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.

Harry Potter graphicSpring 2022

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. Join Lycoming College as we celebrate Harry Potter™ books and movies with an openLYCOMING seminar like no other. Gather with Maria Hebert-Leiter, Ph.D., as she delves deeper into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ each night with topical lectures and group discussions.

  • Mischief Managed: Mapping the Mysteries of Harry Potter™ The end is in the beginning. This first lecture will focus on how each book drops clues for readers to follow through the individual titles and the overall story of Harry Potter™, making the series a mystery that encourages us to reread again and again.
  • But Don’t Judge on What You See: Sorting Through Difference in Harry Potter™ The second lecture will focus on how the series frames discrimination in both the wizard and muggle worlds. More often than not, characters are not entirely what they seem, a point the Sorting Hat makes in the first novel. This lecture will also cover the flawed theory of pure blood superiority.
  • Hogwarts: A (Literary) History The third lecture will focus on the literary influences and the allusions in the series, particularly focusing on famous heroes and how author J. K. Rowling both uses, as well as plays with, these literary figures to create new ones.
  • All the Difference in the World: Choosing Love in the Harry Potter™ Series The final lecture will address the significance of choice in the series and how love is the ultimate weapon against Voldemort and, more importantly, fear.

Lycoming College is pleased to be offering a streaming option this semester.

Instructor: Maria Hebert-Leiter, Ph.D., Department of English
Date: Wednesday, March 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2022
Time: 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Location: Trogner Presentation Room, Krapf Gateway Center, Lycoming College

$35 per person, in-person or streaming access

RSVP by Feb. 18 with Lara Collins Breon '04 in the alumni office at or 570-321-4376.

We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 landscape with the health and safety of our campus community and visitors at the forefront of our planning. Lycoming College requires proper masking in every building on campus, regardless of vaccination status. We invite you to read our full public event protocols for more information. Thank you for your understanding and compliance.

Stream anytime!

Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry

Some people love poetry. Darby Lewes, Ph.D., is one of those people. But she knows not everyone feels the same, and she is here to change your mind! Lewes shares 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!

Lewes is an award-winning teacher at the local and national level who presents workshops on student motivation throughout the U.S. She has published five books and many journal articles, as well as book chapters and encyclopedia entries. She is the recipient of several major writing awards, including the University of Chicago's Ronald S. Crane Award and Snowday Memorial Prize for Criticism, and Northwestern University's Tri-Quarterly Prize. Her A Portrait of the Student as a Young Wolf: Motivating Undergraduates was nominated for a Frederick W. Ness Book Award, and Dream Revisionaries: Genre and Gender in Women's Utopian Fiction 1870-1920 was a finalist for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's Rosenhaupt Book Award and earned her a Litt.D. from Wilson College in Pennsylvania. She has been a featured and/or plenary presenter at several professional conferences in the U.S. and Europe.

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 is right for the season and explores the origins of popular urban legends to better understand the causes and consequences of fear.

Justin Lopez-Medina, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology. His research centers on the administration of criminal justice and how people learn to trust and distrust authority. His teaching topics range from understanding issues within probation, courts, and policing to the factors associated with preventing crime. He publishes on these topics and collaborates with local agencies. Dr. Lopez-Medina also is an avid haunted house attendee and horror movie fan who has spent considerable time trying to understand fear and why people enjoy thrills.

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, Christopher Pearl, Ph.D., associate professor of history, 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.

Dr. Pearl’s research and teaching interests center upon the political, religious, social, and legal history of America to 1877. His classes focus on many interesting facets of early American political and legal culture, from fascinating topics such as the Salem Witch Trials to the vigilante actions of Regulators in colonial North America. His latest book, “Crisis of Governance: The Revolutionary Creation of an American State,” was published in spring 2020 by the University of Virginia Press.

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.