Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop


For 200 years, Lycoming College has been proud to serve the region, providing cultural opportunities and learning experiences. openLYCOMING delivers non-credit educational seminars and courses designed to expand and enrich the lives of community members.

Taught by current and emeriti members of the Lycoming College faculty, the program offers a wide range of courses in the arts, humanities, philosophy, local history, sciences, and special topics related to faculty research and community interest. While the content and duration of each course will differ, Lycoming's dedication to providing lifelong educational opportunities will endure.

Plants graphicFall 2022

Plants and... with Dr. Briggs

If you were not baking bread during the height of the pandemic, chances are good you were growing a green thumb. Whether it was succulents or leafy swiss cheese plants, tomatoes or peppers of every variety, green was everywhere on our social media and Zoom calls. “That plant life” has taken root in our society.

For our Fall 2022 openLYCOMING session, we dig deeper into why plants are so important to our everyday lives with Dr. Michelle Briggs. Your overall understanding of plants will blossom each week as we cover the following topics:

Week 1: Plants and Nutrition
Week 2: Plants and Medicine
Week 3: Plants and Climate Change
Week 4: Plants and Pollinators

Michelle Briggs, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology at Lycoming College

Dr. Michelle Briggs joined the Lycoming College faculty in 1992 as the departmental botanist. She teaches plant science for majors, in addition to teaching freshman majors and several plant and nutrition courses for non-majors. Her specialty is in medicinal and poisonous plants, but she also has interests in plant ecology, plant/animal interactions, plant secondary chemistry, human nutrition, and the medicinal aspects of plants. Dr. Briggs was also involved in the Lycoming College Scholars program for twenty-five years.

Dr. Briggs earned her B.S. at Cornell University, her M.S. at the University of Iowa, and her Ph.D. at the Pennsylvania State University. Maybe it's just an occupational hazard of being a botanist, because when she has some spare time, Dr. Briggs likes to spend it in her perennial garden, encouraging young things to grow. Come to think of it, that's why she likes teaching, too.

$35 per person, in-person or streaming access

Tuesdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25, 2022
6:30-8 p.m.
Lynn Science Center

Register no later than Friday, September 23, 2022, with Lara Collins Breon ’04 in the alumni office at or 570-321-4376.

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 landscape with the health and safety of our campus community and visitors at the forefront of our planning. The complete Fall 22 COVID-19 protocols can be found at

Stream anytime!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™

Nearly 25 years ago, the world was introduced to a bespectacled orphan whose magical adventures would soon capture the hearts and minds of children and adults alike. Lycoming College celebrated the Harry Potter™ books and movies with an openLYCOMING seminar held in Spring 2022. Dr. Maria Hebert-Leiter delved deeper into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ each night with topical lectures and group discussions.

Instructor: Maria Hebert-Leiter, Ph.D., Department of English
Cost: $35 per person for streaming courses online
Inquire with Lara Collins Breon ’04 in the alumni office at or 570-321-4376.

Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry

Some people love poetry. Dr. Darby Lewes is one of those people. But she knows not everyone feels the same, and she is here to change your mind! Lewes shared her reflections on her experiences teaching poetry over the years, with passion and humor, in this three-part online lecture series. And keep your eyes peeled for a special cameo appearance from Raven, one of her famous Lyco Dogs!

Instructor: Darby Lewes, Ph.D., Department Chair and Professor of English and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies
Cost: $50 per person for streaming courses online
Inquire with Lara Collins Breon ’04 in the alumni office at or 570-321-4376.

Exploring Urban Myths and Why We Fear Things

Have you ever explored a haunted place or tried conjuring ‘Bloody Mary’? Are you in the habit of checking the backseat of your car at night? Have you heard about poisoned trick-or-treat candy? Did you hear about the tourist who awoke in an icy bathtub with missing kidneys? A common reaction to urban legends is fear. Fear of the unknown and others is mostly based on fiction and embellished fact. Nonetheless, reactions to fear range from biological to social and from avoidance to thrill seeking. Fear can affect individuals and entire groups alike. This course explores the origins of popular urban legends to better understand the causes and consequences of fear.

Instructor: Justin Lopez-Medina, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology
$50 per person for streaming courses online
Inquire with Lara Collins Breon ’04 in the alumni office at or 570-321-4376.

The Historian's Witchcraft: Salem Witches Fact and Fiction

Presented as part of our Fall 2019 openLYCOMING course, Dr. Christopher Pearl discussed the historian’s craft to upend popular lore about the witches of Salem using original sources from the Salem Witch Trials - differentiating fact from Hocus Pocus.

Instructor: Christopher Pearl, Ph.D., associate professor of history
Cost: $50 per person for streaming courses online
Inquire with Lara Collins Breon ’04 in the alumni office at or 570-321-4376.