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Choose from a range of courses including fitness and health, history, art, cybersecurity and more.

Spring Term Courses

You must purchase your Adventures in Lifelong Learning (ALL) membership in advance to prepare for registration.
 
  • Session 1: Jan. 29-March 1

    Fitness classes will continue through March 8.

  • Holocaust Survival & Immigration: A Pittsburgh Story

    Mondays
    10-11:30 a.m.

    A Holocaust survivor and proud American immigrant, Melvin Goldman said, “Commanded to remember, forbidden to despair,” the atrocities through which he lived. This course will explore memories of a normal childhood in pre-World War II Poland, the Nazi invasion, ghetto and concentration camps, as well as the post-war United States, all told by a survivor who settled in the Pittsburgh area.

    Participants will hear first-person accounts that tell the story of a man who lost his youth, family and health, and remained in Europe as a broken man trying to recover. Melvin’s story of loss turns to one of unbreakable spirit in pursuit of the American Dream. The course also will explore genealogy.

    Instructor: Lee Goldman Kikel, the daughter of a Jewish immigrant and Holocaust survivor, grew up in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. In 2015 she stumbled across a four-decade-old telling of her father’s life story in a series of audio tapes, which she turned into a gripping account of the Holocaust, including the tragedy and hope of her late father’s story.

  • A Lion, a Rat and a Mouse: Characters That Illuminate & Enrich the Reader

    Mondays
    11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Participants will read three novels written for children: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” by C. S. Lewis, “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,” by Robert. C. O’Brien and “The Tale of Despereaux,” by Kate DiCamillo.

    The course will explore the structure, character development and literary qualities of these novels, connected by their anthropomorphic lions, rats and mice. A benefit of this class will be a renewed appreciation for the artistry and sophistication of these novels.

    The fun of this discussion-based course will rest on the variety of the voices in the room, and the wealth of reading and life experience behind those voices.

    Instructor: Mary Beth Spore, Ph.D., has been a faculty member and administrator at the University of Pittsburgh and Saint Vincent College for over 25 years. She has taught many courses in children’s and young adult literature and criticism, as well as writing and speech. She loves teaching and learning, and seeks both in the classroom. She is a lover of children, dogs, reading and storytelling. A native of Western Pennsylvania, she received her Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Mandala Magic

    Mondays
    1-3 p.m.

    Mandala is a Sanskrit word from a language of ancient India with a 3,500-year history. The primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy, Mandala also is the primary language of some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. The word means “circle” or “center.”

    This artform is probably as old as humankind itself; in rudimentary form, mandalas appear on walls and in caves in some of the earliest marks made by humans. We often associate the word mandala with circular designs that have colors, shapes and patterns repeating from the center. Mandalas can be precise, carefully measured, geometric and perfectly symmetrical — or in contrast, free-flowing, organic and asymmetrical. Course participants will use the freehand method.

    Why is drawing mandalas so popular?

    • Relaxes the body and mind
    • Cultivates the feeling of happiness, inner peace and general wellbeing
    • Eases stress, anxiety, worry, overwork, fear and depression
    • Activates creativity and improves focus

    Instructor: Dana Winterhalter is an adjunct professor at La Roche University, where she teaches several courses involving creative thinking and expression.

  • Planning Now for a Great Garden Season

    Mondays
    1:30-3 p.m.

    Pittsburgh Garden guru Doug Oster will discuss preparation for the gardening season, presenting topics for beginners and longtime gardeners alike. He’ll cover soil preparation, indoors seed starting, organic gardening, trees/shrub/perennial flowers, vegetable gardening, outdoor winter seed sowing, early planting secrets and much more.

    Instructor: Doug Oster believes gardening is fun, and that you can truly enjoy every day spent outside when you’re tending vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.

    Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned tender to your backyard oasis, Mr. Oster has something to offer everyone. He loves writing about gardening and highlighting gardeners. Beyond writing Mr. Oster is an Emmy Award-winning producer and television host. You can find him hosting “The Organic Gardener Radio Show” every Sunday at 7 a.m. on Pittsburgh’s KDKA Radio, or read his feature articles in the Pittsburgh Earth Day’s Green Voice e-newsletter.

    This class will not meet Feb. 19 and will end March 4.

  • Core Strength & Stability - Intermediate/Advanced

    Mondays
    3-4 p.m.

    Looking to increase your balance, posture and gain flexibility in your everyday life? This workout class will concentrate on abdominal muscles, the back and your mid-section to build muscle strength and protect you from injury. Building your core can provide you a more stable base for your joints, improve your posture and coordination, and lead you to feel stronger with less strain. Participants must be able to handle physical activity. Some equipment will be used and is provided. Participants are encouraged to wear tennis shoes and bring water and a towel. 

    This is a fast-paced exercise class and at the intermediate/advanced level.

    Members can register for up to three fitness classes total (plus a Water Aerobics course if you are a Plus member). As part of the three fitness classes, you can take up to a maximum of two at your level, plus any number of general levels to total three fitness classes.

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 29, skips March 11, 25 and April 1, and ends April 29.

    Instructor: Andrea Peck, Ed.D. is an assistant professor in the Education Department at La Roche. She graduated from La Roche in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a minor in psychology. She holds a master’s degree from Chatham University, K-12 principal certification from Slippery Rock University, and a Superintendents Letter of Eligibility from California University of Pennsylvania. In 2015 she obtained a doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in educational leadership.  

    Her passion for teaching and exercise is combined at Cyclebar North Hills, where she is an indoor cycling instructor, and at F45, where she will be a trainer in early 2022. Currently she is completing her coursework to become as NASM-certified personal trainer. Dr. Peck also competes annually in Spartan Races. This past year she completed her fourth Spartan Trifecta.

  • Vinyasa Yoga Flow

    Mondays
    4:30-5:30 p.m.

    Vinyasa yoga is a common style of yoga practice in Western Culture. This type of yoga links postures from one to the next, guided by the use of the breath. Postures and sequences vary from class to class.  Benefits of regular Vinyasa yoga practice may include increased strength, flexibility, overall fitness and reduced feelings of stress.

    Modifications can be made during practice, but participants should be in relatively good health and be able to move between the mat and standing postures. Please dress comfortably and bring a mat and water. You also may bring your own blocks, towels, straps or any other items to support your practice. This is a general-level fitness class.

    Please note: This class is available to ALL members, LRU staff and faculty and the community.

    Fees for nonmembers
    $90 for community
    $45 for LRU faculty and staff

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 29, skips March 11, 25 and April 1, and ends April 29.

    Instructor: Emily Shimko, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Health Sciences Department at La Roche University. Dr. Shimko earned her Bachelor of Arts in dance from Slippery Rock University, and her M.S. in exercise physiology and Ed.D. in healthy and physical activity from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a certified exercise physiologist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and registered yoga teacher (200 hour).

    Dr. Shimko previously worked as a personal trainer and still loves teaching group fitness. She believes that taking classes, as well as finding a supportive social network, is a great way to improve our physical health and fitness and meet our individual goals.

  • Muscle Strength & Conditioning - Beginner/Advanced Beginner

    Tuesdays
    9-10 a.m.

    Build muscle strength and endurance in this group fitness class. We will use dumbbell weights and other equipment to move through a variety of muscle fitness exercises with little rest between exercises. Modifications and a range of weights will be offered. Participants should have adequate mobility for this class. Weights will be provided, but participants are advised to bring a mat and water. 

    This is a beginner/advanced beginner exercise class. Members can register for up to three fitness classes total (plus a Water Aerobics if you are a Plus member). As part of the three fitness classes, you can take up to a maximum of two at your level, plus any number of general levels to get you to total three fitness classes. Water and Aqua Aerobics courses still require a Plus membership.

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 30, skips March 12 and 26, and ends April 23.

    Instructor: Emily Shimko, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Health Sciences Department at La Roche University. Dr. Shimko earned her Bachelor of Arts in dance from Slippery Rock University, and her M.S. in exercise physiology and Ed.D. in healthy and physical activity from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a certified exercise physiologist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and registered yoga teacher (200 hour).

    Dr. Shimko previously worked as a personal trainer and still loves teaching group fitness. She believes that taking classes, as well as finding a supportive social network, is a great way to improve our physical health and fitness and meet our individual goals.
  • Knitting Beginner

    Tuesdays
    10-11:30 a.m.

    This hands-on course will include the techniques and stitches required to create a basic knitted item. Casting on, the knit stitch and the purl stitch will be covered. Information on types of yarn and needles and the beginning of pattern reading will be introduced. Please bring a pair of knitting needles size US 7 (4.5 mm) or US 8 (5.0 mm). Practice yarn will be provided for the first class. Three samples of basic knitted items will be displayed to help students choose the project they wish to knit.

    This class is for members who have never knitting before or who have very limited experience with knitting.

    Members may only take one level of knitting per term.

    Instructor: Stephanie Marks spent the first part of her career in mechanical and electrical design and drafting at Westinghouse R&D. However, the majority of her career was spent at La Roche University in the Registrar’s Office and faculty offices until her retirement in July 2021.

    Ms. Marks started knitting in ninth grade and remembers how awkward knitting was at first. With a little bit of encouragement and patience, she quickly found it to be a very joyful and creative outlet. She enjoys teaching people the basics of knitting and seeing the pride on the face of a student when they complete a knitted project.

    Ms. Marks has taught at the Millvale library, at several rehabilitation facilities for women, and has taught all four of her granddaughters ages 6 through 14, and her five-year-old grandson. She also moved on to progressive knitting techniques such as the Kitchener stitch and intarsia. She enjoys creating and teaching more advanced pieces such as socks and sweaters and Christmas stockings. Knitting is her favorite pastime.

  • The Toaster Project

    Tuesdays
    10-11:30 a.m.

    Ever wonder what goes into making an appliance from beginning to end? A few years ago, a student in England took on that project and built a toaster from scratch. We’ll explore all that goes into making this simple appliance, how/if it could be accomplished in Pennsylvania, and how this can be accomplished sustainably. We’ll also see if we can work the created toaster into the circular economy.

    If you'd like to read “The Toaster Project” book, check it out here.

    Instructor: Joseph Reznik is an adjunct faculty member at the Community College of Allegheny County. He teaches in both the sciences and mathematics. Mr. Reznik earned is B.A. in biology and B.S. in mathematics from the College of Charleston. In addition to teaching, he trains to do sprint triathlons, pedicabbing local sporting events and works on the Woods Run Watershed Task Force to engage the community in watershed issues.

  • Basic Astronomy

    Tuesdays
    Section 1: 10 a.m.-noon

    For those completely new to astronomy, the first step is to become familiar with the night sky, how it changes through the night and season by season, and how it varies according to the observer’s latitude. Students in this class will be actively involved in making and using models to enhance learning about their place in the universe. We will learn about our observable sky “neighborhood” at a very basic level.

    Participants must be able to bend over to enter the planetarium. They must be comfortable being in a slightly confined and dark space for approximately 30 minutes. The area will be lit when entering.

    Those who were registered for this course in Fall 2023 may not register for the first session course until Jan. 25, space permitting.

    There will be a field trip to the Allegheny Planetarium on March 5.

    Instructor: Susan Button was an outreach portable planetarium educator for 16 years, and before that, a classroom teacher for 11 years. She served on the Executive Council of the International Planetarium Society (IPS) as President Elect, President (2005-2008) and then as Past President (2009-2010). She has served as chair for the IPS Portable Planetarium Committee from 1988 to the present.

    As a consultant, through her business Quarks to Clusters, she has provided teacher training and assistance to educators involved in lesson and curriculum development in 14 countries around the world since 1990. As associate editor for the “Planetarian,” the IPS quarterly journal, she has written a column for mobile and small planetarium directors since 1990. She also wrote and published, with help from colleagues in the field, two handbooks for the IPS: “IPS Portable Planetarium Handbook” in the English language and “Tips for Portable and Small Planetarium Users” in Spanish.

  • Water Aerobics

    Tuesdays
    Section 1: 12-12:50 p.m.
    Section 2: 1-1:50 p.m.
    Section 3: 2-2:50 p.m.

    Join us for a low-impact but high-intensity water aerobics class where no swimming skills are needed. This class is designed to improve flexibility, range of motion, strength, muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance while using the resistance of the water to cushion the feet, knees and back. Exercises are performed to lively, motivating music, and are effective and easy to follow.

    *This class is only for Plus members of the Adventures in Lifelong Learning Program. The program runs though both Spring Term sessions. Class begins Jan. 30, skips March 12 and 26, and ends April 23.

    Plus Members may register for one water aerobics class per term as part of their membership. This is a general-level fitness class.

    Instructor: Cathy Fodor has taught water aerobics, swimming lessons, lifeguarding and many other aquatic programs for over 30 years. She is a certified Silver Sneakers instructor and enjoys creating fun aqua workouts for older adults.

  • Knitting Advanced Beginner

    Tuesdays
    12:30-2 p.m.

    This hands-on course is for those who have some experience with knitting but are not ready for the full projects of the intermediate-level course. The course will include the techniques and stitches required to create a basic knitted item. Casting on, the knit stitch and the purl stitch will be covered.

    Information on types of yarn and needles and the beginning of pattern reading will be introduced. Please bring a pair of knitting needles size US 7 (4.5 mm) or US 8 (5.0 mm). Practice yarn will be provided for the first class. Three samples of basic knitted items will be displayed to help students choose the project they wish to knit. This is for members who have some experience knitting, including the Knitting for Beginner class. Members may only take one level of knitting in a term.

    Instructor: Stephanie Marks spent the first part of her career in mechanical and electrical design and drafting at Westinghouse R&D. However, the majority of her career was spent at La Roche University in the Registrar’s Office and faculty offices until her retirement in July 2021.

    Ms. Marks started knitting in ninth grade and remembers how awkward knitting was at first. With a little bit of encouragement and patience, she quickly found it to be a very joyful and creative outlet. She enjoys teaching people the basics of knitting and seeing the pride on the face of a student when they complete a knitted project.

    Ms. Marks has taught at the Millvale library, at several rehabilitation facilities for women, and has taught all four of her granddaughters ages 6 through 14, and her five-year-old grandson. She also moved on to progressive knitting techniques such as the Kitchener stitch and intarsia. She enjoys creating and teaching more advanced pieces such as socks and sweaters and Christmas stockings. Knitting is her favorite pastime.                    

  • Post-Civil War America: The Issues & Events That Shaped a Nation

    Tuesdays
    12:30-2 p.m.

    This courses focuses on topics, personalities and incidents that defined the United States in the aftermath of the Civil War. The historical chronology focus of the course pertains to 1865–1925.

    We will explore the questions, concerns and positions addressed as the United States moved into the modern era. Topics include the constitutional problems President Lincoln faced in the move towards abolishing slavery, the myths and realities of the American West, the Gilded Age of American economic expansion, baseball in the Progressive Age of the early 20th century, and the ideological struggle between modernists and fundamentalists culminating in the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925.

    Instructor: Dr. Richard S. Grimes has taught Native American history and early American history for 25 years at West Virginia University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Duquesne University and La Roche University. He currently teaches at Penn State University-Beaver. An active researcher and writer, his book, “The Western Delaware Indian Nation, 1730–1795: Warriors and Diplomats,” was published by Lehigh University Press, Studies in the Eighteenth Century and the Atlantic World (October 2017). He is working on a new book which focuses on the Cheyenne Dog Soldier (Hōtăʹmĭtăʹniu) military society and their role as tribal police, nomadic warriors and defenders of Cheyenne culture and homeland on the Great Plains during the 19th century.

  • Functional Fitness Intermediate/Advanced

    Tuesdays
    2-3 p.m.

    Functional Fitness is defined as strength training that supports your body to perform daily activities. It includes movements such as walking, pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, lunging and core. These exercises improve balance and stability, increase overall strength and decrease your risk of everyday injuries.

    Most functional fitness exercises contain multi-joint movement patterns that involve your knees, hips, spine, elbows, wrists and shoulders, which all build strength and improve your range of motion; therefore, participants must be able to handle physical activity. Some equipment will be used and is provided. Participants are encouraged to wear tennis shoes, and bring water and a towel.

    This is a fast-paced exercise class at the intermediate/advanced level. Members can register for up to three fitness classes total (plus a Water Aerobics if you are a Plus member). As part of the three fitness classes, you can take up to a maximum of two at your level, plus any number of general levels to total three fitness classes.

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 30, skips March 12 and 26, and ends April 23.

    Instructor: Andrea Peck, Ed.D. is an assistant professor in the Education Department at La Roche. She graduated from La Roche in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a minor in psychology. She holds a master’s degree from Chatham University, K-12 principal certification from Slippery Rock University, and a Superintendents Letter of Eligibility from California University of Pennsylvania. In 2015 she obtained a doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in educational leadership.  

    Her passion for teaching and exercise is combined at Cyclebar North Hills, where she is an indoor cycling instructor, and at F45, where she will be a trainer in early 2022. Currently she is completing her coursework to become as NASM-certified personal trainer. Dr. Peck also competes annually in Spartan Races. This past year she completed her fourth Spartan Trifecta.

  • Cybersecurity 101

    Tuesdays
    2-3:30 p.m.

    Learn how to keep yourself, your family and friends safe online. Secure your most important accounts, and avoid scams and other online threats. No previous cybersecurity experience required.

    Instructor: Chris Elverson is a Supervisory Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Division. He joined the FBI in 2010 and has been working cyber since 2015. Special Agent Elverson works alongside private industry and other federal and international law enforcement partners to combat cybercrime.

  • Adult Swimming Lessons for Beginners

    Tuesdays
    3:30-4:30 p.m.

    Have you always wanted to learn to swim but never had the chance? Do you want to feel more comfortable in the water? Join instructor Cathy Fodor and this small, personalized class to become a safer, more comfortable and competent swimmer. This class is for beginner and shallow-water swimmers and non-swimmers.

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. The course begins Jan. 30, skips March 12 and 26, and ends April 23.

    Course Fees
    $50 for Plus members
    $75 for ALL members (not Plus)
    $115 for non-members

    Instructor: Cathy Fodor has taught water aerobics, swimming lessons, lifeguarding and many other aquatic programs for over 30 years. She is a certified Silver Sneakers instructor and enjoys creating fun aqua workouts for older adults.

  • Basic Documentary Writing

    Tuesdays
    4-6 p.m.

    Have you ever wondered how documentaries are made – how the research, interviews, images, music narration and writing process come together? In this class students will examine elements of documentaries and use Pittsburgh documentaries as examples. Students will then use these samples as a springboard for their own documentary ideas. In class students will design a simple documentary using the school’s user-friendly software.

    This exciting opportunity to assemble a short documentary can be the beginning of a new hobby. If the behind-the-scenes work of documentaries intrigues you, now is your chance to create a unique story, giving a voice to a topic of your interest.  

    Instructor: Carrie Flickinger earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a minor in English from Duquesne University. Furthering her education, she obtained an M.A. in corporate communication from Duquesne University and an M.S. in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She has extensive teaching experience teaching sixth and seventh grade English and has taught at universities such as Carlow, Chatham, Duquesne and Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach.

    Ms. Flickinger is an adjunct faculty member in the Communications, Media and Technology Department at La Roche University. She is pursuing her doctorate in communication and rhetorical studies with a focus on cyberspace. She has a three-and-a-half-year-old son, Liam, who has a lot of energy and zest for life, and a new puppy named Pauppie, who has kept her in shape! 

  • Aqua Aerobics

    Wednesdays
    Section 1: 10-10:50 a.m.
    Section 2: 11-11:50 a.m.

    Join us for a low-impact but high-intensity water aerobics class. This class is designed to improve flexibility, range of motion, strength, muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance while using the resistance of the water to cushion the feet, knees and back. Exercises are performed to lively, motivating music, and are effective and easy to follow. There will be deep and shallow exercises, and modifications can be made based on the participant’s ability to swim and fitness level.

    Please note: Plus members are able to take one Water or Aqua Aerobics as part of their membership. The fee for an additional day is $45 for one additional day and includes both sessions (~10 classes), or $90 for two additional days (includes both sessions or ~20 classes total). This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 31, skips March 13 and 27, and ends April 24. This is a general-level fitness class.

    This class is open to the La Roche staff, faculty and public for a fee. The rate for community members is $90 for one day per week or $180 for two days per week. LRU staff and faculty can take this course for the ALL member price.

    Instructors:  

    This course will be taught by Cathy Fodor for the first session. The plan is that Deb Carrera will return from her medical leave to teach the class in March.

    Deb Carrera has served the aquatic fitness industry for over 20 years as an aqua aerobics and swimming instructor. She holds a specialized certification in Deep Water Fitness, along with an Aquatic Fitness Professional certification from the Aquatic Exercise Association. She teaches a variety of aquatic classes, and her classes are open to all levels and abilities.

    Ms. Carrera’s passion is to help people achieve their goals through the routine practice of Aquatic Fitness. In her spare time, she enjoys nature, kayaking, biking, hiking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.

    Cathy Fodor has taught water aerobics, swimming lessons, lifeguarding and many other aquatic programs for over 30 years. She is a certified Silver Sneakers instructor and enjoys creating fun aqua workouts for older adults.

  • Intro to Renaissance Art

    Wednesdays
    10 to 11:30 a.m.

    This course will cover art history from the Renaissance period to the 17th century. We will look at a variety of artworks and architectural examples from eras and movements included in this time period. You will learn the identifying characteristics to determine what era/movement a work of art belongs to. This class also includes a brief history of events. 

    Instructor: Sydney Pascarella is both an artist and an art historian. She received two bachelor’s degrees from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania: one in Integrated marketing communication and another in art. Ms. Pascarella earned a master’s degree in art history from West Virginia University and teaches art history courses at the undergraduate level. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, drawing and painting.
  • Tai Chi

    Wednesdays
    Section 1: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
    Section 2: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

    Tai Chi is a low-impact set of movements that benefits the mind and the body. Some of the benefits include improved balance and flexibility, better focus and concentration, stress reduction and overall wellbeing. The movements are done in a slow, relaxed, coordinated manner that helps increase circulation to the brain and the internal organs. Tai Chi helps regulate the nervous system, which sends signals to the brain that enhances our reaction skills. Each movement has a specific name and purpose.

    The classes will begin with working on the beginner 24 movement form and progressing to the advanced 108 movement form. Chi kung (breathing exercises,) postures and footwork will be covered in each class.

    The course begins Jan. 31, skips March 13 and 27, and ends April 24. This is a general-level fitness class.

    Instructor: Sifu David Slaughter began training in Chinese Martial arts at the early age of eight years old. Over decades of training and teaching, Sifu realized that learning, patience and discipline pave the long path to wisdom. Sifu carries forward this philosophy—a philosophy that characterized traditional Chinese “closed school” systems—into an open school where his teaching style demonstrates that every student should be taught what the individual student is ready to learn. 

    At the core of Sifu’s teaching are two foundational elements: the training of the body to build confidence in the individual’s physical abilities, and training of the mind to release personal ego that often gets us into trouble.

    Sifu Slaughter’s reputation for sincerity, patience in teaching and dedication to his art have become widely known and respected throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area and beyond.

  • Wines & Grapes of Bordeaux

    Wednesdays
    Section 1: 1:30-3 p.m.
    Section 2: 3:30-5 p.m.

    This class will focus on one of the world’s most prestigious and well-known wine regions in France, Bordeaux. The course will explore the wines of the Bordeaux region in France and the grapes used to make these wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. These grapes are widely grown throughout other wine regions of the world including the United States.

    The class will review a variety of wines not only from Bordeaux but also from other regions of the world. Each week students will have the opportunity to sample three to five wines alongside small food items that will serve to cleanse the palate between tastings.

    This course will meet for five weeks.

    Course fee: $60 to cover the cost of the wines and small food items.

    Instructor: Patty Jones has been an avid wine enthusiast for many years. She had a 35-plus year career in technology/software development and decided several years ago to leave full-time employment in the technology field to pursue formal education and certification in wine.

    Ms. Jones began courses through the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET). The WSET, a global organization founded in 1969, is headquartered in London and generally regarded as one of the world’s leading providers of wine education. She has achieved the WSET Level 3 Award in wine and has been teaching wine classes at a local distributer/importer for more than two years.

  • The Prophets

    Wednesdays
    1:45-3:15 p.m.

    By virtue of our baptism, we are called to share in the prophetic ministry of Christ. Prophecy forms a major part of the Old Testament tradition and the preaching of Jesus. In this class we will examine the general characteristics of prophecy and specifically look at it in the books of Amos, Hosea, Isaiah and Micah, in both their own setting and their importance today and connection to Jesus.

    Instructor: Father Peter Horton is a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh currently serving as Director of the Office of Mission and Ministry at La Roche University. Ordained in 1979, he holds a Master of Divinity from Mount Saint Mary Seminary and a Master of Arts in pastoral ministry from Duquesne University. He had previously served as Director of Campus Ministry from 1994-2013 at La Roche, where he was an adjunct professor in religious studies. Most recently he was the Administrator of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Capistran parishes in the South Hills.

    Father Peter has served in hospital ministry, retreat ministry and was the National Team Priest for Catholic Engaged Encounter. He also was General Manager of the Pittsburgh Catholic Newspaper and served the papers as their entertainment and culture writer for over 20 years. He is an avid reader, movie buff, theatre lover and a collector of Snoopy memorabilia.

  • Muscle Strength & Conditioning - Intermediate/Advanced

    Wednesdays
    2:15-3:15 p.m.

    Build muscle strength and endurance in this group fitness class. We will use dumbbell weights and other equipment to move through a variety of muscle fitness exercises, with little rest between exercises. Modifications and a range of weights will be offered.

    Participants should have adequate mobility for this class. Weights will be provided, but participants are advised to bring a mat and water. 

    This is an intermediate to advanced exercise class. Members can register for up to three fitness classes total (plus a Water Aerobics if you are a Plus member). As part of the three fitness classes, you can take up to a maximum of two at your level, plus any number of general levels to total three fitness classes.

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. Class begins Jan. 31, skips March 13 and 27, and ends April 24.

    Instructor: Emily Shimko, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Health Sciences Department at La Roche University. Dr. Shimko earned her Bachelor of Arts in dance from Slippery Rock University, and her M.S. in exercise physiology and Ed.D. in healthy and physical activity from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a certified exercise physiologist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and registered yoga teacher (200 hour).

    Dr. Shimko previously worked as a personal trainer and still loves teaching group fitness. She believes that taking classes, as well as finding a supportive social network, is a great way to improve our physical health and fitness and meet our individual goals.
  • Five People You Meet in Heaven

    Thursdays
    10-11:30 a.m.

    In Mitch Albom’s novel, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. Then on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people who were in it. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever.

    Who are your five people—the five people you’ll meet in heaven? Whose life have you influenced? Who has influenced your life?

    In the book segment of each class, we will discuss one of Eddie’s five people. You then will have the opportunity each week to introduce us to one of your five people. While reading or rereading Albom’s book to provide meaningful reference points, it is more important for you to be willing to participate and share, briefly, each week. Participation is certainly not mandatory, however. Retrospection, at our age, can be illuminating, to ourselves as well as to others. This course provides an opportunity to share that illumination.

    Instructor: Dave Fortun retired from teaching English at Shaler Area High School after 36 years. He has continued teaching in Lifelong Learning programs in Pittsburgh for the last 16 years. Dave also has served as a docent at PNC Park, leading tours for 16 years.

  • Marvelous Metaphysical Masters and a Few Cavaliers

    Marvelous Metaphysical Masters and a Few Cavaliers
    Thursdays
    2-3:30 p.m.

    Ernest Hemingway stole his title, “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” from John Donne. Donne also wrote the famous line, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.” An Anglican Dean, Donne is perhaps the first of the great poets of the 17th century. 

    But we also will study other Metaphysicals: George Herbert, Richard Crashaw, Andrew Marvell and Henry Vaughan. Admittedly, much of the poetry is religious, but we also find the whimsical carpe diem poetry of the Cavaliers: “Gather ye rosebuds, while you may/ Old Time is still a-flying: / And this same flower that smiles today’ / Tomorrow may be dying” (Herrick).

    Finally, as this period begins with Donne, it ends with John Milton, and while any of these poets demand five weeks, this course introduces you to new poets that you may explore on your own once you have more of an appreciation of what they are doing with their verse.

    Instructor: Sister Rita Yeasted, SFCC, Ph.D., a graduate of La Roche University, holds two degrees from Duquesne University, both in English Literature. Her official title is The Dorothy Saladiak Distinguished Professor of English Emerita. She has taught in the Pittsburgh area from 1962 at levels from elementary through university, and has been at La Roche for 42 years, serving as English Department chairperson for three decades. Recently retired, she now teaches as an adjunct professor.

  • What’s Happening This Week

    Thursdays
    4-5:30 p.m.

    This five-week course will focus on a different newsworthy topic each week. The topics will be chosen based on what is making headlines for that particular week. Topics could range from local to national to international, with an emphasis on providing unbiased analysis of the highlighted issue. Class discussion and readings will spotlight the weekly topic.  

    Instructor: Paul Kasunich earned a B.S. in economics, M.S. in education, and an Ed.D. from Duquesne University. In addition to teaching in the doctoral program at Gwynedd, he serves as Dissertation Chair for several doctoral students. Dr. Kasunich is no stranger to La Roche; from 2000 to 2006, he taught both macro and micro economics.

  • Magic - From Card Sharks to Stage Stars

    Fridays
    11-12:30 p.m.

    Learn the fundamentals, history and intricacies of close-up magic and misdirection. We’ll work with small close-up props, such as cards and coins, to cover the basic principles of sleight-of-hand. We will expose and deconstruct close-up tricks, and cover the psychology of what makes them work. While some lecturing is inevitable, hands-on practice and teaching will make up a large part of the class. You will come away from the course with a solid understanding of what makes magic work, as well as a trick or two of your own.

    Instructor: Dan Harmon is a magician for the Pittsburgh Circus Arts Collaborative and Sound Advice Entertainment, as well as a member of Weird Eric and His Party Animals. He has been a front-of-house magician and one of the managers at Liberty Magic for about four years. He has worked as an assistant at the Magic Castle and is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, as well as the Society of American Magicians. He started practicing 12 years ago and has been a professional performer for six years.

  • Aqua Aerobics

    Fridays
    Section 1 – 1-1:50 p.m.
    Section 2: 2-2:50 p.m.

    Join us for a low-impact but high-intensity water aerobics class. This class is designed to improve flexibility, range of motion, strength, muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance while using the resistance of the water to cushion the feet, knees and back. Exercises are performed to lively, motivating music, and are effective and easy to follow. There will be deep and shallow exercises, and modifications can be made based on the participant’s ability to swim and fitness level.

    Please note: Plus members are able to take one Water or Aqua Aerobics as part of their membership. The fee for an additional day is $45 for one additional day and includes both sessions (~10 classes), or $90 for two additional days (includes both sessions or ~20 classes total). This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 31, skips March 13 and 27, and ends April 24. This is a general-level fitness class.

    This class is open to the La Roche staff, faculty and public for a fee. The rate for community members is $90 for one day per week or $180 for two days per week. LRU staff and faculty can take this course for the ALL member price.

    Instructors: 

    This course will be taught by Cathy Fodor for the first session. The plan is that Deb Carrera will return from her medical leave to teach the class in March.

    Deb Carrera has served the aquatic fitness industry for over 20 years as an aqua aerobics and swimming instructor. She holds a specialized certification in Deep Water Fitness, along with an Aquatic Fitness Professional certification from the Aquatic Exercise Association. She teaches a variety of aquatic classes, and her classes are open to all levels and abilities.

    Ms. Carrera’s passion is to help people achieve their goals through the routine practice of Aquatic Fitness. In her spare time, she enjoys nature, kayaking, biking, hiking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.

    Cathy Fodor has taught water aerobics, swimming lessons, lifeguarding and many other aquatic programs for over 30 years. She is a certified Silver Sneakers instructor and enjoys creating fun aqua workouts for older adults.

  • Food for Thought - Books with a Food Theme (Monthly Book Club)

    Fridays
    1-3 p.m.

    We will read books belonging to a variety of genres (literary fiction, memoir, mystery) but with food being a loosely unifying theme.

    • Jan. 26 – “Still Life” by Louise Penny
    • Feb. 16 – “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store” by James McBride
    • March 8 – “Thirst for Salt” by Madelaine Lucas
    • May 10 – “The Language of Baklava” by Diana Abu-Jaber

    The book club will meet approximately once per month.

    Instructor: Natasha Garrett earned her Ph.D. in international education from the University of Pittsburgh. She serves as the Director of International Student Services and is an instructor in the International Studies and Communication Departments at La Roche University. As a Macedonian in Pittsburgh, she is passionate about everything cross-cultural: education, literature, art, food/drinks and people.

  • Spring Term Schedule – Session 2: March 18-April 29 

    Skip March 25-April 1 for Holy Week.

  • Hellos & Goodbyes

    Mondays
    11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    Grief is a normal, expected and inevitable part of life. During each of our lifetimes, there will be big and not so big griefs; there will be a series of hellos and goodbyes. These griefs will happen both to us and to those we care about. And yet we often don’t talk about grief, much less learn about it. 

    This course will use both psychological theory and true stories to explore common questions about grief such as: Why each of us grieves differently? How long should grief last? Are there predictable phases or stages of grief that we all experience? What is the difference between normal grief and depression?  We will briefly explore the differences between adult, child and adolescent grief, along with the implications of sudden versus expected loss. Most importantly we will explore how to help ourselves and others realistically deal with loss and keep moving forward.

    Instructor: Dr. Michele A. Reiss is an experienced medical educator, psychotherapist and author. Before retiring, Dr. Reiss was the Assistant Program Director and Director of Behavioral Medicine for the Family Medicine Residency Program at UPMC St. Margaret Hospital. She spent more than 20 years educating physicians, medical students and other health care professionals in palliative care and behavioral medicine. As a psychotherapist Dr. Reiss continues to specialize in helping clients cope with life-threatening medical illnesses and/or grief. Dr. Reiss book, “Lessons in Loss and Living,” is a collection of true stories about the many heroes she has been privileged to work with and learn from.

  • Book of Revelations II

    Mondays
    1:30-3:30 p.m.

    Details TBA.

  • Core Strength & Stability (continued)

    Mondays
    3-4 p.m.

    Looking to increase your balance, posture and gain flexibility in your everyday life? This workout class will concentrate on abdominal muscles, the back and your mid-section to build muscle strength and protect you from injury. Building your core can provide you a more stable base for your joints, improve your posture and coordination, and lead you to feel stronger with less strain. Participants must be able to handle physical activity. Some equipment will be used and is provided. Participants are encouraged to wear tennis shoes and bring water and a towel. 

    This is a fast-paced exercise class and at the intermediate/advanced level.

    Members can register for up to three fitness classes total (plus a Water Aerobics course if you are a Plus member). As part of the three fitness classes, you can take up to a maximum of two at your level, plus any number of general levels to total three fitness classes.

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 29, skips March 11, 25 and April 1, and ends April 29.

    Instructor: Andrea Peck, Ed.D. is an assistant professor in the Education Department at La Roche. She graduated from La Roche in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a minor in psychology. She holds a master’s degree from Chatham University, K-12 principal certification from Slippery Rock University, and a Superintendents Letter of Eligibility from California University of Pennsylvania. In 2015 she obtained a doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in educational leadership.  

    Her passion for teaching and exercise is combined at Cyclebar North Hills, where she is an indoor cycling instructor, and at F45, where she will be a trainer in early 2022. Currently she is completing her coursework to become as NASM-certified personal trainer. Dr. Peck also competes annually in Spartan Races. This past year she completed her fourth Spartan Trifecta.
  • Vinyasa Yoga Flow (continued)

    Mondays
    4:30-5:30 p.m.

    Vinyasa yoga is a common style of yoga practice in Western Culture. This type of yoga links postures from one to the next, guided by the use of the breath. Postures and sequences vary from class to class.  Benefits of regular Vinyasa yoga practice may include increased strength, flexibility, overall fitness and reduced feelings of stress.

    Modifications can be made during practice, but participants should be in relatively good health and be able to move between the mat and standing postures. Please dress comfortably and bring a mat and water. You also may bring your own blocks, towels, straps or any other items to support your practice. This is a general-level fitness class.

    Please note: This class is available to ALL members, LRU staff and faculty and the community.

    Fees for nonmembers
    $90 for community
    $45 for LRU faculty and staff

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 29, skips March 11, 25 and April 1, and ends April 29.

    Instructor: Emily Shimko, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Health Sciences Department at La Roche University. Dr. Shimko earned her Bachelor of Arts in dance from Slippery Rock University, and her M.S. in exercise physiology and Ed.D. in healthy and physical activity from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a certified exercise physiologist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and registered yoga teacher (200 hour).

    Dr. Shimko previously worked as a personal trainer and still loves teaching group fitness. She believes that taking classes, as well as finding a supportive social network, is a great way to improve our physical health and fitness and meet our individual goals.
  • Muscle Strength & Conditioning – Beginner/Advanced (continued)

    Tuesdays
    9-10 a.m.

    Build muscle strength and endurance in this group fitness class. We will use dumbbell weights and other equipment to move through a variety of muscle fitness exercises with little rest between exercises. Modifications and a range of weights will be offered. Participants should have adequate mobility for this class. Weights will be provided, but participants are advised to bring a mat and water. 

    This is a beginner/advanced beginner exercise class. Members can register for up to three fitness classes total (plus a Water Aerobics if you are a Plus member). As part of the three fitness classes, you can take up to a maximum of two at your level, plus any number of general levels to get you to total three fitness classes. Water and Aqua Aerobics courses still require a Plus membership.

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 30, skips March 12 and 26, and ends April 23.

  • Knitting Intermediate: Adult Slippers

    Tuesdays
    10-11:30 a.m.

    These cozy slippers include a garter stitch for the bottom of the slipper, a stockinette stitch for the sides, and a ribbing to keep slippers snug around the ankles. Please come to the first class with at least 330 yards of fine sock yarn, and a blend of acrylic and washable wool would be ideal for strength and warmth. Fine Yarn is Yarn Weight number 2.

    We will knit this project using two strands of yarn together and US 9 or US 10 needles.

    Socks are knitted flat, so you may bring either straight or cable needles.

    Please note: Members may only take one level of knitting per term.

  • Women’s Awareness with the Emotion of Anger

    Tuesdays
    10-11:30 a.m.

    Using “The Anger Workbook for Women” by Laura J. Petracek, PhD, LCSW, participants will grow more skillful in their expression of anger in constructive ways. We also will learn how to deal with anger coming toward you. This will be an interactive class with sharing involved. Participants will need to purchase the workbook (ISBN-13:978-1572243798).

    Instructor: Karen Lehman is a La Roche University graduate. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and a minor in theology. Furthering her education, she obtained an M.E. in social sciences with secondary teaching certification from Shippensburg University. She pursued certification in religions education, spiritual direction, program development and retreats at Kearns Spirituality Center.

  • Basic Astronomy

    Tuesdays
    Section 2: 10 a.m.-noon

    For those completely new to astronomy, the first step is to become familiar with the night sky, how it changes through the night and season by season, and how it varies according to the observer’s latitude. Students in this class will be actively involved in making and using models to enhance learning about their place in the universe. We will learn about our observable sky “neighborhood” at a very basic level.

    Participants must be able to bend over to enter the planetarium. They must be comfortable being in a slightly confined and dark space for approximately 30 minutes. The area will be lit when entering.

    Those who were registered for the course in Fall 2023 may not register for the second session until Feb. 28, space permitting.

    This class will not meet March 26 or April 9. The class will end April 30. There will be a field trip to the Allegheny Planetarium on May 7.

    Instructor: Susan Button was an outreach portable planetarium educator for 16 years, and before that, a classroom teacher for 11 years. She served on the Executive Council of the International Planetarium Society (IPS) as President Elect, President (2005-2008) and then as Past President (2009-2010). She has served as chair for the IPS Portable Planetarium Committee from 1988 to the present.

    As a consultant, through her business Quarks to Clusters, she has provided teacher training and assistance to educators involved in lesson and curriculum development in 14 countries around the world since 1990. As associate editor for the “Planetarian,” the IPS quarterly journal, she has written a column for mobile and small planetarium directors since 1990. She also wrote and published, with help from colleagues in the field, two handbooks for the IPS: “IPS Portable Planetarium Handbook” in the English language and “Tips for Portable and Small Planetarium Users” in Spanish.

  • Water Aerobics (continued)

    Tuesdays
    Section 1: 12-12:50 p.m.
    Section 2: 1-1:50 p.m.
    Section 3: 2-2:50 p.m.

    Join us for a low-impact but high-intensity water aerobics class where no swimming skills are needed. This class is designed to improve flexibility, range of motion, strength, muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance while using the resistance of the water to cushion the feet, knees and back. Exercises are performed to lively, motivating music, and are effective and easy to follow.

    *This class is only for Plus members of the Adventures in Lifelong Learning Program. The program runs though both Spring Term sessions. Class begins Jan. 30, skips March 12 and 26, and ends April 23.

    Plus Members may register for one water aerobics class per term as part of their membership. This is a general-level fitness class.

    Instructor: Cathy Fodor has taught water aerobics, swimming lessons, lifeguarding and many other aquatic programs for over 30 years. She is a certified Silver Sneakers instructor and enjoys creating fun aqua workouts for older adults.

  • America in the Second World War

    Tuesdays
    12:30-2 p.m.

    This session presents a concise view of the U.S. entrance into the Second World War (1941–1941). While there will be a special emphasis on the political aspects of the conflict, the individual sessions will address the military campaigns in Europe and the Pacific, and the experiences and contributions of the American people on the home front. Topics will include the causes of the global conflict, Pearl Harbor, the American war industrial towns, the role of women at home and in the war, the Bataan Death March, the Normandy invasion on D-Day, and the defeats of Nazi Germany and imperialist Japan in 1945. To appropriately honor “America’s greatest generation,” there will be excerpts presented from the award-winning video series by Ken Burns, “The War.”

    Instructor: Dr. Richard S. Grimes has taught Native American history and early American history for 25 years at West Virginia University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Duquesne University and La Roche University. He currently teaches at Penn State University-Beaver. An active researcher and writer, his book, “The Western Delaware Indian Nation, 1730–1795: Warriors and Diplomats,” was published by Lehigh University Press, Studies in the Eighteenth Century and the Atlantic World (October 2017). He is working on a new book which focuses on the Cheyenne Dog Soldier (Hōtăʹmĭtăʹniu) military society and their role as tribal police, nomadic warriors and defenders of Cheyenne culture and homeland on the Great Plains during the 19th century.

  • Adult Swimming Lessons for Beginners

    Tuesdays
    3:30-4:30 p.m.

    Have you always wanted to learn to swim but never had the chance? Do you want to feel more comfortable in the water? Join instructor Cathy Fodor and this small, personalized class to become a safer, more comfortable and competent swimmer. This class is for beginner and shallow-water swimmers and non-swimmers.

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. The course begins Jan. 30, skips March 12 and 26, and ends April 23.

    Course Fees
    $50 for Plus members
    $75 for ALL members (not Plus)
    $115 for non-members

    Instructor: Cathy Fodor has taught water aerobics, swimming lessons, lifeguarding and many other aquatic programs for over 30 years. She is a certified Silver Sneakers instructor and enjoys creating fun aqua workouts for older adults.
  • Music Appreciation – Opera

    Tuesdays
    4-5:30 p.m.

    We will discuss and explore opera from its origin in the 16th century to the present day. Active listening will be the catalyst for discussion as styles, instrumentation and opera types (Bel Canto, Opera Buffa, Opera Seria and Grand Opera). Topics of conversation include:

    • Four types of opera and their characteristics
    • How an opera is staged
    • Music themes, vocal types and drama

    Featured composers include: Verdi, Rossini, Wagner, Puccini and Strauss.

    Instructor: William Holt holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. Throughout his journey in higher education, he has developed a passion for music history and low brass pedagogy. Mr. Holt enjoys freelance work as a trombonist, and spending time with his wife, McKenzie (a violinist and teacher in the area). They live in Harmony, PA with their two sons, Junior and Charlie.

  • Children’s Storybook Writing for Beginners

    Tuesdays
    4-6 p.m.

    Recall your favorite childhood story. What made it so magical, and why did you keep reading it over and over again? In this class students will have the unique chance to write a simple children’s story.

    Learn tips and tricks to generate creative stories and thoughtful themes. The topics of the class include the basic writing process, character development, incorporating themes in the plot, and adding rhythm and rhyme. If you ever dreamed of continuing your favorite childhood story, or writing a magical plot and inventing new characters, this is the class to nurture your inner child. Let's get writing!

    Instructor: Carrie Flickinger earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a minor in English from Duquesne University. Furthering her education, she obtained an M.A. in corporate communication from Duquesne University and an M.S. in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She has extensive teaching experience teaching sixth and seventh grade English and has taught at universities such as Carlow, Chatham, Duquesne and Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach.

    Ms. Flickinger is an adjunct faculty member in the Communications, Media and Technology Department at La Roche University. She is pursuing her doctorate in communication and rhetorical studies with a focus on cyberspace. She has a three-and-a-half-year-old son, Liam, who has a lot of energy and zest for life, and a new puppy named Pauppie, who has kept her in shape! 

  • Aqua Aerobics (continued)

    Wednesdays
    Section 1: 10-10:50 a.m.
    Section 2: 11-11:50 a.m.

    Join us for a low-impact but high-intensity water aerobics class. This class is designed to improve flexibility, range of motion, strength, muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance while using the resistance of the water to cushion the feet, knees and back. Exercises are performed to lively, motivating music, and are effective and easy to follow. There will be deep and shallow exercises, and modifications can be made based on the participant’s ability to swim and fitness level.

    Please note: Plus members are able to take one Water or Aqua Aerobics as part of their membership. The fee for an additional day is $45 for one additional day and includes both sessions (~10 classes), or $90 for two additional days (includes both sessions or ~20 classes total). This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 31, skips March 13 and 27, and ends April 24. This is a general-level fitness class.

    This class is open to the La Roche staff, faculty and public for a fee. The rate for community members is $90 for one day per week or $180 for two days per week. LRU staff and faculty can take this course for the ALL member price.

    Instructors: 

    This course will be taught by Cathy Fodor for the first session. The plan is that Deb Carrera will return from her medical leave to teach the class in March.

    Deb Carrera has served the aquatic fitness industry for over 20 years as an aqua aerobics and swimming instructor. She holds a specialized certification in Deep Water Fitness, along with an Aquatic Fitness Professional certification from the Aquatic Exercise Association. She teaches a variety of aquatic classes, and her classes are open to all levels and abilities.

    Ms. Carrera’s passion is to help people achieve their goals through the routine practice of Aquatic Fitness. In her spare time, she enjoys nature, kayaking, biking, hiking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.

    Cathy Fodor has taught water aerobics, swimming lessons, lifeguarding and many other aquatic programs for over 30 years. She is a certified Silver Sneakers instructor and enjoys creating fun aqua workouts for older adults.

  • Centering Prayer

    Wednesdays
    10 to 11:30 a.m.

    Learn the fundamentals and beyond of centering prayer, as well as ways to integrate more reflective time and contemplation into your busy life and world. Program includes time for prayer, faith-sharing and discussion.  

    Nonmembers and guests are permitted to take this class but must still register. There is no cost, but donations will be accepted at the end of the last session.

    This class will begin March 13 and will meet the following dates:

    • March 13 and 20
    • April 3, 10, 17 and 24
    • May 1, 8 and 15

    Instructor: Sister Marian Senish, CDP, M.A., founded Transfiguration House of Prayer and has been involved in the house of prayer movement for many years. Sister Marian is a spiritual director, a pastoral minister and a developer of the Kearns Labyrinth.  

  • Intro to Modern Art

    Wednesdays
    10-11:30 a.m.

    This course will cover art history from the 17th century to the 19th century. We will look at a variety of artworks and architectural examples from eras and movements included in this time period. You will learn the identifying characteristics to determine what era/movement a work of art belongs to. This class also includes a brief history of events.

    Instructor: Sydney Pascarella is both an artist and an art historian. She received two bachelor’s degrees from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania: integrated marketing communication and art. She earned a master’s degree in art history from West Virginia University and teaches art history courses at the undergraduate level. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, drawing and painting. 

  • Fitness Testing & Prescription

    Wednesdays
    11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    This course will introduce participants to the basics of fitness training with free weights and cable resistance machines, aerobic and other equipment. Junior and senior exercise science students from La Roche University will serve as personal trainers to ALL members. Students will be supervised by their instructor while working with members.

    The students will conduct fitness assessments and develop an individualized exercise prescription based on the results of the testing, along with members’ physical activity and medical history. ALL members should be in relatively good health and must complete a pre-participation screening prior to their first session with students. Any medical clearance from their personal physician should also be completed if necessary.

    Although we know that life can get in the way, this class is part of a student project, and we ask that you commit to regular attendance when enrolling in this ALL course. If you know ahead of time that you will miss more than one class, please do not register for this course at this time.

    If you took this class in Spring 2023, you must wait until Feb. 28 to register if space is still available. This is a general-level fitness class.

    This course will meet for six weeks and will meet the following dates:

    • March 27
    • April 3, 10, 17 and 24
    • May 1

    Instructor: Emily Shimko, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Health Sciences Department at La Roche University. Dr. Shimko earned her Bachelor of Arts in dance from Slippery Rock University, and her M.S. in exercise physiology and Ed.D. in healthy and physical activity from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a certified exercise physiologist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and registered yoga teacher (200 hour).

    Dr. Shimko previously worked as a personal trainer and still loves teaching group fitness. She believes that taking classes, as well as finding a supportive social network, is a great way to improve our physical health and fitness and meet our individual goals.

  • Tai Chi (continued)

    Wednesdays
    Section 1: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
    Section 2: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

    Tai Chi is a low-impact set of movements that benefits the mind and the body. Some of the benefits include improved balance and flexibility, better focus and concentration, stress reduction and overall wellbeing. The movements are done in a slow, relaxed, coordinated manner that helps increase circulation to the brain and the internal organs. Tai Chi helps regulate the nervous system, which sends signals to the brain that enhances our reaction skills. Each movement has a specific name and purpose.

    The classes will begin with working on the beginner 24 movement form and progressing to the advanced 108 movement form. Chi kung (breathing exercises,) postures and footwork will be covered in each class.

    The course begins Jan. 31, skips March 13 and 27, and ends April 24. This is a general-level fitness class.

    Instructor: Sifu David Slaughter began training in Chinese Martial arts at the early age of eight years old. Over decades of training and teaching, Sifu realized that learning, patience and discipline pave the long path to wisdom. Sifu carries forward this philosophy—a philosophy that characterized traditional Chinese “closed school” systems—into an open school where his teaching style demonstrates that every student should be taught what the individual student is ready to learn. 

    At the core of Sifu’s teaching are two foundational elements: the training of the body to build confidence in the individual’s physical abilities, and training of the mind to release personal ego that often gets us into trouble.

    Sifu Slaughter’s reputation for sincerity, patience in teaching and dedication to his art have become widely known and respected throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area and beyond.

  • Faith on Film

    Wednesdays
    1:30-4:30 p.m.

    This course will focus on several contemporary films which contain themes of faith, can serve as parables or feature heroic figures living their faith each day. As we watch the films together, we will look for those themes and open up in discussion following each film. Themes of peace and social justice, discipleship, trust and relationships with others and our world will be featured. In a way, we will examine the themes of redemption portrayed on film by some of our better and lesser known directors and actors.

    For those who took the course by the same title in previous sessions, all movies shown in this course will be different than the previous courses.

    Instructor: Father Peter Horton is a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh currently serving as Director of the Office of Mission and Ministry at La Roche University. Ordained in 1979, he holds a Master of Divinity from Mount Saint Mary Seminary and a Master of Arts in pastoral ministry from Duquesne University. He had previously served as Director of Campus Ministry from 1994-2013 at La Roche, where he was an adjunct professor in religious studies. Most recently he was the Administrator of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Capistran parishes in the South Hills.

    Father Peter has served in hospital ministry, retreat ministry and was the National Team Priest for Catholic Engaged Encounter. He also was General Manager of the Pittsburgh Catholic Newspaper and served the papers as their entertainment and culture writer for over 20 years. He is an avid reader, movie buff, theatre lover and a collector of Snoopy memorabilia.

  • Muscle Strength & Conditioning - Intermediate/Advanced (continued)

    Wednesdays
    2:15-3:15 p.m.

    Build muscle strength and endurance in this group fitness class. We will use dumbbell weights and other equipment to move through a variety of muscle fitness exercises, with little rest between exercises. Modifications and a range of weights will be offered.

    Participants should have adequate mobility for this class. Weights will be provided, but participants are advised to bring a mat and water. 

    This is an intermediate to advanced exercise class. Members can register for up to three fitness classes total (plus a Water Aerobics if you are a Plus member). As part of the three fitness classes, you can take up to a maximum of two at your level, plus any number of general levels to total three fitness classes.

    This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. Class begins Jan. 31, skips March 13 and 27, and ends April 24.

    Instructor: Emily Shimko, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Health Sciences Department at La Roche University. Dr. Shimko earned her Bachelor of Arts in dance from Slippery Rock University, and her M.S. in exercise physiology and Ed.D. in healthy and physical activity from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a certified exercise physiologist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and registered yoga teacher (200 hour).

    Dr. Shimko previously worked as a personal trainer and still loves teaching group fitness. She believes that taking classes, as well as finding a supportive social network, is a great way to improve our physical health and fitness and meet our individual goals.
  • Introduction to Musical Theater

    Wednesdays
    4:30-6 p.m.

    Details TBA.

  • Nuts & Bolts of Novel Writing

    Thursdays
    9:30-11 a.m.

    There’s no particular mystery to writing a novel. Like any skill, it involves acquiring the fundamentals, developing effective habits and practicing what you’ve learned. In this class we’ll discuss the building-blocks of writing a novel—character, plot, setting, dialogue and other elements of craft—as well as the practices and habits of mind that published novelists cultivate. Short weekly writing exercises will provide learners an opportunity to develop their skills. Who knows—the next bestseller might be born right here!

    Instructor: Dr. Joshua D. Bellin teaches courses in writing, literature and environmental issues at La Roche University. A member of the La Roche faculty since 2000, Dr. Bellin received his B.A. in English from Wesleyan University in 1987 and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. In addition to teaching, he is a writer who has published numerous works of fiction, academic nonfiction and memoir.

  • Pathways to Wellness

    Thursdays
    10-11:30 a.m.

    This course will review popular wellness and massage techniques. Weekly topics include: Swedish, trigger points, cranial sacral, zero balancing and Reiki. The class will review the basics, provide a demo and finish with a Q&A discussion. Learn more about these popular wellness/massage techniques to help improve your overall therapeutic health. 

    Instructor: Joan Gennarini was born in Colorado and raised in Indiana. Her parents were music teachers, and her mother later became a massage therapist.

    Ms. Gennarini's career in massage therapy started after a 15-year stint in corporate America. During that time she moved across the country from California to Texas to Maryland working for companies like Shell Oil, Enron North America, and Pacific Gas and Electric.

    After enduring years of long hours sitting in meetings, working with various personalities of coworkers, meeting stressful deadlines and staring at the computer screen for many hours on end, she decided it was time to begin her healing journey.

    Inspired by her mother’s skill in massage therapy, Ms. Gennarini broke away from the busy corporate lifestyle in September 2003 and attended massage school full time at the Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy in Virginia Beach, Virginia. After graduation in 2004, she began working for a popular Day Spa in Newark, Delaware, and in 2006 opened her own private clientele massage business, Rekindled Spirits Therapeutic Massage.

  • Theater in the City

    Thursdays
    2-3:30 p.m.

    Pittsburgh is rich with theaters: the Pittsburgh Public, the Benedum, City Theatre, the Playhouse and Pittsburgh Playwrights. And those are just a few. Theater in the City will explore the history of Pittsburgh’s theaters and will provide an opportunity to attend two plays together, depending upon what is being offered in a particular season. We will prepare for the plays by learning about the playwright and perhaps the play’s history, then discuss the show after we’ve seen it. 

    Instructor: Sister Rita Yeasted, SFCC, Ph.D., a graduate of La Roche University, holds two degrees from Duquesne University, both in English Literature. Her official title is The Dorothy Saladiak Distinguished Professor of English Emerita. She has taught in the Pittsburgh area from 1962 at levels from elementary through university, and has been at La Roche for 42 years, serving as English Department chairperson for three decades. Recently retired, she now teaches as an adjunct professor.

  • Examining the 2024 Platforms of Both Political Parties

    Thursdays
    4-5:30 p.m.

    This five-week course will focus on the political platforms of both Democrats and Republicans as we near the 2024 elections. The topics will include an overview of the parties’ central beliefs since the 1960s. There will be a focus on how and why the beliefs of both parties have changed over the past several years. Class discussion and readings will also be integrated into the class.  

    Instructor: Paul Kasunich earned a B.S. in economics, M.S. in education, and an Ed.D. from Duquesne University. In addition to teaching in the doctoral program at Gwynedd, he serves as Dissertation Chair for several doctoral students. Dr. Kasunich is no stranger to La Roche; from 2000 to 2006, he taught both macro and micro economics.

  • The Great Forensic Outdoors – Outdoor Crime Scenes & How We Process Them

    Thursdays
    6-7:30 p.m.

    We will explore the role of various disciplines in the recovery of evidence from outdoor crime scenes.  Each week we will address the application of different disciplines such as archaeology, entomology, botany and geology to the recognition, collection and documentation of crime scene evidence. To do this, retired FBI Special Agent and Evidence Response Team member Mike Hochrein will lecture and present case histories relative to each topic. Attendees will explore different types of equipment and technology used in the examination of outdoor scenes.

    The examination and processing of outdoor scenes can be very different from that of indoor scenes.  The determination of what constitutes the scene, the exposure of evidence to the elements, the methods used to conceal evidence, and the transfer of environmental matter from the scene are typically not presented in indoor, or sheltered, crime scenes. Therefore, they require the joint investigative efforts of law enforcement and experts in the various disciplines. This course is an example of what would be presented to law enforcement officers to make them aware of the scientists and specialists who could help them in their investigations, and to alert them to the types of environmental evidence which could affect their cases.

    Instructor: Michael J. Hochrein is an adjunct faculty for the Department of Justice, Law and Security of La Roche University and a consultant for HD Forensics in Erie, Pennsylvania. He retired from the FBI in 2017, after more than 29 years as a Special Agent. In his capacity as a Special Agent, he participated in the investigations of matters ranging from violent crimes, financial and government fraud, as well as child pornography. Former Agent Hochrein was a member of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team (ERT) Program since its initiation in the mid-1990s.

    As a certified police instructor in various topics related to the collection of evidence and management of crime scenes, he developed and conducted training for local, state and federal law enforcement as well as medico-legal practitioners and academic audiences ranging from high school to graduate school. Former Agent Hochrein was a contributor to the FBI’s Evidence Response Team Field Reference Guide. He is also the author and co-author of several peer-reviewed articles on topics of forensic archaeology and forensic geotaphonomy. In addition, he continues to compile and update an extensive bibliography for many aspects of crime scene investigation. He maintains memberships in American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the International Association for Identification and the International Homicide Investigators Association.
  • “Essential Teachings on Love” Book Discussion

    Fridays
    10-11:30 a.m.

    “Essential Teaching on Love” (ISBN: 978-1626982697) is part of the Modern Spiritual Masters Series published by Orbis Books. The book is a wonderful journey through the life of Franciscan Father Richard Rohr, who has been conducting spiritual retreats since 1973 and who is the founder of The Living School for Action and Contemplation. This book uses his life as a map to delve into an understanding of love that is found in the life of Jesus, in the scriptures and in human experience. 

    Instructor: Sister Elena Almendarez, CDP, M.A., has been a Sister of Divine Providence for many years and ministered in the fields of education, parish ministry and foster care.  She has a master’s degree in spirituality from Duquesne University.  Recently Sister Elena left her position as Director of Mission and Ministry at La Roche University to become the Director of Kearns Spirituality Center.  Working at Kearns, she looks forward to hosting programs and creating a place for spiritual enrichment and community connections.  

  • Aqua Aerobics (continued)

    Fridays
    Section 1: 1-1:50 p.m.
    Section 2: 2-2:50 p.m.

    Join us for a low-impact but high-intensity water aerobics class. This class is designed to improve flexibility, range of motion, strength, muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance while using the resistance of the water to cushion the feet, knees and back. Exercises are performed to lively, motivating music, and are effective and easy to follow. There will be deep and shallow exercises, and modifications can be made based on the participant’s ability to swim and fitness level.

    Please note: Plus members are able to take one Water or Aqua Aerobics as part of their membership. The fee for an additional day is $45 for one additional day and includes both sessions (~10 classes), or $90 for two additional days (includes both sessions or ~20 classes total). This program runs through both Spring Term sessions. It begins Jan. 31, skips March 13 and 27, and ends April 24. This is a general-level fitness class.

    This class is open to the La Roche staff, faculty and public for a fee. The rate for community members is $90 for one day per week or $180 for two days per week. LRU staff and faculty can take this course for the ALL member price.

    Instructors: 

    This course will be taught by Cathy Fodor for the first session. The plan is that Deb Carrera will return from her medical leave to teach the class in March.

    Deb Carrera has served the aquatic fitness industry for over 20 years as an aqua aerobics and swimming instructor. She holds a specialized certification in Deep Water Fitness, along with an Aquatic Fitness Professional certification from the Aquatic Exercise Association. She teaches a variety of aquatic classes, and her classes are open to all levels and abilities.

    Ms. Carrera’s passion is to help people achieve their goals through the routine practice of Aquatic Fitness. In her spare time, she enjoys nature, kayaking, biking, hiking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.

    Cathy Fodor has taught water aerobics, swimming lessons, lifeguarding and many other aquatic programs for over 30 years. She is a certified Silver Sneakers instructor and enjoys creating fun aqua workouts for older adults.

  • Food for Thought – Books with a Food Theme (continued)

    Fridays
    1-3 p.m.

    We will read books belonging to a variety of genres (literary fiction, memoir, mystery) but with food being a loosely unifying theme.

    • Jan. 26 – “Still Life” by Louise Penny
    • Feb. 16 – “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store” by James McBride
    • March 8 – “Thirst for Salt” by Madelaine Lucas
    • May 10 – “The Language of Baklava” by Diana Abu-Jaber

    The book club will meet approximately once per month.

    Instructor: Natasha Garrett earned her Ph.D. in international education from the University of Pittsburgh. She serves as the Director of International Student Services and is an instructor in the International Studies and Communication Departments at La Roche University. As a Macedonian in Pittsburgh, she is passionate about everything cross-cultural: education, literature, art, food/drinks and people.

  • A Call to Movie Arms: America's Response to the Start of WW II

    Fridays
    2-3:30 p.m.

    After America suffered the sudden and brutal attack on Pearl Harbor, and then a string of loses through the Pacific while England seemed cornered in Europe, how did it rally? In its motion pictures, at least, it was not through denying the losses but reshaping what they meant.

    In the quasi-documentary "December 7th" and more dramatic films like "So Proudly We Hail," "Desperate Journey," "Back to Battan" and the classic "They Were Expendable," the American movies told its warriors and civilians that they still had reasons for hope, pride and resolve.

    Instructor: Michael Young has over three decades of teaching experience at schools like the University of Nebraska and Kansas State University, and over 20 years at La Roche. His Ph.D. in writing and literature is from the University of Cincinnati.

    Dr. Young has given numerous conference presentations and published articles on Shakespeare’s plays, poetry, bringing Shakespeare into the classroom, and the plays’ adaptations into film and television, along with the editorial work on the book, "Everyone’s Shakespeare," by noted Yale professor Maynard Mack.

    Dr. Young has won teaching awards at two major universities, was awarded a Faculty Enrichment grant by the Canadian government, and is the author of dozens of other articles and essays, along with short stories and poems.