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Choose from a range of courses including fitness and health, history, poetry, Medicare and more.

Fall Term Courses

You must purchase your Adventures in Lifelong Learning (ALL) membership in advance to prepare for registration. 

  • Fall Session 1: Aug. 29-Oct. 4

  • Bodiography® Fitness and Strength Training

    Mondays
    9:15 to 10:15 a.m.
    No class Monday, Sept. 5 or 26. Monday classes end Oct. 3.

    Created by Bodiography® Contemporary Ballet’s Artistic Director Maria Caruso, the workout is derived directly from the fitness and strength training needs of professional and pre-professional ballet dancers. By combining the alignment principles of ballet, traditional training techniques and specifically constructed exercise sequences, this system is truly the “ballet workout for everyBODY”.

    Instructor: Carolina Giansante, native of São Paulo, Brazil, started her dance training at Adriana Pavarini Cia De Dança, where she studied classical ballet and jazz dance for more than 10 years. She continued her training attending a variety of summer intensives in Brazil and at The Ailey School. She is currently a student at La Roche University, double majoring in dance, exercise and sport science, and minoring in psychology. Ms. Giansante is a company artist with Maria Caruso’s Bodiography, a certified Bodiography Dance Movement therapy facilitator and a Bodiography fitness and strength training system instructor.

  • The Gospel of the Beloved Disciple: Encountering Jesus

    Mondays
    10 a.m. to noon

    The writer of the Fourth Gospel is very clear about the purpose for writing this Gospel. We find this purpose in John 20:31, “These signs are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.”  

    In these sessions we will be introduced the world of John and explore themes of discipleship, sign and symbol, commitment and the community of friends. We will breathe new life into the text through the familiar figures of Martha, Lazarus, Nicodemus and others as we engage the human spirit in a search for meaning, purpose and hope.  

    This course will run for nine weeks. The instructor will teach virtually, but class will be on campus with an option for Zoom access.

    Instructor: Sister Margie Modro holds degrees in history and religious studies from La Roche University, a degree in community counseling from Shippensburg University.  She is trained in addiction treatment and prevention from Penn State University and trauma from National Organization for Victim Assistance. 

    Sister Margie received her certificate in spiritual direction from Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction. She has worked as an educator, a therapist, a trainer and a consultant for the Pennsylvania Departments of Education, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Safe Schools Office through UPMC.

  • Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament

    Mondays
    1:30 to 3 p.m.

    This course will examine the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament in light of current scholarship and practical applications to daily life. Particular emphasis will be given to the Book of Proverbs, the Book of Job and the Book of Quoheleth (Ecclesiastes). We also will look at the Wisdom Psalms and examine the two distinct parts of the tradition, Early Wisdom under the reign of King Solomon and later wisdom during the Exile.

    Instructor: A priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Father Peter Horton currently serves 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 at La Roche (1994-2013), where he also was an adjunct professor in religious studies.

    Most recently Father Peter was the administrator of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Capistran Parishes in the South Hills. He 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.

  • Historical Leadership Survey

    Mondays
    3:30 to 5 p.m.

    Studying leaders throughout history is an engaging way to learn about leadership. We will compare leaders according to their actions and biographies. George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr. and Barak Obama are subjects of this course. Rather than simply recounting the history of leadership, we will examine people that you are familiar with and their leadership.

    Instructor: Jeffrey Darville, Ph.D., MSOL is an insightful professor, business leader, keynote speaker and researcher. Currently he is a professor of business at La Roche University and formerly MBA director and assistant professor in the College of Business Administration at the American University in the Emirates, Dubai, UAE.

    Dr. Darville has taught marketing, negotiations, change management, OB and leadership. He holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing management from Grove City College, as well as degrees in organizational leadership from Geneva College (MSOL) and Gannon University (Ph.D.).

    Dr. Darville has published his book, “The Constantine Doctrine on Christian Leadership in Western Civilization,” and articles on his model of kinetic leadership, value-added services and strategic human resource management.

  • Functional Fitness

    Tuesdays
    10 to 11 a.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.

    Instructor: Andrea Peck, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Education Department at La Roche University. 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 coaches high intensity interval training (HIIT). Currently she is completing her coursework to become as NASM-certified personal trainer. Dr. Peck also competes annually in Spartan Races. This year she completed her fourth Spartan Trifecta.

  • Geography aka “Fun with Maps”

    Tuesdays
    11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Like “Fun with Flags” from BBT, Fun with Maps will provide an adventure to all parts of the world and our nation. The course also allows an enjoyable way to create map features and see how geography makes our world what it is!

    Instructor: Karen Lehman is a La Roche University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in history a minor in theology. She obtained an M.E. in social sciences with secondary teaching certification from Shippensburg University. She pursued certification in religious education, spiritual direction, program development and retreats at Kearns Spirituality Center.
  • Water Aerobics* – Section 1A

    Tuesdays
    Noon to 12:45 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. Plus Members may register for one water aerobics class initially. If space permits, Plus members can register for more than one after Aug. 29.

    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.

  • Better Balance! Steady and Strong™

    Tuesdays
    1 to 2 p.m.

    Are you looking for an exercise program designed to improve your everyday life? This course, led by a physical therapist, will focus on balance and core strengthening exercises. Come join the fun and learn a program designed to improve your posture and daily function, while also decreasing your risk of falls and injury.

    No special equipment is needed, and most of the exercises are completed standing. No part of the program involves getting up and down from the floor. This program is suitable for beginners yet appropriate for those with more exercise experience as it can be adapted to fit individual needs.

    Instructor: Diane Markovitz is a licensed physical therapist with a degree from Marquette University’s School of Physical Therapy. She loves developing and teaching group exercise classes as it provides her with a way to use her physical therapy experience to reach more people.

  • The U.S. Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968

    Tuesdays
    1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

    This course focuses on the struggles to end the system of racist segregation and denial of voting rights (violations of the 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution) that targeted African Americans. Various dynamics of politics, history, economics, biography and culture will be woven into the course. We will engage with documentary films and Power Point slideshows.

    Class meets two hours per week for five weeks. No reading is required for this course, but students are invited to read “Black Liberation and the American Dream,” written by the instructor (available for $11 from Dr. Le Blanc).    

    Instructor: Paul Le Blanc has taught history at La Roche University since 2000, and also served for several years as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (where he earned his Ph.D. in 1989), he also has worked as a social service employee, a taxi driver, a dishwasher, health care worker, a shipyard worker and an auto worker. He has written and edited over 30 books, including “A Short History of the U.S. Working Class: from Colonial Times to the Twenty-First Century.”

  • Bone Health! Steady and Strong™

    Tuesdays
    2 to 3 p.m.

    Did you know that half of all adults age 50 and older are at risk of breaking a bone and should be concerned about bone health? (National Osteoporosis Foundation 2016)

    Bone Health! Steady and Strong™ is a six-week program designed for individuals with bone density concerns, based on the principles of Too Fit to Fall or Fracture. Classes are taught by a licensed physical therapist certified in Bone Fit and incorporate strengthening, flexibility, balance and endurance exercises.

    Participants also are educated in how to safely modify daily activities for spine health. Members may register for one of Diane Markovitz’s classes per session initially. If space permits, members can register for more than one after Aug. 29.

    Instructor: Diane Markovitz is a licensed physical therapist with a degree from Marquette University’s School of Physical Therapy. She loves developing and teaching group exercise classes, as it provides her with a way to use her physical therapy experience to reach more people.

  • How Do Computers Really Work?

    Wednesdays
    10 to 11:30 a.m.

    This course explores our computing experience from the perspective of the technical and less visible mechanisms and protocols that enable computer to perform useful tasks. We will examine, for instance, computer hardware in its various forms from motherboards to storage devices. Next we will explore the world of software: these rather complex sets of instructions that allow us to do useful things with computers. Here, special attention will be given to operating systems, the digital platforms on which all other software programs operate.

    In the third week, we will examine how hardware and software interact. In this respect we will explore the all-important programming function as it exists in computing. Several programming languages will be discussed. And we will take a look at source code, its creation and usefulness.

    In the fourth week, the external threats to our computing systems will be examined, along with the question: What is safe computing?

    Finally, in week five, trends in the computing world will be explored.

    Instructor: Ron Gilardi, Ph.D., has taught on a college and university level for more than 20 years. He has taught at the University of Illinois at Campaign, the University of Western Ontario in London and, most recently, at La Roche University for more than 10 years. Before teaching, Dr. Gilardi practiced law for about 15 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Washington & Jefferson College, a J.D. from the School of Law, Duquesne University and a Ph.D. from the School of Computing and Information, University of Pittsburgh.

  • Water Aerobics* – Section 1B

    Wednesdays
    Noon to 12:45 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. Plus Members may register for one water aerobics class initially. If space permits, Plus members can register for more than one after Aug. 29. 

    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.

  • Tai Chi

    Wednesdays
    12:30 to 1:30 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 well-being. 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 Tai chi form and will progress to the advanced 108 movement form. Chi kung (breathing exercises), postures and footwork will be covered in each 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.
  • Literary Trips

    Wednesdays
    1:30 to 3 p.m.

    Attention, world readers! In this course, we will read two contemporary novels that explore Southeast Asia: "Moth Smoke" by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan) and "The Namesake" by Jhumpa Lahiri (Indian-American). We will focus on how culture is represented in the novels, and how the characters negotiate the sense of identity and belonging in a globalized world.

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

  • Core Strength & Stability

    Wednesdays
    3:30 to 4:30 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.

    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.

  • Muscle Conditioning: Strength and Endurance

    Thursdays
    8 to 9 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. 

    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. Dr. Shimko taught Fitness Sampler, a fall pilot course for Adventures in Lifelong Learning.

  • Knitting Know-How

    Thursdays
    11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    For centuries knitting has been a useful and productive outlet around the world. Knitting is fascinating and gives one an endless opportunity to create. If you are a beginner, or if you have some basic knitting skills, this class will enable you to reach new levels. Come along and have fun learning the basic steps of knitting and pattern reading. Learn a variety of stitches such as cables, bobbles, etc. Students will need to have size US 8 knitting needles.

    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 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 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 and several rehabilitation facilities for women, and she has taught all five of her grandchildren, ages 5 through 14. She also has moved on to progressive knitting techniques such as the Kitchener stitch and intarsia.

    Ms. Marks enjoys creating and teaching more advanced pieces, such as socks, sweaters and Christmas stockings. Knitting is her favorite pastime.                    

  • Like a Man Gone Mad: Poems of Controversy

    Thursdays
    1:30 to 3 p.m.

    Poetry at its best becomes deeply felt speech, which is the truest conversation of which we are capable. In this class students will read poems from the book, “Like a Man Gone Mad,” by Samuel Hazo. The course will focus on poems that capture the controversial problems we all deal with in our daily lives. Students will need to purchase “Like a Man Gone Mad” for the course. Details will be shared in the confirmations.

    Instructor: Sam Hazo’soeuvre includes poetry, fiction, drama, essays and various works of translation over a 60-year career. He has published more than 50 books that have been translated into numerous languages, and his literary distinctions include The Griffin Award for Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame and the Maurice English Award for Poetry. His collection of poems, “Once for the Last Bandit,” became a National Book Award finalist. He is the McAnulty Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at Duquesne University, where he taught for 43 years, and he served as the inaugural Poet-In- Residence at La Roche University.

    Named as Pennsylvania’s Poet Laureate by Governor Robert Casey in 1993, Dr. Hazo served in this esteemed position for 10 years. Twice recognized as Pittsburgh’s Man of the Year in Arts, he has been awarded 12 honorary degrees, an honorary membership in Phi Beta Kappa, and the Forbes Medal for Outstanding Cultural Contributions to Western Pennsylvania.

  • Considering Five Major Economic Questions

    Thursdays
    4 to 5:30 p.m.

    This five-week session will consider five far reaching economic questions that will continue to impact the lives of everyone living in the United States.  Each week one question will be put under the microscope and examined in terms of what has happened in the past, but more importantly, what is projected to happen in the future.

    The weekly topics will include:

    • What is the impact of an aging and more diverse work force on the United States?
    • Is the American Dream a myth?
    • Why do some economists believe the world really is flat?
    • Does the government really have too big a role in the U.S. economic system?
    • How does the technology revolution continue to shape out economic landscape?

    Instructor: Paul Kasunich, Ed.D., has earned a B.S. in economics, M.S. in education, and an Ed.D. All of his degrees are 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 University; from 2000-2006, he taught both macro and micro economics.

  • Sustainability in the Pittsburgh Region

    Fridays
    9:30 to 11 a.m.

    A word often tossed around by the media and corporations is sustainability. But what is sustainability? What does it mean to be sustainable? Should this be a standard to strive for? What is the Pittsburgh region doing to become more sustainable?

    In this course we’ll delve into some local sustainability issues concerning air and water resources, agriculture and food insecurity, energy and waste (both the trash we put on the curb and how we take care of what goes down the toilet). No issue is one-sided, and sustainability tries to look at each issue from several perspectives called the three pillars: economics, environment and equity (or social justice). In addition to on-site, classroom learning, one class will be a field trip. Based on the interests of the group, we’ll use the consensus of the participants to find a place to explore in person.

    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.

  • Medicare

    Fridays
    11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Medicare might appear to be straightforward, and it was supposed to be that way when it was imagined in the 1960s. However, the Medicare system of delivering health care coverage for over 60 million people has evolved into a worrisome thing that’s led many to sing the blues in the night. Nevertheless, how to use Medicare effectively is an essential part of transition planning for eligible individuals. What options are available? How do I access them? How do I know which ones are best for me?

    This course, then, will examine the Medicare system:

    • Its purpose and design
    • Eligibility and enrollment criteria
    • Various components, and their characteristics and function
    • How to compare and evaluate the available options to achieve the most effective and affordable health care coverage

    The instructor will teach virtually, but class will be on campus.

    Instructor: Bill McKendree has worked for over 25 years to realize a simple notion: That all individuals, regardless of their circumstances, can access the care they need to live healthy and productive lives.

    Currently Mr. McKendree is director of the Pennsylvania Healthcare Benefit Solutions Program (PHBSP), a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency helping people access affordable healthcare services through counseling, education and advocacy.  

    Prior to his work at PHBSP, Bill was program manager for the Allegheny County APPRISE office for Pennsylvania’s Health Insurance Assistance Program.  During his 13 years at APPRISE, more than 20,000 residents of Allegheny County were helped each year as they navigated through the complexities of state and federal healthcare benefit programs.

    Previously he was director of the Western Pennsylvania Center for Aging Services, helping Pennsylvania’s seniors access medical, legal and social services.
  • Fall Session 2: Oct. 17-Nov. 18

  • Bodiography Fitness and Strength Training

    Mondays
    9:15 to 10:15 a.m.

    Created by Bodiography® Contemporary Ballet’s Artistic Director Maria Caruso, the workout is derived directly from the fitness and strength training needs of professional and pre-professional ballet dancers. By combining the alignment principles of ballet, traditional training techniques and specifically constructed exercise sequences, this system is truly the “ballet workout for everyBODY”.

    Instructor: Carolina Giansante, native of São Paulo, Brazil, started her dance training at Adriana Pavarini Cia De Dança, where she studied classical ballet and jazz dance for more than 10 years. She continued her training attending a variety of summer intensives in Brazil and at The Ailey School. She is currently a student at La Roche University, double majoring in dance, exercise and sport science, and minoring in psychology. Ms. Giansante is a company artist with Maria Caruso’s Bodiography, a certified Bodiography Dance Movement therapy facilitator and a Bodiography fitness and strength training system instructor.
  • Wholly Moses

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

    Join us for an exploration of American folk art as we embrace the life and art of Anna Mary Robertson, better known as “Grandma” Moses.

    In a lifetime that spanned 101 years and 21 U.S. presidents, Grandma Moses became the First Lady of American folk art as a widow in her 70s. Her story reveals a hardworking, joyful, competitive and entrepreneurial spirit. Her art embraced her fondest memories of simple farm life in the rural countryside of her home in upstate New York.

    Our class will include the creation of our own memory painting and an optional field trip to the Westmoreland Museum of American Art to see the exhibit “Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America.”

    An additional fee will be required to attend the trip, and if space permits, other members and their guests will be invited to attend.

    The exhibit will include pieces from Grandma Moses, and Pittsburgh native and self-taught artist John Kane, among others.

    Instructor: Frances Halley is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, the Folk Art Society of America and the Guild of American Papercutters. She has a particular interest in American Folk Art, both historically and as an artistic genre. She lives in Ross Township with her husband, John and their dog, Lottie.

  • Sacred Sondheim

    Mondays
    1 to 4 p.m.


    This course will examine the contributions of composer Stephen Sondheim to the Broadway canon in light of several theological themes in his works. We will watch four of his shows: “Into the Woods,” “Passion,” “Company” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” Parts of his other shows, from “West Side Story” to “Follies” and “Sweeney Todd,” also will provide background for this hopefully enjoyable study.

    Instructor: A priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Father Peter Horton currently serves 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 at La Roche (1994-2013), where he also was an adjunct professor in religious studies.

    Most recently Father Peter was the administrator of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Capistran Parishes in the South Hills. He 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.

  • Functional Fitness

    Tuesdays
    10 to 11 a.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.

    Instructor: Andrea Peck, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Education Department at La Roche University. 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 coaches high intensity interval training (HIIT). Currently she is completing her coursework to become as NASM-certified personal trainer. Dr. Peck also competes annually in Spartan Races. This year she completed her fourth Spartan Trifecta.

  • Labyrinth Pilgrimage

    Tuesdays
    10 to 11:30 a.m.

    What is that geometric pattern on the ground? This course tells the history, defining uses and current resurgence as well as opportunities to walk the labyrinth. We will share our experiences and/or journal the insights from the labyrinth walk. There is healing and spiritual benefits to be gained from walking the “sacred path.”

    Instructor: Karen Lehman is a La Roche University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in history a minor in theology. She obtained an M.E. in social sciences with secondary teaching certification from Shippensburg University. She pursued certification in religious education, spiritual direction, program development and retreats at Kearns Spirituality Center.
  • The Rise and Fall of Communist Russia

    Tuesdays
    10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    This is a course on struggles to end one of the worst tyrannies in the world (the Tsarist system), resulting in an inspiring victory that gave way to another of the worst tyrannies in the world, which then collapsed. Various dynamics of politics, history, economics, biography and culture will be woven into the course. 

    We will engage with documentary films and Power Point slideshows. We will meet for two hours per week over a period of five weeks.  

    No reading is required for this course, but students are invited to read “Leon Trotsky,” by the instructor (available for $10 from Dr. Le Blanc).   

    Instructor: Paul Le Blanc has taught history at La Roche University since 2000, and also served for several years as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (where he earned his Ph.D. in 1989), he also has worked as a social service employee, a taxi driver, a dishwasher, health care worker, a shipyard worker and an auto worker. He has written and edited over 30 books, including “A Short History of the U.S. Working Class: from Colonial Times to the Twenty-First Century.”

  • Water Aerobics* – Section 2A

    Tuesdays
    Noon to 12:45 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. Plus Members may register for one water aerobics class initially. If space permits, Plus members can register for more than one after Aug. 29.

    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.

  • The Letters of St. Paul

    Tuesdays
    1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

    After the person of Jesus, Paul is perhaps the most important person in the development of Christianity. At the same time, he is a very controversial figure. Many view Paul as the source of all that is wrong with Christianity: sexism, authoritarianism, ant-Semitism and dogmatism.  Our course will examine Paul’s letters in their historical, cultural, linguistic and theological context. 

    Instructor: Ed Bobinchock, Ph.D., has served as a faculty member at La Roche University since 2007. He has taught various courses in Biblical Studies, Old Testament, New Testament, The Psalms and the Letters of St. Paul. In addition, he has taught courses in Philosophy, Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics and Philosophical Anthropology. 

    In recognition of his excellence in teaching, the University awarded Dr. Bobinchock the Brother Gregory Nugent Award for Excellence in Teaching. He currently serves as the chair of the Humanities Division and the chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy. Dr. Bobinchock taught two previous ALL courses: The Prophets and The Psalms.

  • Collage Exploration

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

    In this workshop series, we will explore the origin of collage, look at artists whose work included collage, and produce our own work using a variety of materials.

    Instructor: Penny Lang-Carnes, M.A., is a self-taught artist with many years of designing and producing a line of artwork under the name of Penny Lang Designs. Her most recent work was presented at the Stifel Arts Center in Wheeling, West Virginia. Her work is spontaneous, colorful and full of energy. She credits her mom for encouraging creativity, freedom to play, exploration and invention as she was growing up.

  • Water Aerobics* – Section 2B

    Wednesdays
    Noon to 12:45 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. Plus Members may register for one water aerobics class initially. If space permits, Plus members can register for more than one after Aug. 29.

    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.

  • Theater in the City

    Wednesdays
    1:30 to 3 p.m.

    Pittsburgh is rich with theaters:  the Pittsburgh Public, the Benedum, City Theatre, the Playhouse, 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, all in English Literature. Her official title is The Dorothy Saladiak Distinguished Professor of English Emerita. 

    Sister Rita has taught in the Pittsburgh area 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. A lifelong lover of theater, she holds special affection for August Wilson, and looks forward to sharing his life and works.
  • Core Strength & Stability

    Wednesdays
    3:30 to 4:30 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.

    Instructor: Andrea Peck, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Education Department at La Roche University. 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 coaches high intensity interval training (HIIT). Currently she is completing her coursework to become as NASM-certified personal trainer. Dr. Peck also competes annually in Spartan Races. This year she completed her fourth Spartan Trifecta.

  • Intro to Weight Training

    Thursdays
    7 to 8 a.m.

    Course description TBA.

    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. Dr. Shimko taught Fitness Sampler, a fall pilot course for Adventures in Lifelong Learning.

  • Gentle Yoga and Meditation

    Thursdays
    10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    This yoga class is designed for a wide range of fitness levels and for those with and without prior experience with yoga. This course will include slow, gentle movement alongside guided mindfulness and meditation practices. Yoga postures throughout the course will involve sitting, lying down, and standing. Accommodations will happily be made as needed to ensure that each student finds comfort throughout the class. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing, and asked to bring a yoga mat and water.

    Instructor: Carol Lynn Hecht completed her yoga training in 2019 and is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher. Her training focused primarily on vinyasa or flow yoga. Currently, she is completing a training in yin yoga, a contemplative practice involving longer holds for poses. She specializes in gentle practices which integrate breathwork, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques with movement. Her hope is to create a welcoming, accessible space for her students to practice and explore. Beyond yoga, Carol Lynn is a licensed counselor, pursuing a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. In her free time, she enjoys reading and painting.

  • Indigenous North America: Selected Topics in History

    Thursdays
    11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Indigenous North America is a study of selected topics that highlight the history and culture of Native Americans within the time frame of 1600–1900. There will be a special focus placed on Native American cultural systems, and how the forces of history challenged or altered these structures. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to critically think about American Indian history, applying an analytical approach, rather than resorting to worn out racial stereotypes or new-age romanticism.

    Instructor: Dr. Richard S. Grimes has taught Native American history and early American history for 25 years at West Virginia University, and lifelong learning programs for West Virginia University, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University and La Roche University. He currently teaches at Penn State University-Beaver. 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).
  • Like a Man Gone Mad: Poems of Controversy

    Thursdays
    1:30 to 3 p.m.

    Students will take a trip through Sam Hazo’s most recent collection of poems, “The Less Said, The Truer.” The poems will focus on how we grow and evolve as we age. Students will need to purchase “The Less Said, The Truer” for the course. Details will be shared in the confirmations.

    Instructor: Sam Hazo’soeuvre includes poetry, fiction, drama, essays and various works of translation over a 60-year career. He has published more than 50 books that have been translated into numerous languages, and his literary distinctions include The Griffin Award for Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame and the Maurice English Award for Poetry. His collection of poems, “Once for the Last Bandit,” became a National Book Award finalist. He is the McAnulty Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at Duquesne University, where he taught for 43 years, and he served as the inaugural Poet-In- Residence at La Roche University.

    Named as Pennsylvania’s Poet Laureate by Governor Robert Casey in 1993, Dr. Hazo served in this esteemed position for 10 years. Twice recognized as Pittsburgh’s Man of the Year in Arts, he has been awarded 12 honorary degrees, an honorary membership in Phi Beta Kappa, and the Forbes Medal for Outstanding Cultural Contributions to Western Pennsylvania.
  • The Scene of the Crime: Understanding Forensic Investigations
    Thursdays
    6 to 9 p.m.

    This is a course designed to introduce techniques of evidence recognition and collection. Attendees will experience the methods used to collect evidence from crime scenes, but more importantly, the thought processes behind collecting that evidence in context.

    Over five, three-hour sessions, using a combination of lecture, interactive demonstrations and mock crime scenes, attendees examine scenes and the evidence they hold. Topics include scene documentation, fingerprint recognition and collection, bloodstain documentation, bullet flight path documentation and trace evidence topics.

    The instructor will use over 30 years of experience working on federal, state and local crime scenes in exploring these concepts.

    Instructor: Michael J. Hochrein is an adjunct faculty for La Roche's Department of Justice, Law and Security and a consultant for HD Forensics in Erie, Pennsylvania. He retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation 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 also is the author or 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.

  • Short Fiction

    Fridays
    11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Course description TBA.

    Instructor: Leslie Wessner is a fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writers Project at the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She has directed and taught for the Young Writers Institute, a creative writing program for high school students, and she has been an instructor for Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. 

  • Ongoing Classes and Events

  • Open and Lap Swim

    For Plus Members Only

    Times to TBA

  • Kerr Fitness & Sports Center Walking Track

    For Plus Members Only

    Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Hours are based on the University schedule and may vary due to the academic calendar and athletic events.

  • Special Events and Programs

  • Welcome Back Picnic

    Aug. 26
    11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Join us for a welcome back picnic. Meet new and old friends, get your ID, parking pass and a great lunch. This is a free, members-only event, but registration is required by Aug. 22.

  • Gettysburg/Antietam Trip

    Sept. 26-27, 2022

    Join the Adventures in Lifelong Learning Program and instructor David Albert on a trip to learn about the Gettysburg and Antietam Battle and Battlefield. Trip highlights include:

    • Short lectures on the bus
    • The Gettysburg Museum, Film and Cyclorama, and a Battlefield Tour with a Step-on Guide at both Gettysburg and Antietam
    • A family-style dinner at Hickory Bridge Farm

    Depart from La Roche/Kearns (exact location TBA) on Monday, Sept. 26 at 7 a.m. Passengers need to arrive by 6:45 a.m.

    Return on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.

    Rates Per Person

    Single Occupancy - $480/$500
    Double Occupancy - $410/$425
    Triple Occupancy - $370/$385
    Quad Occupancy - $350/$360

    The fee includes the events listed above, transportation by Deluxe Motor Coach, a one-night accommodation at the Best Western Gettysburg with a buffet breakfast, and all gratuities and taxes. Lunch both days and dinner on Tuesday are at your own expense.

    To reserve your spot, you will pay a $100 deposit. The deposit is refundable if you cancel before Aug. 18, or if we cancel the trip at any time. Once your spot is reserved, we'll reach out to determine your rooming preference and will invoice you for the remaining balance.

    The remaining balance will be due by Aug. 18 unless other arrangements are made with the office. 

    Optional trip insurance is available for $28 per person. More information on the insurance can be found here. If you would like to purchase the insurance, you must purchase it the day you book the trip/put down your deposit. You can email or call the office to purchase: 412-536-1026.
  • Fun with Phyllo

    Oct. 12
    2 to 3:30 p.m.

    Phyllo is one of the tastiest, but trickiest types of food to work with in cooking. Learn how to make a savory and sweet treat with phyllo along with the tricks necessary for it to be a success in your own cooking. This event has a $5 supplies fee payable at registration.

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

  • Mass and a Meal with Father Peter Horton

    Friday, Oct. 14
    10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    Join Father Peter Horton for a talk, Mass and a catered lunch by SAGE Dining Services. This event is open to anyone. 

    Cost for ALL members, La Roche alumni and employees: $18                     

    All others: $25