy litigating what those rights mean for Americans. This course will explore one Supreme Court case related to each of the first 10 Amendments.

Nobody Expected the Spanish Influenza: How Philadelphians Coped with the 1918 Flu Pandemic
Presenter: Kate Fischer
Wednesdays, October 28th, November 4th, 11th, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lectures will compare how Philadelphia responded to the 1918 Spanish Flu to the current sociopolitical climate of Covid-19. Throughout the three classes, we will explore the factors that contributed to the growth and spread of the flu, as well as measure the preventative actions against their impact.

Buildings of the Athenian Acropolis
Presenter: Harrison Eiteljorg
Mondays, November 2nd, 9th, 16th from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
We will look carefully at the buildings constructed on the Acropolis after the Persian Wars and before 400 B.C.E. (the Parthenon, The Propylaea, the Erechtheum, and the Temple of Athena Nike). We will also learn about the historical surroundings of the work on the Acropolis and the nature of classical Greek architecture.

The Roaring Twenties
Presenter: Helen McDevitt-Smith, M.S., M.A.
Tuesdays, November 3rd, 10th, 17th from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
In the last months of World War I, a novel virus infected millions of people around the world. In the United States, the devastation of World War I and the 1918 flu pandemic were followed by an exuberant, freewheeling decade, known as the Roaring Twenties. The decade commenced with the enforcement of the 18th Amendment on National Prohibition (January 19th, 1920) and the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment granting Suffrage to Women (August 20th, 1920). It was a decade of prosperity and consumerism, as well as artistic and technological creativity, and was accompanied by a breakdown of traditional moral standards, especially with respect to women.

World of Adaptation: Book to the Small Screen
Presenter: Jessica O’Brien, M.A.
Thursdays, November 5th, 12th, 19th, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
This class will be a comparative study of television adaptations and the literary sources upon which they are based. Special attention will be given to the practical and theoretical problems of adapting literature to television and the basic differences between the two.
Class One: Goosebumps
Class Two: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Class Three: Orange is the New Black

What the Fudge!: Managing Credit Scores
Presenter: Celeste Yvette Bailey
Fridays, November 6th, 13th, 20th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
As adults, many of us have not mastered the ins and outs and ups and downs of our credit. Credit is an issue that everyone wants to know the truth about because it really does have a huge impact on your way of life. Are you tired of paying high interest rates or being rejected for loans? Do you know your credit score? Do you know what it means to your wallet? During the first class, we will explore the avenues taken to build credit when you have none. The second lecture focuses on maintaining a good credit score, and the last class covers how to repair your credit if you have stumbled a bit on your credit journey. 

Titanic: The Final Hours
Presenter: Dennis Dool, M.A.
Wednesday, October 14th from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The British luxury liner RMS Titanic was in every way the most magnificent ship one could have imagined. It sailed on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England on April 10th, 1912. Its destination was New York City. After four days of uneventful sailing, the Titanic received reports of icebergs in the area, but the ship was sailing on calm seas under a moonless, clear sky. On the night of April 14th, a lookout named Frederick Fleet spotted a dark shadow about 1,500 feet in front of the ship. Within 37 seconds, the iceberg sideswiped the side of the ship. The Titanic sank in just two hours and 40 minutes. Come hear the riveting story of the final, fateful hours of those aboard the Titanic.

Art Pedagogy Online: Staying Innovative, Trauma-Informed, and Creative, Teaching the Arts via Zoom
Presenter: Chazie Bly
Tuesday, October 20th from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
In this course, you will learn how to harness the power of the internet to improve your knowledge of arts education (with a focus on theatre). Instruction/discussion will center on on adapting to our new circumstances; how to integrate creativity into online instruction, leading with trauma-informed practice/empathy, and enhancing pedagogy to better serve students on new platforms like Zoom.

American Women in Sports
Presenter: Diana Rodgers, M.A., Ed.D.
Wednesday, October 21st from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Babe Didrickson Zaharias is among the top 10 greatest athletes of all time, and young girls across America now count Megan Rapinoe as one of their heroes. But what about some of the still great, but less noted women in American sports? This course will explore American women’s contribution to sports and take particular care about how each female athlete reflected the challenges of her era.

Take Control of Your Time – Time Management
Presenter: Anne Weisbord
Friday, October 23rd from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Do you feel overwhelmed because you're juggling so many things at once? In this one-hour workshop, you will learn practical methods to help you take control of your time. You will discover ways to be more effective and efficient by aligning your priorities, eliminating time wasters, and organizing your workspace. Become more productive, manage your activities, and decrease your stress.

Theatre for Social Change: Analyzing Performance Art in the Real World
Presenter: Jessica O’Brien, M.A.
Monday, October 26th from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
This course is a study of radical street performance and the impact on society through the lens of politics, media, and religion. You will examine case studies discussing demonstrations, rallies, direct action, parades, and pageants in an effort to understand the use of performance art to promote a social agenda.

Authentic Digital Branding for Beginners
Presenter: Jessica Sage, M.A.
Tuesday, October 27th from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Building and maintaining an authentic digital presence doesn't have to feel like science fiction. Whether selling a product, building community, or championing an important cause, we're all capable of crafting a virtual brand that stays true to our vision. This course introduces the basics of digital branding across popular platforms and empowers students to build an authentic personal brand with impact on—and off—the internet.

Networking, Artist Freelance, and Knowing Your Brand
Presenter: Chazie Bly
Tuesday, November 3rd from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
In this course, discussions will center upon pursuing options as an independent contractor online. Open conversations around getting booked, managing and expanding social media, compiling reels/promotional shots, and building your brand will be highlighted. You will gain knowledge on self-promotion, highlighting your niche, and marketing in order to build stronger connections with other artists while also managing self-care.

3-Course Lecturers

Marrea Walker-Smith, M.A., MPA 
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 
Mondays, October 5th, 12th, 19th from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
Born and raised in a high-crime, low-income housing project to a single mother with an eighth-grade education, Walker-Smith defied the odds and broke the barriers to poverty. After graduating from college, she returned to her hometown and climbed the political ladder to become the Deputy Mayor and first African-American and female Chairman of the Republican Party. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Delaware State University, Master of Public Administration from Widener University, and Master of English & Publishing from Rosemont College. In 2018, Main Line Today named Walker-Smith a Healthcare Hero. In 2019, the Philadelphia Business Journal named her a Woman of Dinstinction and Philadelphia Influencer. 

Christopher Dayett, M.A. 
Playmaker’s Lab: Intro to Playwriting 
Tuesdays, October 6th, 13th, 20th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 
A performer, director, playwright, designer, composer, and educator, Christopher Dayett is a multi-skilled theatre artist whose passion lies in sharing the magic of theatre with students of all ages. His playwriting credits include Dorian Gray: The Musical (2017 Official Selection at the New York Musical Festival; Show-Score Best of Fest Winner), Follow Your Dreams: A New Musical, A Christmas Carol: Slightly Abridged, and numerous 10-minute plays/musicals. Dayett holds a B.A. in Theatre (and B.S. in Marine Biology) from UNC-Wilmington and an M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University. He wrote Dorian Gray as his graduate thesis. Dayett currently resides in Naples, Florida. He serves as Performing Arts Director and Theatre/Film instructor at Marco Island Academy. www.christopherdayett.com @TheatreGeekCD 

Christen Mandracchia, M.A. 
Theatre Experiments and Disney Animation 
Wednesdays, October 7th, 14th, 21st from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Christen Mandracchia is currently a PhD candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, where she is writing her dissertation on the theatre people and practices which shaped the "Disney Renaissance." She is a theatre historian with an emphasis in popular culture, material culture theory, musical theatre, and theatre architecture. She has previously taught production and design at Penn State Abington and Delaware County Community College, where she served as production manager, and technical director, respectively. In 2017, she directed the award-winning Off-Broadway premiere of Dorian Gray the Musical in the New York Musical Festival, and in 2019, she had her sound design for The Triumph of Isabella: An Immersive Experience showcased at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. She has served as a lighting designer in New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore for a decade.   

Brishen Miller, M.A. 
Bebop Down The Road: Jazz in Philly 
Thursdays, October 8th, 15th, 22nd from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 
Brishen Miller is a Philadelphia-based writer and theatre professional. Originally from Michigan, he received his BA in Theatre at Wayne State University in Detroit. After thathe was instrumental in forming several theatre companies, poetry collectives, and literary magazines as well as being an active musician/producer in the southern Michigan scene. He relocated to the Philadelphia area where he received his MA in Theatre at Villanova University. Brishen is also a traveler and has driven cross country numerous times; there are only a handful of U.S. states he hasn’t visited. He believes that fiction, literature, and theatre the language and structure unites us all. 

Diana Rodgers, M.A., Ed.D.
Know Your Rights! The Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court 
Thursdays, October 22nd, 29th, and November 5th from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 
American Women in Sports 
Wednesday, October 21st from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 
Dr. Diana H. Rodgers earned a baccalaureate degree in History, with high honors and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, from Boston College and a master’s degree in history from Carnegie Mellon University. She continued her undergraduate minor studies in education at Harvard University, where she completed a master's degree in Instructional Leadership. She completed her Doctorate of Education at the University of Pittsburgh in Higher Education Management. Rodgers has five years of teaching experience at a suburban public high school where she taught Social Studies and History courses ranging from Sociology to World History to Advanced Placement U.S. Government. In her teaching career, Rodgers received the highest ranking of "exemplary" on her most recent classroom performance evaluation, a distinction given to only a small percentage of Massachusetts educators. Currently, Rodgers is the founder and CEO of Fit Education Consulting, LLC. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three young daughters. 

Katherine Fischer 
Nobody Expected the Spanish Influenza: How Philadelphians Coped with the 1918 Flu Pandemic
 
Wednesdays, October 28th, November 4th, 11th, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 
Katherine Fischer is a theatre educator and artist based in Philadelphia. She holds a BA in Theatre from Penn State University as well as a minor in History, with an emphasis on graduate-level studies in South American religious and theatre history during the Spanish Golden Age. Katherine has traveled extensively, including spending a year studying in London as well as a summer in Seville. She works in regional and local theatres as a dramaturg, stage manager, and and as a development assistant. For the past decade, Fischer focused on teaching K-12 students about theatre, history, language, and design. Fischer is currently pursuing an MA in Theatre at Villanova University. Her scholarship is centered on reconceptualizing theatre history as a tool for illuminating ignored or silenced histories. 

Harrison Eiteljorg 
Buildings of the Athenian Acropolis 

Mondays, November 2nd, 9th, 16th from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 
Harrison Eiteljorg, II, received his Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the Department of Classical Archaeology at Penn too many years ago to be admitted. His dissertation dealt with architectural planning and led to his excavating on the Acropolis in 1975 (probably the last person actually to dig on the Acropolis). He later headed a project to study the entrance building to the Acropolis (the Propylaea) in detail. He also founded the Center for the Study of Architecture and became a proponent of the use of computer technology in archaeology. 

Helen McDevitt-Smith, M.S., M.A. 
The Roaring Twenties
 
Tuesdays, November 3rd, 10th, 17th from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 
Helen McDevitt-Smith graduated from Rosemont College with a BA in Chemistry. Since then, she has pursued graduate studies in Chemistry, Theologyand Pastoral Counseling, She has taught courses on the college and high school levels as well as adult education classes and presentations. 

Jessica O’Brien, M.A. 
World of Adaptation: Book to the Small Screen 
Thursdays, November 5th, 12th, 19th, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 
Theatre for Social Change: Analyzing Performance Art in the Real World 
Monday, October 26th from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 
Jessica O’Brien has an M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University, and a B.A. in Musical Theatre/Theatre Performance from Marymount Manhattan College. She is an Education Associate and Resident Teaching Artist at the Count Basie Center for the Arts. She works professionally as a Director/Choreographer and has staged more than 200 productions. She is a four-time IMEA Award nominee for Outstanding Direction of a Musical and Outstanding Production of a Musical (Gypsy, The Last Five Years). She is a nine-time NJACT Perry Award nominee, and two-time winner for Outstanding Choreography (Me and My Girl, Crazy for You). She is a two-time Count Basie Award nominee for Outstanding Choreography (Crazy for You, The Little Mermaid). In 2017, O’Brien was the youngest choreographer to be inducted into the NJACT Hall of Fame. She currently serves on the State Board as the Workshop Coordinator for the New Jersey chapter of the Educational Theatre Association. 

Celeste Yvette Bailey 
What the Fudge! Managing Credit Scores
 
Fridays, November 6th, 13th, 20th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 
Celeste Yvette Bailey is an author and has been an educator for over 25 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education and graduated magna cum laude from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. She is a mother and a wife who knows from 40-plus years of experience how difficult life can be with less-than-perfect credit. She felt so accomplished when she was able to repair her credit that she was compelled to share what she learned. Bailey wrote a book about her experiences and is currently working on a children’s series. Her goal is to share with the world all she has learned on her journey to a good credit score and a better way of living. Her latest book, WHAT the FUDGE!, takes you through the steps needed to build, repair, and maintain your excellent credit. The book is available in paperback and ebook. 

Single-Course Lecturers

Dennis Dool, M.A. 
Titanic: The Final Hours
 
Wednesday, October 14th from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 
Dennis Dool graduated from West Chester University and taught History, Government, and World Cultures in the Lower Merion School District for 40 years. He retired from teaching in 2012. He received the 2010 Voices of Inspiration Award from the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit for his commitment to excellence in education. During his tenure, Mr. Dool served as a mentor to countless new teachers. He was also the girls' varsity basketball coach for 17 years at LM High School and the Athletic Director at Bala Cynwyd Middle School. 

Chazie Bly
Art Pedagogy Online: Staying Innovative, Trauma Informed, and Creative, Teaching the Arts via Zoom
 
Tuesday, October 20th from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 
Networking, Artist Freelance, and Knowing Your Brand 
Tuesday, November 3rd from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 
Chazie Bly is a teaching artist and performer based in Chicago. After graduating from PSU with a double major in Theatre and Women’s Studies, Chazie moved to Chicago to teach special education through Teach for America. Now, Bly works as a theatre teacher at The Auditorium Theatre’s ArtsXChange program to lead CPS students and teachers through arts integration activities. Bly also teaches theatre at the Hearts to Art camp and is employed as an independent teaching artist though The Joyful Actor. 

Anne Weisbord 
Take Control of Your Time – Time Management
 
Friday, October 23rd from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 
Anne Weisbord, president of Career Services Unlimited, has a solid background in training, coaching and public speaking. For over 20 years she has conducted programs on professional development and leadership for all levels of employees in national and multi-national corporations. She frequently serves as a private coach to help business leaders improve their presentations and communication skills. She has helped managers and staff with issues such as time management, organization, and communication to help them meet their strategic goals. She taught in the Communication Program in the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and in the Wharton Executive MBA Program. She holds a M.Ed. degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and a BA from Ithaca College in New York. In her community, Weisbord volunteers as an instructor in and English as a Second Language (ESL) program. 

Jessica Sage, M.A. 
Authentic Digital Branding for Beginners
 
Tuesday, October 27th from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 
Jessica Sage is a community-focused writer with communicability at the center of her work. She helps people and organizations find their voice when words are difficult; support policy changes and Board directives through transitional periods; and steer communications ethically and responsibly. Based in Raleigh, NC. 

 

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