North Central College - Naperville, IL

Past Non-Credit Verandah Activities

These non-credit verandah activities were open to all students on a first come, first served basis.

 February 12, 2016 Instructor: Fukumi Matsubara
Retro Is the New Japan 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

The group will participate in an event, Retro is New in Japan, and learn Japanese culture through contemporary and traditional arts, crafts and food.  Craftsmen invited from Kyoto will demonstrate their craft making such as Kimono pattern painting (Yuzen zome).  Demonstrations of traditional tea ceremony as well as flower arrangement will also be held.  The participants will be able to experience Japan through hands-on activities such as making rice balls and folding paper as well as appreciate various contemporary craft arts that will be exhibited. Contact Fukumi Matsubara for more information and to sign up.

 February 19, 2016 Instructors: L. Azarbad, P. Schacht, C. Silkaitis
Body/Courage & Talk Back 6:00 - 11:00 p.m.

As explained on the theater’s website, this play explores facets of race, sexuality, body image, and gender identity.  The writer of this show has created various characterizations of interviews with people ranging from former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon Scott Shepherd to transgender surgeon Dr. Marci Bowers to Patricia Krentcil, also known as "Tan Mom."  Following the play, the actress will provide a talk back with the group, whereby students can ask questions, discuss the themes and content portrayed in the play, and discuss emotional reactions to the play. For more information and to sign-up, contact Trish Schacht.

 February 27, 2016 Instructor: Esra Tasdelen
 Experiencing Middle Eastern Cultures in Chicago  9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This activity will take students to the heart of Chicago to experience and observe different manifestations of Islamic art, architecture and culinary traditions. The students will have the opportunity to witness the diversity of the histories, cultures and religions of the Middle East through viewing select objects at the New Galleries for Islamic Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. They will sample the products of exquisite Persian culinary traditions at Reza’s restaurant, and will also have a chance to observe Medinah Temple, one of the most prominent examples of Moorish Revival Architecture right at the heart of downtown Chicago. For more information and to participate, please contact Esra Tasdelen.




Community Organizing for Mental Health in DuPage County Instructor: Shawna Rohrman
November 14, 2015 Time: 2:00 -6:00 p.m.

DuPage United (DU) is a community organizing group that is working on improving interactions between mentally ill people and the police, and trying to develop a system in the Chicago area where people with mental health problems are directed to proper facilities rather than jails. DU will be inviting major governmental players to their Fall Assembly. The goal of the Assembly is to receive commitments from state and county leaders to make changes that will improve access to mental health facilities and reduce the number of mentally ill persons in jails. One thing DU will focus on is increasing the number officers trained in Crisis Intervention, which has been shown to reduce prison population of mentally ill. Students will attend the DU Fall Assembly to observe community organizing in action. For more information and to sign-up for this activity, contact Shawna Rohrman.

 Winter Soldier: Surveillance and (Captain) America’s Place in the World Today
Held Thursday, April 10 and Friday, April 11, 2014 Instructor: Jennifer Fredette

"This isn’t freedom. This is fear." Captain America makes this searing diagnosis of the system of spy satellites used by Project Insight in the latest Avengers installment, Captain America: Winter Soldier. With its discussion of preemptive policing, the tension between popular sovereignty and a security state, and the uncertain place of America and its heroism in the world today, Winter Solder can be viewed as a criticism of the America’s slide into a police state and the interventionism of its foreign policy.
To explore contemporary political issues like the NSA’s unwarranted wiretaps, the impact of security leaks, and the ethical issues of whistleblowing, Dr. Fredette has
organized a non-credit Verandah course that will meet for two evening sessions. On the first evening, we will see the movie Captain America: Winter Soldier. On the second, we will have a thorough discussion of its political themes over pizza and soda. Students of all majors are invited to join in this interdisciplinary, intellectual conversation about a fun spring blockbuster. For more information please contact Jennifer Fredette.

Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair Held Saturday, April 12, 2014
   Instructor: Ann Keating

Students will travel to the Field Museum to see the special exhibit "Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair." For more information please contact Ann Keating.



Neuroscience in Action Saturday, February 22, 2014
Instructors: Dr.'s Maggie Gill and Rocky VanHorn  
Join us in taking an interactive tour of The Neuroscience Center in Deerfield, IL. This facility works with patients with a variety psychiatric and neurological conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, stroke, and traumatic brain injury). The tour will include hands-on experience with the tools and techniques used at The Neuroscience Center to diagnose and treat their patients (e.g., EEG, TMS, and Neurofeedback). For more information please contact Maggie Gill or Rocky VanHorn.
Medicine in the Genomic Era Held December 5 & 6, 2013
Instructors: Steve Johnston, Jon Visick, Marguerite Degenhardt Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 p.m.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute presents a Holiday Lecture Webcast every December.  This year, two top researchers (Dr. Christopher Walsh and Dr. Charles Sawyer) talked about how medicine is changing as genomic studies become more widely available. After the second presentation, we shared a lunch and a conversation. For more information contact Steve Johnson. All majors welcome.

“Let Bartlet be Bartlet”: An Exploration of The West Wing as a Means to Understanding Contemporary American Politics

Instructor: Suzanne Chod

Dates: 10/22, 10/29, 11/5 Location: Political Science Conference Room, 330 E. Van Buren.

"You know, I'm so sick of Congress I could vomit." - Josh Lyman "Then shut it down." - President Josiah Bartlet "I want to call senators, we will start with our friends first, and when we're done with those 2 we'll start with the other 98." - President Josiah Bartlet

For those who love The West Wing, or at least have heard of it, this verandah gives students the opportunity to discuss the relevance of the show to the every day workings, or non-workings of our government. The course will meet for three evening sessions, and students will watch one episode per session and discuss how realistic the show is, its themes, and its use as a tool in understanding American politics. For more information contact Suzanne Chod.

Star Trek: Into Darkness and the War on Terror

Held: Tuesday May 28th and Wednesday May 29th
Jennifer Fredette

“There is no Starfleet regulation that condemns a man to die without a trial!” Or so Lieutenant Commander Spock tells us in the first few minutes of the new movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness. With its discussion of habeas corpus, encroaching militarization, and the dangers of an executive acting alone without effective checks and balances, Into Darkness can be viewed as a criticism of how America has conducted the War on Terror.

To explore contemporary political issues like Guantanamo, expanded executive power, and extrajudicial killings, Dr. Fredette has organized a non-credit Verandah course that will meet for two evening sessions. On the first evening, we will see the movie Star Trek: Into Darkness. On the second, we will have a thorough discussion of its political themes over pizza and soda.

It’s the end of the school year! End it right with an intellectual conversation about a fun summer blockbuster. 


Held February 2012
Instructor:  Dr. William Muck & Dr. Jennifer Fredette

The Politics of North Africa: Assessing the French Intervention in Mali

France is at war! In January, France sent troops into Mali to stop what it describes as Al Qaeda terrorists in the name of national security - but what does this north African country have to do with France? And is this the same Al Qaeda that attacked New York City on September 11th? To explore these questions more closely, Drs. Muck and Fredette have organized a non-credit Verandah course that will meet for two evening sessions (TBD) from 4:30-6:30pm. Join us in learning more about the politics of North Africa, the continued legacy of France’s former colonial presence there, and the influence America’s “War on Terror” has had on political and military decisions throughout Europe.



Held Wednesday, October. 24 & Monday, October 29, 2012
Instructor:  Dr. William Muck

The Cuban Missle Crisis at 50

The month of October represents the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. To commemorate the event historians and political scientists have engaged in a vigorous debate over the lessons to be drawn from the crisis. In particular, scholars have attempted to apply those lessons to the current standoff between Iran and the United States over Iran’s nuclear program. This non-credit Verandah course would revisit the Cuban Missile Crisis through the recently released documents and audio recordings by the National Security Archives. We will also watch segments of two important documentaries on the Cuban Missile Crisis. The class will weigh in on the “lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis” debate and attempt to apply those lessons to the current situation in Iran.  




Held Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012

Instructor:  Dr. Ann Keating

The Newberry 125: Jack Kerouac, Lewis & Clark, Candide, and More!

Newberry LibraryThe Newberry Library is celebrating its 125th anniversary with an exhibition of 125 objects in its collection. They include: original printed (and never-bound) instantiation of Voltaire’s Candide; an elliptical postcard from Jack Kerouac to his editor; rare correspondence from a slave husband to his free wife; and Joseph Whitehouse’s journal from the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  A Newberry tour guide will take us through the exhibit to take advantage of this opportunity to view rare materials.