Courses and Registration


UCALL Winter 2022 Program

A Short History of Jazz
Tuesday, Jan. 11
1– 2:30 p.m.
Tim Olsen, professor of music and director of the Union College Jazz Ensemble, will examine some of the most important trends and personalities in this uniquely American art form.

A Study of Etudes
Thursday, Jan. 13
1 – 2:30 p.m.
Frank Strauss relates that many great composers identified difficult performance areas and wrote etudes, studies and practice pieces that addressed these. Etudes have been composed for almost all instruments, not just the piano; many etudes are still used for practice, and some are still found in the concert repertoire. This program will explore the meaning of etude, and will show videos of special performances of some etudes for diverse instruments.

Westinghouse and Edison, 1886
Tuesday, Jan. 18
1– 2:30 p.m.
George Wise puts into perspective how the rivalry of inventors Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse in the last quarter of the 19th century helped shape the electric power system still used worldwide today. It was indeed a “battle of the currents,” from which alternating electric current (AC) emerged triumphant over its rival, direct current (DC). That battle, however, has been misrepresented in most accounts. Specifically, it has typically been presented as the collision of two men at the peak of their powers, when it was in fact two men passing each other going in opposite directions. More important in understanding what happened in the “current battle” are events that took place in 1886, some of them in Schenectady.

Political Science: Ask the Expert
Thursday, Jan. 20
1– 2:30 p.m.
Professor Cliff Brown will conduct an “Ask the Expert” program dedicated to questions and comments from the audience. Participants are encouraged to ask about or discuss any political science topic.

Popular Television Shows of the ‘50s and ‘60s
Tuesday, Jan. 25
1– 2:30 p.m.
Paul O’Brien will present “Popular Television Shows of the ‘50s and ‘60s: What made them such hits?” We will look at a few of the favorites: “I Love Lucy,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Adventures of Superman,” “The Honeymooners,” “Ozzie and Harriet,” and “Dragnet.”

The Future of Work
Thursday, Jan. 27
1– 2:30 p.m.
Chris White covers the latest developments in technology and how they are impacting, and will impact, both the workforce and employers. Hear about the trends and the ways in which our educational systems, government, workers and businesses will need to adapt to be successful in the future.

Making a Play Out of Chaos
Tuesday, Feb. 1
1 – 2:30 p.m.
Professor Randy Wyatt, chair of Union College Department of Theater and Dance, will present “Elements of performance that must come together to make a piece of theater.” He will focus on a current project.

Cultivating a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion for All
Thursday, Feb. 3
1 – 2:30 p.m.
Dr. Patrick Jean-Pierre will speak about how to cultivate a culture of inclusion that strives to ensure that the life experiences, perspectives and values of all stakeholders are embraced.

Psychology: Conspiracy Theories
Tuesday, Feb. 8
1 – 2:30 p.m.
Joshua Hart, Union College psychology professor, will present his research on conspiracy theory believers, which shows that they are relatively untrusting, ideologically eccentric, concerned about personal safety, and prone to perceiving ill intent in actions and meaning in absurdity. His work represents the first attempt to test the independent contributions of these factors to conspiratorial thinking. Two studies found that schizotypy, dangerous-world beliefs and receptivity to absurdity predict endorsement of generic conspiracy beliefs. The studies found no effects of situational threats, though it remains to be seen whether real-world threats might move some people to seek refuge in conspiratorial thinking.