Center for Creative Retirement

We offer more educational and fun classes, trips and workshops to keep you actively engaged.

How to Register

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Courses

A Tour of The Paine Mansion in Troy

The Paine Mansion, located at 49 Second Street in Troy, was built in 1896 as a family home by John Wells Paine, who gained immense wealth from his success as a financier and attorney. Now known as “The Castle,” the magnificent facade was built of Indiana limestone with a roof of Spanish-style pan tiles. Considered the best example of Gilded Age architecture in Troy, it cost the equivalent of 25 million dollars in today’s currency to complete. After being used by RPI’s Pi Kappa Phi fraternity for the past 70 years, the mansion has recently been reopened as an event space available to the public. Take a tour and see the mansion’s three distinct styles of architecture--Italianate, Moorish and French Chateau--which were all executed by European craftsmen using intricate carvings in mahogany and cherry with finishes of ornate gilding. The mansion is also features a sumptuous use of marble and stained glass, with the most spectacular being the “angel window” of opalescent glass created by the Ford studio in Boston. After the tour, participants will be served refreshments of punch and petit fours, which were popular during this period. Course fee includes a $15 materials fee.

Course will meet at 49 Second Street, Troy, NY

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

 

A Tour of The Paine Mansion in Troy
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/9
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
ZCCR-710 600 0 seats left $27Section Full

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A Tour of the Pruyn House

On this tour, we will visit the Pruyn House, tucked away in Colonie. Built between 1825 and 1830, the historic home was the country estate of Casparus Francis Pruyn, his wife Ann Hewson, and their family. Casparus Francis Pruyn was the land and business agent for Stephen Van Rensselaer III, one of the last patroons of the Van Rensselaer Manor. The scenic grounds feature the historic home, the Buhrmaster Barn, herb and perennial gardens, and the Verdoy Schoolhouse. The Pruyn House serves as the educational, historical and cultural arts center for the Town of Colonie. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

Course will meet at the Pruyn House, 207 Old Niskayuna Rd, Latham,NY

Paula Johannessen, Coordinator

A Tour of the Pruyn House
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/1
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-766 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

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Albany Amour

Join us for a romantic storytelling experience where we share tales of the sweet, the scandalous, and the downright notorious partnerships throughout Albany’s history. Each story has its own flavor of drama, from the traditional courtship of Alexander and Eliza Hamilton to the exceptional bravery of Stephen and Harriet Myers to the insidious, murderous affair at Historic Cherry Hill and the modern triumph in passing New York State’s Marriage Equality Act.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Maeve McEneny-Johnson, Instructor

Albany Amour
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 4/5
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-765 600 4 seats left $19

American Mah Jongg

Whether you are a beginner or looking for a refresher, join us in learning American Mahjong. This class includes basic instruction and the opportunity to play with people of varying skill levels. Let’s play, learn to conquer the card, and delve into strategies. If you have a Mahjong set, please bring it with you. Course includes a $15 materials fee.

Course does not meet on 3/12 & 4/2

Course will be held in Day Care Center, Room B06

Criss Macaione, Instructor

American Mah Jongg
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesdays, 2/13 - 4/30
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
ZSPI-276 600 0 seats left $99Section Full

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Anne Sullivan Macy- Helen Keller's Teacher

That Anne Sullivan rose from deepest poverty, abandonment, and partial blindness to become a professional teacher is a remarkable story in itself. She overcame her tortured childhood to successfully bring language and learning to Deaf-blind Helen Keller in Alabama. Determined to treat her pupil no differently than other children, Anne or “Annie” provided Helen with a sensitive, expansive view of life and learning. Instructor Phyllis Chapman takes on Anne’s persona to relate the challenges of establishing communication and trust with a child who had known only silence and darkness, but was revealed to be a lively, loving, and inquisitive child after a momentous session at the water pump. Eventually, Anne and Helen’s relationship evolved from teacher/student to partners in working to improve the lives of the poor and those with disabilities and working toward world peace.

Course will meet in the Williams Hall, Room 113

Phyllis Chapman, Instructor 

Anne Sullivan Macy- Helen Keller's Teacher
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 3/20
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-336 600 0 seats left $25Section Full

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Attitudes Towards Death Reflected in Gravestone Styles

We approach death in different ways, shaped by history, culture, and human conditions that vary over time and across space. This lecture will take us on a walk-through time to learn how gravestone styles, iconography and epitaphs become indicators of shared attitudes towards death and mourning that changed to reflect the beliefs and values of the societies in which they are embedded. Memorials to the dead are learning tools and key components in the analysis of the past. What can gravestones tell us about the way people responded to death over the centuries in America?

Course will be held at The Living Room Art Gallery, Historic St. Agnes Cemetery, 48 Cemetery Ave, Menands.

Kelly Grimaldi, Instructor

Attitudes Towards Death Reflected in Gravestone Styles
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 4/25
10:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-749 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

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Better Understanding and Teaching Shakespeare

With the chronological gap between our time and Shakespeare’s, it is important to understand word usage and historical facts. Instructor Tom Bulger, who has taught Shakespeare for 30 years, will help make the plays more accessible and help you understand key components that make Shakespeare seem more like a contemporary. This class is designed as a springboard for reading Shakespeare’s plays, since once you understand his techniques and themes in one play, you will see them in the others.

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Tom Bulger, Instructor

Better Understanding and Teaching Shakespeare
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 3/21
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-714 600 9 seats left $12

Discover the Pine Bush

Join the Albany Pine Bush Preserve staff at Hudson Valley Community College for an extraordinary class about the Albany Pine Bush, a globally rare, nationally significant, and locally distinct inland pine barrens. You will learn about the geology, ecology, management techniques and research that is happening right here in this rare ecosystem. Note: The class is held on campus at Hudson Valley and does not include a visit to the Pine Bush.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Staff from Pine Bush Preserve, Instructor

Discover the Pine Bush
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/3
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-389 600 15 seats left $22

Gilded Age Part 2

Join Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian Kathryn Sheehan for an illustrated lecture on season two of the Emmy Award-winning television show “The Gilded Age.” Season two is once again set in Troy, as well as Cohoes and Albany. Kathy will be linking the history of the real Gilded Age in Rensselaer County to the storyline in the series, including sharing more behind-the-scenes stories.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Kathy Sheehan, Instructor

Gilded Age Part 2
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 3/28
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-717 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

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Gourmet Lunch Prepared by Culinary Program

Come enjoy a wonderful spread of food cooked and served by the hardworking SUNY Schenectady students who are preparing to enter hotel, culinary arts or tourism careers. Arrive ahead of time to shop at the meat shop, Boucherie, or the bakery shop, Pane e Dolci. Both are open from 11:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m. We will be dining in the Van Curler Dining Room. Students are not permited to bring bottles that need to be uncorked. Parking is available in the student parking lot. Course fee includes $26 materials fee.

Course will meet at 78 Washington Ave, Schenectady, NY

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Gourmet Lunch Prepared by Culinary Program
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/24
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
ZCCR-763 600 0 seats left $38Call for more information

Gravestone Restoration Workshop

Do you like old cemeteries and find gravestones interesting? Have you ever wondered how to properly clean them and make simple repairs? Back by popular demand, this hands-on gravestone restoration workshop will teach you how to clean stones and use appropriate mortars and epoxy to make repairs. You will learn best practices that will do no harm to gravestones that are more than a century old. All cleaning and repair materials and tools will be provided. You will need to bring a rinse bucket or dishpan. Gloves and garden seat are optional. Refreshments and bottled water will be provided. Join us in Historic St. Agnes Cemetery, 48 Cemetery Avenue, Menands for a fun, informative and relaxing workshop!

Course will be held at The Living Room Art Gallery, Historic St. Agnes Cemetery, 48 Cemetery Ave, Menands.

Kelly Grimaldi, Instructor

Gravestone Restoration Workshop
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 5/9
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
ZCCR-488 600 0 seats left $52Section Full

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Growing and Aging: What Does it Mean to You?

How does our perception of ourselves transform as we grow older? In what ways does aging change how we view others? How has the concept of age changed over time? The texts in this five-part reading and discussion series sponsored by Humanities NY explore these and other questions about entering middle age, growing older, and finding satisfaction in later stages of life. Participants will be provided with reading materials in advance of each session. Discussions will be led by a facilitator who will open each session with a few questions and then allow participants to speak openly about how they feel about what they have read. We are all aging - let’s talk about it and learn from each other!

Course does not meet on 3/14

Course will be held at The Living Room Art Gallery, Historic St. Agnes Cemetery, 48 Cemetery Ave, Menands.

Kelly Grimaldi, Instructor

Growing and Aging: What Does it Mean to You?
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursdays, 2/22 - 3/28
10:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-748 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

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Help! My Ancestry Family Tree is a Mess

Even the most diligent researcher can have an Ancestry family tree go wrong very easily.  Maybe you are not tech savvy, don’t understand how Ancestry’s hints work, have never used family tree software, or are inexperienced in genealogy research. Professional genealogist Lisa Dougherty has more than 25 years of experience with online research and software and can help you take your tree from mess to success!

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Lisa Dougherty, Instructor

Help! My Ancestry Family Tree is a Mess
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 3/26
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-756 600 9 seats left $15

Intro to Honey Bees and Beekeeping

Dr. David Peck, director of research and education at Betterbee in Greenwich, NY, will present a basic overview course on honey bee biology to introduce you to the nation’s most important pollinators and the source of that natural super-sweetener, honey. After we’ve explored the bees, we will cover the basic equipment that a beekeeper needs. Dr. Peck will also bring along some varietal honeys for you to sample during the Q&A period. If the winter is kind, he may bring in an observational hive stocked with live bees to use as a live demo.

Course will be held at HVCC North TECH-SMART Building, 345 Hermes Road., Malta.  Note the building is next to 107 Hermes Road and not on Tech Trail.

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Intro to Honey Bees and Beekeeping
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 4/11
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
ZCCR-762 600 2 seats left $17

Irish Songs of Love, Loss & Longing

It is often said that the Irish are “not happy unless they are sad.” To that point, Irish Don Kelly will conduct a two-hour class that will include a selection of Irish songs that tell the story of love, loss and longing. As many are aware, the relatively small island of Ireland has produced thousands of writers, poets, storytellers and music composers. This class will provide the background stories to many of Ireland’s most famous love songs. You may find yourself singing along!

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Don Kelly, Instructor

Irish Songs of Love, Loss & Longing
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 4/19
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-665 600 3 seats left $15

Irish Traditions, Customs, and Rituals

From fair days and pattern days to harvests, wakes, and céilís, the Irish people are known for their ability to get together and transform any social event into a party. But did you know there are ancient Celtic and sometimes pagan roots to these celebrations - several of which became infused with religion? This lecture will discuss traditions and customs for various rituals, and will discuss holidays like St. Brigid’s Day, Samhain, Lughnasa, and Bealtaine, as well as the various customs surrounding birth, marriage, and death. See what old customs Ireland has kept, and what superstitions still inform events in everyday life in Ireland. 

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Elizabeth Stack, Ph.D., Instructor

Irish Traditions, Customs, and Rituals
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 4/12
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-760 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

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Knickerbocker Family Mansion: Ghosts, Tour and Lunch

The Knickerbocker Historical Society will be our hosts as they tell us about the history and ghosts of the Knickerbocker Mansion, which dates from about 1770. They will arrange for historical ‘ghosts’ to give moving firsthand accounts of their lives and experiences, and they will explain the renovations – the not-for-profit Society rescued the mansion from certain demolition and has continued to restore it. Our visit concludes with a chance to tour the mansion and to a colonial lunch cooked with authentic recipes, a delicious side to the history of the mansion. Course fee includes $30 materials fee.

Paula Johannessen, Coordinator

Directions: Take Route 40 north to Schaghticoke. At the red light as you approach the village, turn left on Route 67, travel west toward Mechanicville. Drive 3 miles west, turn right onto Knickerbocker Road. The Mansion is the first building on the right.

Knickerbocker Family Mansion: Ghosts, Tour and Lunch
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/8
10:30 am - 1:30 pm
ZCCR-137 600 0 seats left $40Section Full

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Let Those Meneely Bells Ring

We all have heard about them, some may have even seen a few, but the background of the Meneely bells is absolutely fascinating in the Troy area. Come get the scoop and hear all about them. What they were made of? How were they were tuned? Where are they now?  Find out the difference between a chime, a carillon and a peel. Gene Burns’ son Kim and daughter-in-law Melinda will share his experiences and knowledge from his recently published book “The Meneely Bells of West Troy: Watervliet.”

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Kim & Melinda Burns, Instructor

Let Those Meneely Bells Ring
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 4/26
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-626 600 4 seats left $22

More Stories from the Flip Side of History

Are you the type of person who is fascinated by ordinary people doing extraordinary things? Are you intrigued by compelling, quirky stories that never became front page news? If so, then this class is for you. For more than 30 years, author Steve Silverman, host of the popular Useless Information Podcast, has been researching and telling some of the most unusual, odd, and bizarre stories that time has forgotten. Come join Steve as he shares another selection of his all-time favorite stories. It is sure to entertain.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Steve Silverman, Instructor

More Stories from the Flip Side of History
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 3/22
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-755 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

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Natural History of Dyken Pond

Learn about the history of the land that is now the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center on a short walk. We will explore the property and discuss the many changes to the land that have occurred over time. Glaciers, wildlife, plants and early settlers all played major roles in shaping our landscape. Take a look into the past to help better understand our current surroundings. Participants will walk one mile over uneven terrain. For moderate walkers. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

Marie D'Entrone, Coordinator

Do Not Follow Your Car GPS- Some GPS units are directing people to the east side of the lake, which is 25 minutes from the Center. Please follow the directions below.

Directions: From East on Route 2. Watch for Tamarac School on the left and Tamarac Plaza on the right. Go 1.5 miles. Watch for Dyken Pond sign on the right. Turn right onto Route 79 (Blue Factory Rd). Go two miles. Turn left at Dyken Pond sign onto Route 80 (Madonna Lake Rd). Bear right at fork (Jay Hakes Rd. is to the left). Bear right at Dyken Pond sign onto Dyken Pond Rd. (go straight instead of following the turn). Continue 2.5 miles. Dyken Pond Road is a dirt road, go to the end.

From Points West, follow Route 7 east from Troy. Continue approximately 4 miles. Turn right at traffic light onto Route 278. Continue until the end. At traffic light, turn left onto Route 2, you will see Tamarac School and Plaza. Follow directions above.

From Points East: From Route 22, follow Route 2 west. You will pass the blinking light in the town of Grafton. Approximately 0.5 mile from there, look for the white Methodist Church on the left. Turn left at the church onto County Route 85 and continue for 3.1 miles. Turn left onto Route 80 (Madonna Lake Rd). After 0.8 miles, turn left at the sign.

Natural History of Dyken Pond
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 4/15
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
ZCCR-727 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

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Navigating Death Care Options

This course provides an understanding of the terminology and steps to take in pre-need versus at-need death care planning. You will learn about the various options within the categories of traditional burial, cremation, above ground, and memorialization.

Course will meet in the Williams Hall, Room 113

Nancy Bellard, Instructor 

Navigating Death Care Options
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 3/5
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
ZCCR-747 600 5 seats left $12

Nijmegen, Albany's Sister City in the Netherlands

Nijmegen, Netherlands is the country’s oldest city. The US tragically bombed the city in February 1944, during World War II. In September 1944, Americans liberated the city from Germany. In 1945, Maj. General Gavin suggested that Albany, with its Dutch roots, adopt Nijmegen. Albany became Nijmegen’s sister city in 1947, and many goods were sent over. In thanks, Queen Wilhelmina donated 2000 tulip bulbs to Albany, leading to the first Tulip Festival in 1949. A bridge erected in 2013 honors the 48 US servicemen who died liberating Nijmegen. In this class, we’ll discuss the history of this city, the US war effort, and continuing efforts of FAN, or Friendship Albany Nijmegen, to strengthen the friendship between Nijmegen and the Capital District.

Course will be held at HVCC South, 20 Warren Street, Albany, NY

Jill Knapp, Instructor

Nijmegen, Albany's Sister City in the Netherlands
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/9
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-750 600 0 seats left $15Section Full

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Out of the Gilded Cage

The Gilded Age in America calls to mind fabulously wealthy plutocrats, their jewel-festooned ladies, and lavish partying. Yet, beneath all the glamor, women were still strictly constrained by custom and conventions. Some of the fortunate broke open the doors of their “gilded cages” and embarked upon lives of adventure, creativity, philanthropy, and business. Who was the Witch of Wall Street? Why did Miriam Squiers change her name to Mrs. Frank Leslie? Was there really a wealthy young woman who gave up society and became a nun, and eventually a saint? Learn how some wealthy wives became great philanthropists- after their plutocrat husbands’ deaths. Instructor Phyllis Chapman will take on the persona of Nelly Bly, journalist for The New York World in the 1880s and 1890s, to recount Bly’s adventures going undercover to get the real stories, the stunts and exploits that brought her fame, and her mission to make life better for the ordinary people. 

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Phyllis Chapman, Instructor

Out of the Gilded Cage
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/17
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-758 600 0 seats left $25Section Full

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Stories from the Stones

Opened in 1850, Oakwood Cemetery in Troy was one of the first rural cemeteries in the country. Oakwood’s thousands of daffodils, planted and maintained by the Friends of Oakwood, are usually in full bloom in April. Our tour will begin in the Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel, a National Historic Landmark filled with Victorian splendor, where we’ll hear the story of the only son of William and Hannah Gardner Earl and why his parents spent a fortune to memorialize him. From there we will stroll along Millionaire’s Row, where we’ll see examples of Victorian tombstone symbolism. Our walk will be highlighted by stops at the site where HBO filming was done for “The Gilded Age” and at the panoramic overlook where you can see the Cohoes Falls, and the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. We’ll hear some fascinating little-known details in the stories of “Uncle Sam” Wilson, Revolutionary War soldier Derrick Lane, brewer Samuel Bolton, the two wives in Griswold Green’s mausoleum, Civil War General George Thomas, financier Russell Sage, inventor Hannah Lord Montague, martyr Robert Ross and many more “residents.” This slow-paced walk is a 1.5-mile loop on mainly level, paved roads with one or two slight inclines and dirt paths. A restroom at the chapel will be available before and after the walk. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear good walking shoes. You might want to bring bottled water as well. Course fee includes $20 materials fee.

Course will meet at Gardner Earl Memorial Chaple, 186 Oakwood Ave, Troy, NY

Heidi Norton Klinowski, Instructor

Stories from the Stones
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 4/22
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
ZCCR-764 600 0 seats left $32Section Full

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The Alarming History of Pharmacy

This presentation explores the more unusual medications and formulations used as treatments for a variety of ailments, from ancient Egypt to present day. The presentation will also include a demonstration on pill rolling and other artifacts used by apothecaries in a 19th century drug store. There will be time for questions and discussions at the end.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Lee Anna Obos, Instructor

The Alarming History of Pharmacy
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/24
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-769 600 0 seats left $15Section Full

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The American Civil War

This class provides a review and analysis of the military strategies and conduct of the American Civil War, as well as analysis of the crucial battles and decisions that greatly affected the outcome, resulting in Union victory. We will also discuss how the Civil War influenced the conduct of war in the future.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Thad Gaebelein, Instructor

The American Civil War
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 3/27
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-771 600 10 seats left $19

The Beauty, Design and Fragrance of Spring Flowers

Spring has sprung at Hudson Valley Community College as instructor Michele Peters arrives with her fabulous fresh flowers. Join us in this class to experience the beauty and art of flower design. Michele will discuss the uniqueness of each flower as she adds layers of color and texture to create a truly memorable centerpiece. You may be one of the lucky students who carries one of her creations home! Course fee includes an $18 materials fee. 

Course will be held in Wiilams Hall, Room 113

Michele Peters, Instructor

The Beauty, Design and Fragrance of Spring Flowers
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/10
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-374 600 2 seats left $30

The Current Russian-Ukrainian War

This class provides an overview and military analysis of the current war in Ukraine. We will also discuss the strategies employed and the operational and tactical conduct of the fighting by each side, as well as how newer technologies are impacting the battlefield and how modern warfare is evolving.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Thad Gaebelein, Instructor

The Current Russian-Ukrainian War
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 4/29
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-772 600 0 seats left $19Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

The Development of the Rensselaer Tech Park

In the late 1970s, the Capital Region’s economy was not doing well.  Many manufacturing facilities had either closed, moved overseas, or gone to the “sun belt.” We were labeled the “rust belt” and told that our best years were in the past.  Then a man with a remarkable vision, RPI President George Low, stepped forward with an optimistic message that we had the potential for a bright future based on high technology.  At the heart of Low’s vision was the creation of the Rensselaer Technology Park in North Greenbush. Now, 35 years later, the Technology Park has become a big success.  The presenters will discuss the challenges faced by both RPI and the town and the innovative steps that were taken to turn Low’s vision into a reality. The presentation will take place in Pat’s Barn, a unique venue that has become a popular setting for educational programs, meetings, weddings and other events.  The presentation will include details on the building’s transformation from a barn into a modern, multi-use facility.

Course will meet at Pat's Barn, Rensselaer Technology Park, 110 Defreest Dr., Rensselaer, NY

Karl Lampson, Keith McKeever & Jim Flanigan, Instructors

The Development of the Rensselaer Tech Park
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 4/19
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-502 600 15 seats left $12

The Floors Still Hold Their Stories

The Floors Still Hold Their Stories (presented in two parts) 
The history of floor coverings begins 2,500 years ago when the oldest carpet in the world was discovered on the borders of Mongolia, Siberia and China. In this two-part class, we’ll explore that history, starting with floor coverings found around Jerusalem during the Crusades, around 1095, and continuing on to carpet production in England and France, Turkey, and 17th-century America. We’ll also discuss the advent of wooden flooring and the colorful designs used to decorate it, including parquet, as well as the creation of linoleum and the development of more modern production techniques that allowed working-class Americans to create or purchase their own floor treatments in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

The Floors Still Hold Their Stories
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursdays, 4/25 - 5/2
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-619 600 23 seats left $26

The History of Lighting

A long time ago, before electricity, fire was the only weapon against darkness. This program looks at the history of lighting, from fire to LEDs, and shows how lighting has developed, including its advantages and disadvantages along the way.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Tom Ragosta, Instructor

The History of Lighting
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 4/8
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-761 600 25 seats left $22

The Mansion to Mansion Tour

This Saratoga Springs walking tour starts inside the Batcheller Mansion (first floor only). Hear the story of George, Catharine and Kate Batcheller; learn what their lives were like when they built this beautiful home in 1874 and the details of events of the following years. Hear about their friendship with President Grant and how they spent years in France, Portugal and Egypt, to name just a few places. The tour will then move outside as we walk down Circular Street, learning about the stories of the Batchellers’ neighbors, such as the then-Vice President, who lived across the street, and the acting first lady, who lived a few more houses away. Our last stop on the tour is to go inside the mansion known as “Union Gables,” built in 1901 for a local merchant and manufacturer. Wear comfortable shoes!  Course fee includes $25 materials fee.  

Course will meet at the Batcheller Mansion, 20 Circular St., Saratoga Springs, NY

Dr. Hollis Palmer, Instructor

The Mansion to Mansion Tour
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 5/6
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
ZCCR-641 600 0 seats left $37Section Full

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The Perimeter of Woodlawn Walking Tour

The site of the current Skidmore campus in Saratoga Springs was, at one time, a park named Woodlawn. Believing the park would be like Central Park in New York City, some of the most successful Albany, Troy and Schenectady families built grand Gilded Age cottages on what was to be the perimeter. This tour consists of two loops. Wear comfortable shoes! Course fee includes $25 materials fee. 

Course will meet at corner of First & Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

Dr. Hollis Palmer, Instructor

The Perimeter of Woodlawn Walking Tour
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/1
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
ZCCR-768 600 0 seats left $37Section Full

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The Rare Opulence of The Gilded Age

The 1870s - 1890s, known as the Gilded Age, was a period of huge economic growth and activity in which a small collection of eager American entrepreneurs became known as “robber barons.” Their wealth centered on the banking, steel and railroad industries, and was created much too often through greed and unscrupulous methods. This produced a monopoly, with the most powerful families at the top presiding over political corruption across the country while hiding the sweatshops, terrible working and living conditions, and poor wages most Americans experienced. The wives of the most powerful millionaires competing with each other in their fashions, houses and furnishings to reflect their husbands’ success drove the overwhelming opulence of fashion and design even higher. The presentation will illustrate the beginnings of haute couture in ladies’ fashion and the creation of the necessary underwear to shape their bodies for the magnificent gowns of the time. It will also explore furniture designed by the leading cabinetmakers specifically for women, and the spectacular splendor of lavish late-19th-century homes like the Paine Mansion in Troy and the Frick residence (now a museum) in New York City, and the Vanderbilt summer estates in Newport, RI.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

The Rare Opulence of The Gilded Age
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 4/11
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-706 600 0 seats left $19Section Full

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The Saugerties Lighthouse

Join us at the Saugerties Lighthouse, an 1869 landmark on the Hudson River that now stands proudly as a living museum and a renowned bed and breakfast. The Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy maintains the lighthouse and adjacent lands for the enjoyment of the public. The restored red-brick lighthouse offers overnight bed and breakfast accommodations, public tours and special events. Furnished as it may have looked in the early 20th century, the lighthouse contains a small museum, gift shop, parlor, kitchen, keepers’ quarters, and two guest bedrooms. The operational light tower offers a panoramic view of the Hudson River Valley and Catskill Mountains. Because of its location on the river, tours must be scheduled with tide schedules in mind. The lighthouse can be reached via a half-mile nature trail of dirt and rock paths with wooden bridges and boardwalks and sandy trails. It is at the end of Lighthouse Drive in the village of Saugerties, New York. Suitable, comfortable shoes are recommended. Course fee includes a $8 materials fee.

Michele Doodian, Coordinator

Directions: Southbound on NYS Thruway/I-87 to the RT-32 exit-(Exit 20) - toward Saugerties/Woodstock. Turn left onto NY-32, turn left onto NY-212/NY-32, which becomes Ulster Ave. Continue on Ulster Ave. for 1.0 mile, bear right at Market St., go 1 block turn left at Main St., go 1 block stay straight to US-9W/Main St. Go 0.4 miles where 9W curves to the left, turn right onto Mynderse St., go 0.3 miles turn slight left onto Lighthouse Dr. Go 0.4 miles turn right into the lighthouse parking lot after the US Coast Guard station. Follow the lighthouse trail. Go 0.5 miles.  Please wear comfortable shoes.

The Saugerties Lighthouse
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 5/9
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
ZCCR-337 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

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The United States Colored Troops In The Civil War

This encore presentation will briefly review the military history of people of African descent prior to and during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. It will then explain how the US Colored Troops (legal name) came into existence and discuss their valorous combat experiences during the Civil War.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Jim Cochran, Instructor

The United States Colored Troops In The Civil War
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/16
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-639 600 4 seats left $12

Tour of County Waste Single Stream Recycling Plant

How does Single Stream Recycling (SSR) work, and why do it? Come and find out the answers and see the workings of this busy facility. SSR makes it easier for individuals to recycle, because separating is not necessary. SSR is better for the environment, with less going into the landfill and more to be reused. We will start with a short, informative presentation, and then go on a guided walking tour. You will be asked to wear a hard hat and a safety vest. You will be walking up flights of stairs and experiencing loud noises. Wear closed-toe shoes and long pants and dress for outside temperatures, as the garage doors will be open. If you are sensitive to odors, this may not be the class for you. Parking is at the plant, 865 South Pearl St. Albany. After parking, look for the office sign and walk in.

Course will meet at 865 South Pearl St, Albany, NY (in main office of plant)

Lea Darling, Coordinator

 

Tour of County Waste Single Stream Recycling Plant
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/23
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-568 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

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Toys as a Reflection of Childhood History

The study of children’s toys as they developed from the ancient world to the 20th century profoundly illustrates the treatment of children through the ages. The first toys were mainly educational to prepare children for the roles they would assume as adults. This class will explore that history, from the Puritan influence on toys in colonial America through the 17th century toys of Dutch children in New York, the 19th century importation of toys from Germany, the advent of American toy manufacturing at the turn of the century, and the popularity of American toymakers throughout the 1950s. We’ll also explore the history of the teddy bear.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

Toys as a Reflection of Childhood History
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 4/18
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-759 600 0 seats left $19Section Full

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Using Probate Records in Family History

Wills and probate records are among the most basic documents used by genealogists, yet inexperience with the process and all those legal terms tend to intimidate even seasoned family historians. But probate records can provide information about an ancestor’s family not available elsewhere, especially in New York State. Instructor Lisa Dougherty will be joined at this session by Judith Harper, a professional family historian whose research credits include projects for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, who will help you navigate the process. 

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Lisa Dougherty, Instructor

Using Probate Records in Family History
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/30
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-757 600 12 seats left $15

Walking Tour of Saratoga Spa State Park

Have you ever attended an event at SPAC, explored the Roosevelt Baths and Museum of Dance buildings, strolled through the paths of Gideon Putnam Hotel, played golf, swam in the Peerless Pool, tasted the many mineral springs, watched the water spout spouting, or taken your child/grandchildren to stock the stream with trout? Join us for a ranger-led walking history tour of Saratoga Spa State Park and learn how this gem of a park came to be. Hear the story of the men who realized what a treasure this area was and decided to save it from commercialism and urbanization for eternity for the enjoyment of the common folk. We will see how, over more than 100 years, things have changed in this oasis of peace, and how the initial idea evolved into what we see today. This stroll will cover up to two miles in an hour and a half to two hours on level ground with stone and dirt paths. Dress for the weather, rain or shine. 

Course will meet at the Park Office, 19 Roosevelt Dr. Saratoga Springs, NY

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Walking Tour of Saratoga Spa State Park
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 5/7
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-741 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

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Walking Tour of Troy's Historic Washington Park and Surrounding Homes and Tea

Enjoy taking a step back in time to the mid-1800's to see and experience the genteel living of the nouveau rich of Troy’s Washington Park, surrounding neighborhoods and newly added artist enclave. You will be able to see first hand, the loving care taken to rehabilitate and update many of these one of a kind homes of the emerging upper middle class of the 19th century and visit their own private park. You will see many different types of architecture including Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate and Queen Anne. We may even see a restoration in progress at one of the area homes.

New this tour will be visiting St. John’s Episcopal Church where you will discover the many hidden Tiffany treasures from stained glass windows, intricate floor tile mosaics and the painted Baptismal alcove. while awaiting the start of the class, enjoy their Memorial Garden which has been on the Troy Hidden Garden Tour. A moderate lunch will be held in the last home we visit on the tour.

Washington Park is described in an 1840's deed as a “private ornamental park for the use and recreation of the lots fronting said park”. Own-ers would be charged for “fencing, improving, ornamentation, planting, keeping, and maintaining said park and the walks and streets around the same”. Today, surrounding homeowners still are assessed an annual maintenance fee for improvements and the upkeep of the grounds and fence.

There will be lots of walking on mostly uneven surfaces: sidewalks, grass, roads, and some home interiors with multiple flights of stairs, climbing up and down. Be mindful of your capabilities to keep up with the group as we have a tight schedule to adhere to for the 2 hour tour. Wear comfortable walking shoes as you will be on your feet for all of the tour. Dress for the outdoors, rain or shine this time of year.

Course will meet in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Parking Lot directly across from the church, 146 1st Street

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Walking Tour of Troy's Historic Washington Park and Surrounding Homes and Tea
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/30
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
ZCCR-329 600 0 seats left $37Section Full

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War for Albany & Susquehana RR

In 1851, the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad between Albany and Binghamton was formed to bring farm products and coal to Albany markets. After years of financial issues, the railroad was completed in January 1869. Railroad baron James Fisk immediately sought control of the railroad to link with his Erie Railroad. A struggle for control of the board of directors took place in the summer of 1869. This resulted in violence, and eventually, state control of the railroad. This class will explore the scuffle for control, judicial arguments, physical violence, ingenious efforts for control of the board of directors, and final outcome of what became part of the D&H railroad, now a section of the Albany-Helderberg Rail Trail. 

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Jill Knapp, Instructor

War for Albany & Susquehana RR
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/23
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-754 600 20 seats left $19

Watervliet Historical Society - Tour of the Museum

First, we’ll have a brief history lesson on the development of the city of Watervliet (formerly West Troy), including the Watervliet Arsenal and Erie Canal. Then, we’ll take a tour of the Watervliet Historical Society Museum’s many displays on such historic topics as ice harvesting, Meneely bells, and more. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

Course will meet at Watervliet Historical Society, 1501 1st Ave, Watervliet, NY

Tom Ragosta, Watervliet Historian, Instructor

Watervliet Historical Society - Tour of the Museum
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 4/4
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-318 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

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What Went Wrong with the Egyptian Revolution

Starting in early 2011, Egypt underwent a dramatic period that included a revolution, first-ever free elections, a coup d’etat, and many other transformative events and societal shifts. It appeared that major and irrevocable change was coming to this centrally important nation with more than 5,000 years of civilization. Yet today, Egypt is in a very difficult position, suffering from a massive economic crisis and political turmoil, and US-Egyptian relations are at a low point. What went wrong? And why does it matter for the US?

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

James Ketterer, Instructor

What Went Wrong with the Egyptian Revolution
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 3/1
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-753 600 0 seats left $19Section Full

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World War I

This class provides a military overview and analysis of the strategies and methods of the way WWI was fought, as well as an analysis of major battles and decisions on both sides that ultimately determined the Allied victory and the shaping of our world today.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Thad Gaebelein, Instructor

World War I
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 2/29
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-770 600 18 seats left $19

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Community, Professional and Workforce Development

Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center, Room 334

Fax: (518) 629-8103

Regular Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Summer 2023 Hours (May 22 - July 28): Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Friday, Closed
(excluding college holidays and vacations)