Join us for our Life-Long Learning Lecture series

Co-sponsored by the President’s Office and the Professional Associates of Fort Lewis College, the Life-Long Learning Lecture series aims to enrich the intellectual life of the College and the community by offering free presentations on a wide variety of subjects. The Thursday evening programs are open to all and run from 7 to 8:30 p.m.


All Spring 2021 lectures will be presented virtually as webinars to your home.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, large, in- person gatherings on campus are restricted. All 12 LLL Lectures will now be presented on the web-based platform Zoom. From the comfort of your own home, you will enter the Zoom webinar where you’ll view the speaker and all visual materials. You will be able to ask questions via the chat function.

The webinars will begin right at 7 p.m.

For additional information on the LLL series, please contact Professional Associate Gary Rottman at

Life-Long Learning Calendar

February 4
POST-PANDEMIC RENEWAL: How Education Can Emerge Stronger

As students from preschool to college have moved to different delivery models, change has been swift. How can we preserve elements of success? What will the residual effects of digital learning include? How can we make educational progress stronger? FLC School of Education Dean Jenni Trujillo brings 25 years of experience to educational renewal.

February 11
COLORADO WATER: Snowpack or No Pack

Colorado’s water supply is our winter snowpack. A warming climate combined with growing population and shifting water uses place greater demands on our shrinking supply. Gigi Richard, director of the Four Corners Water Center and FLC instructor of Geosciences, will discuss the basics of Colorado’s hydrology, snowpack, and connections to climate change as established by the collaborative watershed hydrology monitoring effort.

February 18
COVID-19 VACCINES: Essential Tools to End the Pandemic

COVID-19 vaccines have been designed, tested, and approved with unprecedented speed. FLC Biology Professor Caroline Kulesza will discuss how they work in general and how the new COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work in particular. Kulesza will also discuss various scientific and regulatory requirements needed to bring safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to the public.

February 25

Transportation is responsible for almost a third of US greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting our carbon reduction goals will require a rapid transition away from internal combustion engines. Mark Swanson, retired senior engineer at Intel Corporation, and Deborah Lycan, retired professor of Molecular Biology at Lewis & Clark College, will discuss how electric vehicles differ from internal combustion cars, and how your next road trip could be carbon-free.

March 4

Why do we grieve? What is grief? How do we experience it? How do we integrate it? And how do we support others who are going through a grief process? This will not be an academic presentation, but a discussion led by highly regarded counselors Julie Madden and Norm Gottlieb, who have for more than two decades helped people in Durango work through loss.

March 11

Using Durango’s 416 Fire in 2018 as context, two FLC Business & Administration Professors, Elizabeth Cartier and Lorraine Taylor, will discuss the relationship between crisis management procedures and local resilience in a tourism-based community. Research findings, from interviews, secondary sources, and social media posts, will be explored to positively guide crisis management decisions in similar communities as the struggle with unprecedented natural disasters persist.

March 18

Despite several decades of research and intervention focused on roles of women in many STEM fields, progress in increasing participation has been slow. Professor Emerita Jill Bystydzienski, from Ohio State University, will focus on continued underrepresentation and consider remedies to remove barriers for women in U.S. higher education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

March 25
INDIGENOUS LITERATURES: From Novels and TV to Weaving and Quilting

Mellon Scholar and FLC Assistant Professor in the Native American & Indigenous Studies Department Brian Twenter will give an overview of the various forms of Indigenous literature. Twenter is part of the team for the College’s Common Reading Experience, which this semester celebrates author Tommy Orange.

April 1

Catharina Hughey, co-director for Having Kids and director of Operation and Programs at the Village Exchange Center, will address issues young adults are facing today, including the wisdom of bringing children into an uncertain future marked particularly by climate change, COVID-19, and pollution. Having Kids is a new non-profit organization that advocates for a child- centric approach to childbearing.

April 8

Professor Wesley Dunnagan and his students from the FLC Music Department will share stories and songs of women composers from the late 18th century (Romantic era) to the turn of the 20th century. Planned to be an evening of celebration, the recital will include biographies and works by rarely heard but not forgotten women composers.

April 15

For thousands of years, humans have migrated around the globe. Economic and social factors, such as dire poverty and family reunification, explain most of the movement. But in recent decades, climate change has forced more people to abandon homelands in search of stable environments. FLC Associate Professor of Sociology Benjamin Waddell will address the impact on migration, focusing on Latin America, Africa, and other regions.

April 22

As discoveries continue to be made about Vincent van Gogh’s life and death, art historian and journalist Judith Reynolds and photographer and retired English professor Carol Schmudde will revisit his great painting, some of the poetry which it has inspired, theories about the artist’s death, and controversial multi- media installations.

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