LIFE: Learning is ForEver

A venture of Recreation & Leisure Services Department and Community & Family Education 

Nobel Conference 2023: A Preview with the Director

Nobel Conference 59 brings leading researchers and to Gustavus to address the disproportionate effects insects have on humans and the earth. Nobel Conference 59, Little Body, Big Impact, invites us to learn about, wonder at, and celebrate these little creatures that run the world. Listen to this year’s Nobel Director offer a preview of the upcoming conference and what people might learn. 

Fri., Sep. 8, 11:30 a.m., SPCC Rm. 217, Free

Lisa Heldke, Professor of Philosophy, Director, Nobel Conference, Gustavus Adolphus College


Nobel Conference 59: INSECTS Little Body, Big Impact – Streaming at SPCC!

Humans’ lives are inextricably connected with insects’, in ways that benefit and harm us and them. Insects have their own lives that have nothing to do with us, but have much to teach us. If we observe, contemplate, and recreate facets of insects’ ways in the world, we may find the inspiration to address, constructively and creatively, challenges ranging from “how do we feed a hungry world?” to “how do we respond to climate change?” to “"how does social isolation cause harm?” Conference presenters will address the disproportionate effects insects have on humans and the earth.

Tue. & Wed., Oct. 3 & 4, Multiple times, SPCC Rm. 217, Streamed from Gustavus Adolphus College, Free

 Tue., Oct. 3 
 10 a.m.            An Insect Intro

Lecture by May Berenbaum, PhD
 Swanlund Chair of Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign

Wed., Oct. 4

10:15 a.m.       Latitude And Attitude: Environmental and Cultural Impacts on the Perception Of Insects as Food

Lecture by Julie Lesnik, PhD
 Associate Professor of Anthropology, Wayne State University


Prairie Ecology

Prairies once made up 1/3 of Minnesota and covered over 18 million acres. Today, that same prairie area has been reduced to just over 1% of its original range. This is a stark decline, but there is also hope. Come learn about the Minnesota prairie, the people working to ensure its survival and how we are all connected to the Minnesota prairie legacy--through the sounds, sights, smells and memories for all who are lucky enough to stop and take notice.

Megan M. Benage, Regional Ecologist, Division of Ecological and Water Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Mon., Nov. 6, 11 a.m., SPCC Rm. 219, Free


JFK: The Assassination

In a 2016 never publicized interview conducted by Larry Kortuem, flight surgeon Joseph Echert shared his unique perspective on one of the most notorious events in American history - the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. As one of the doctors who handled JFK's body after the shooting, Echert had a front-row seat to the aftermath of the tragedy. This program includes Echert’s own conspiracy theories of the assassination, observations of Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon and even some unique insight into the medical challenges faced by flight surgeons during the Vietnam War. A fascinating look into significant moments in American history, as well as the personal experiences of a firsthand witness. Please note: this program contains disturbing graphic images and may be upsetting for some patrons.  

Lawrence Kortuem, Historical Presenter

Tue., Nov. 14, 11 a.m., SPCC Rm. 219, Free


Columbia: Peace, Drugs and Friendship

There is a long story of US friendship with Colombia, drug connections, and remarkable movements toward peace after decades of war. Bonus on this topic: Dr. Mimi Gerstbauer took students to Colombia in January 2023; her program will include personal pictures and stories!

Mimi Gerstbauer, Professor, Department of Political Science, Gustavus Adolphus College 

Tue., Nov. 28, 11 a.m., SPCC Rm. 219, Free


Berlin Olympics

The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games were more than just a worldwide sporting event, they were a show of Nazi propaganda, stirring significant conflict. Despite the exclusionary principles of the 1936 Games, countries around the world still agreed to participate. Learn the history of these games. 

David Jones, Historical Presenter

Fri., Dec. 8, 11 a.m., SPCC Rm. 219, Free


Update: The Conflict in Ukraine

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022, leaving millions of people fearing for their futures. The conflict continues over 18 months later. Hear the update on Ukraine with more emphasis on Russia, US and China relations, war crimes and accountability for them.

Mimi Gerstbauer, Professor, Department of Political Science, Gustavus Adolphus College 

Tue., Dec. 12, 11 a.m., SPCC Rm. 219, Free