Academic Festival on April 1

Due to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) some of these Academic Festival events has been altered, postponed, or cancelled.

The 23rd annual Academic Festival will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 1 in venues on both campuses. The daylong festival is a celebration of intellectual inquiry and learning. This year’s theme is “Second Acts; Changing Tracks.” Pictured is keynote speaker Reginald Dwayne Betts.

 2020 Academic Festival Schedule

8:30 – 9:50 a.m.

Bystander Intervention Training: There are things that we (legally) cannot just let go. (East 219)

9-9:50 a.m.

ARS POETICA: Poetry for public spaces. Students will read original works. (East Campus Atrium)

The Arrival of “Big Blue.” This is part of our “hidden gems” series, which will show pieces of the lives of some NCC people that might surprise you.  Weather permitting. (Back Entrance to East Campus)


 10-11:00 a.m.

[TBD] Guest speaker Iran Nazario was once a gang member and incarcerated. He left that world to establish the Connecticut Peace Center in Hartford.  His group tries to deescalate situations that might otherwise intensify–often violently. (GenRe Forum)

Veterans Returning to Civilian Life:  A combat veteran and an NCC Nursing professor who both have experience helping veterans with their medical issues will lead a discussion on the issues veterans face when returning to civilian life, including attending college. (Multicultural Center-East 215)

The Exercise Science Road Show: Faculty from the NCC Exercise Science department will share how they took their show on the road to Shanghai to advise colleges about setting up exercise science academic programs in China. (West 105)

Opioid Recovery: A Work in Progress. Guest speaker Ally Kernan will discuss her own journey on the road to recovery, which now finds her helping others.  Kernan works in residential and community settings, bringing both professional and personal knowledge to various private and non-profit agencies throughout Connecticut. (West 115)

Launching your own Business: We’ve invited two community members with deep ties to NCC, Dr. Susan Weinberger, a member of the NCC Foundation Board of Directors, and Cece Saunders, to discuss their experiences as both entrepreneurs and mentors. (Schwab Center Lobby-West Campus)

11:30 a.m. – 12: 50 p.m.

Open classrooms throughout campus (details to follow). These will include open sessions in English as a Second Language and demonstrations in the NCC Makerspace (at 10 am and 4 pm).

 1:00- 2:20 p.m.

Is “Felon” a title that lasts a lifetime? Reginald Dwayne Betts is the author of several books of poetry. His latest work, Felon Poems, has been featured multiple times in The New York Times recently.  He served nine years in prison for a carjacking he committed as a teenager.  In prison he became a poet and, after that, attended a community college and later earned a law degree from Yale.  His life has seen him take several “tracks.” (Levinson Theater)

 2:30 – 3:50 pm

Shakespeare in the Dark. Members of our Theater and English departments team up to present student readings from the works of William Shakespeare. (Levinson Theater)

Release Aging People in Prison:  Guest speakers Laura Whitehorn and Mark Shervington have been working for years to help change our prison system. They believe that parole boards should start looking at the entire life of the individual, including their years spent in the system, where they have turned away from what they once were and did.  Whitehorn and Shervington are senior citizens who have both served time person.   (GenRe Forum)

A real Second Act on Broadway. Another hidden gem at NCC! After experiencing the jarring death of a friend, this NCC faculty member decided to begin acting more boldly. He wrote a play. It was produced locally and then he literally tried to knock on every door he could find on Broadway, hoping to have someone read his work . . . Come hear how it turned out!   (East 229)

4:00-5:00 p.m.

[Canceled] Music Jam !  Faculty members who are also professional musicians will bring down the house and play the Festival out.  (West Campus Cafeteria)