Our Study Group Leaders

ILR classes have always been led by enthusiastic and knowledgeable Study Group Leaders. Many have advanced degrees. Others may be without academic credentials but project the enthusiasm of seasoned teachers and performers, skilled crafters, forceful debaters and voracious readers. 

Distinguished emeriti from Yale, SCSU, Quinnipiac and other universities have conducted courses for us in many different fields, from literature to mathematics, from astronomy to music and cultural history, from political science and sociology to chemistry and genetics.

Members interested in delving into a new topic sometimes lead a class and share what they have learned with those of like minds. Since our beginning in 1990, members have led courses on aspects of a variety of ethnic cultures, on overlooked films and artists, on novelists and poets, on folk music and art. 


Harriet Bergmann, PhD

Harriet Bergmann PhD retired in 2002 as a Professor of American Literature at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. She then moved to New Haven and taught creative writing as an adjunct at Yale for 14 years.

Sue Cohen

Sue Cohen, one of our book club discussion facilitators, has a BA with major in Government, and a graduate degrees in School Psychology. After 30 years as a School Psychologist in Trumbull, and a equal number of years serving on on the Orange and then Amity School Boards, I am now enjoying serving on many committees as well as the Board of ILR.

Mathew Duman

Mathew Duman is a photographer, author and graphic designer who grew up in Bethany, Connecticut. He attended the gargoyle-free campus of Central Connecticut State University. but while studying abroad, he developed a fascination with the grotesque sculptures of the cathedrals of Britain. He began exploring the variety of sculpture found on the buildings of Yale University. Since there was very little written about them, he published the book An Education in the Grotesque. Matt has since traveled to 9 other college campuses &, together with new sculpture at Yale, has published The Grotesque 10.

Joel N. Feimer PhD

Joel N. Feimer PhD taught undergraduate and graduate level English Literature and Composition at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry New York from 1967 to 2010. He earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York in 1983. He has published a number of essays on topics in Medieval and Modern . . . [ more ]

Susan Fitzgerald

Susan M. Fitzgerald, has a Masters Degree from Fairfield University and served as Associate Dean of International Programs at Fairfield University for many years. Susan is a past member of the ILR Board of Governors and is a current member of the ILR Curriculum Committee.

Mithat "Mito" Mardin PhD

Mito was born in Istanbul, Turkey and is a graduate of the German High School in Istanbul. He attended University of Göttingen with a PhD in Organic Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology. He worked as a Senior High School teacher for Physics and Chemistry during his dissertation. He joined Bayer Pharmaceuticals in 1977 and worked . . . [ more ]

Nick Maiorino

Nick Maiorino was been a Study Group Leader since 2014. He is a retired former educator with more than 50-years' experience. Though science was his main area of focus, his interests are varied. His ILR courses have focused on several aspects of human anatomy, and weather. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors and the Curriculum Committee of ILR, and is a member of the Audubon Society. As a life-long learner, he exemplifies the goals of ILR in that we all have something to learn, regardless of our age.

Loretta Ross

Loretta J. Ross is an Associate Professor at Smith College in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender. She teaches courses on white supremacy, human rights, and calling in the calling out culture.  Professor Ross also taught at Hampshire College and Arizona State University. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, she holds an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law degree from Arcadia University and an honorary doctorate degree from Smith College. She holds credits towards a Ph.D. in Women's Studies from Emory University. She serves as a consultant for Smith College, collecting oral histories of feminists of color for the Sophia Smith Collection, which also contains her personal archives.  Professor Ross has [ more ]

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