Meet the Instructors

The instructors for our courses include current and retired Wesleyan faculty members who live in the Middletown area, alumni/ae,  and local professionals—artists, clergy, curators, scholars, scientists, writers, and other experts—who have no formal affiliation with Wesleyan but are pleased to share their knowledge, experience, and perspectives with our students.

  • Elizabeth Bobrick

    Elizabeth Bobrick is a Visiting Scholar in Wesleyan’s Department of Classical Studies, where she has taught ancient Greek language and literature. As part of Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education, she has taught courses in Classical Studies and non-fiction writing at Cheshire Correctional Facility. In addition, she has been a Visiting Professor in the Department of English, the College of Letters, and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program, where she is currently Writing Consultant. Her publications range from scholarly articles on Aristophanes, Sophocles, and Theophrastus to essays on an array of topics, from baseball to seasonal teaching anxiety. She received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University.
  • Steve Broker

    Steve Broker’s career in science education has included high school teaching of physical and life science, university administrative positions at Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and adjunct lectureships at Albertus Magnus College (Teaching of Science), Yale College (Teacher Preparation Program), University of New Haven (Master of Environmental Science Program), and Quinnipiac University (biology). He has studied the ecology and diversity of birds for the past forty years. Steve is a past president of the New Haven Bird Club and of the Connecticut Ornithological Association, and regional coordinator for the recent Connecticut Bird Atlas. He has been the statewide compiler of the Connecticut Christmas Bird Count for 34 years and writes the yearly review article for publication in the state journal of ornithology. His field work includes long-term studies of breeding peregrine falcons and common ravens in Connecticut and marsh birds on Outer Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
  • Tom Christopher

    A graduate of the New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture, Tom Christopher has spent the last 45 years designing and tending gardens. Although most of his experience has been in the northeast, he also gardened for a time in Central Texas (USDA Zone 8), where he was an active member of the Texas Old Rose Rustlers

    His special interest has always been in the ways that gardening brings the practitioner into contact with natural systems, and the way that working with nature can make gardening not only easier and more rewarding but also an asset to the environment. In this era of environmental challenges, he believes all gardeners need to consider this aspect of their craft.

    A reflection of this interest has been his research into more sustainable lawns. For almost a decade Tom been designing and planting fine fescue lawns that flourish with only a couple of mowings a year and limited fertilization, as well as lawns that are designed to be dog-proof (or at least dog-friendly).

  • Richard Friswell

    Richard Friswell is a cultural historian who lectures widely on topics related to Modernism and the modern era in world history.  Underpinning his cultural-historical approach to art history is the notion that the art, literature, and social history of nations are interrelated.  His recent publications include Balancing Act: Postcards from the Edge of Risk and Reward (2017) and Hudson River Chronicles: In Search of the Splendid & Sublime on America's 'First' River (2019).  His historical novel, Merchants of Deceit: American Fortune & the China Trade (Fall 2021) deals with the experiences of the Middletown merchant Samuel Russell in Canton, China.

  • Rhea Higgins

    Rhea Padis Higgins taught for many years in the art history department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hartford. She holds a BA from Smith College and an MAT from Harvard. From 1986 to 2002 she also taught at Wesleyan in Graduate Liberal Studies. Her particular area of expertise is 19th-century European painting, with an emphasis on post-Impressionist artists, but her knowledge of art ranges from classical antiquity to the present.

  • Richard Voigt

    Attorney Richard Voigt has recently retired from his position as a partner in the law firm of McCarter and English in Hartford. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, from Wesleyan University in 1968, and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Virginia Law School in 1972. At McCarter and English, Mr. Voigt represented employers in a wide variety of employment related matters, including wrongful discharge cases, employment discrimination cases, state and federal court injunction actions, breach of contract cases, and NLRB unfair labor practice proceedings. He has been a frequent speaker on labor and employment issues and was recognized as a Chambers USA “Leaders in their Field” lawyer in Employment and Labor Law for 2009-2015. He was also listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers in Connecticut.