Meet the Instructors

The instructors for our courses will be drawn primarily from among current and retired Wesleyan faculty members who live in the Middletown area—over 80 in number. In addition, there are authors, artists, scientists, and scholars in our community who have no formal affiliation with Wesleyan but who will be called upon from time to time to offer courses in our program.

  • Keely Baisden Knudsen

    Co-Founder and Artistic Director, The Legacy Theatre

    A member of ASCAP and Actors' Equity Association, Keely has performed internationally in plays, musicals, operas, and dance companies and has choreographed and directed over 60 events and theatrical productions. She has recently turned composer/lyricist and is currently engrossed in the undertaking of a new musical with Brad Ross in NYC. After graduating first in her class with a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and receiving a Masters in Drama on full scholarship from The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Keely found a love of teaching drama to all levels. She has taught at Yale University, Fairfield University, Hartt School of Drama, Southern Connecticut State University, Quinnipiac University, and was the Director of Education for the Elm Shakespeare Company for several years. Keely, her husband, and five children reside in Guilford, CT, where she is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Legacy Theatre, which is in the midst of construction of the historic Stony Creek Theatre on the shoreline in Branford, Connecticut.
  • Stephen Bank

    STEPHEN BANK is a psychotherapist, a former Adjunct Professor of Psychology, co–author of The Sibling Bond, and author of Hamlet-The Sequel. The course Psychological Perspectives on Hamlet expresses Steve’s life-long interest in using psychology to help people understand their lives and their relationships.  
  • Elizabeth Bobrick

    ELIZABETH BOBRICK is a Visiting Scholar in Wesleyan’s Department of Classical Studies. Through Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education, she has taught Greek tragedy, mythology, and the first-person essay, a course she taught for many years for Wesleyan’s Department of English. She is a member of the Classics and Social Justice Committee of the national Society of Classical Studies. Her publications range from scholarly articles on Aristophanes, Sophocles, and Theophrastus to book reviews and essays on an array of topics, from tragic heroes and baseball to Santa Claus and teaching anxiety. She received her Ph.D. in Classics from the Johns Hopkins University.
  • Jonathan Craig

    Key responsibilities
    JONATHAN CRAIG has worked with the Science Center since 1979 as a Science Instructor, Science Coordinator with the Avon Schools, Ecology Department Chairman, Assistant Director, and currently Director. He has a Masters of Secondary Education in Science from the University of Hartford, with certification in Biology, Earth Science, and General Science; a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from the University of Connecticut; and was a member of Kappa Delta Pi honor society. He also taught numerous courses in graduate education with St. Joseph College and the University of Hartford. 
  • Peter Drzewiecki

    Professor of Environmental Earth Science

    PETER DRZEWIECKI is a sedimentologist specializing in the sequence stratigraphy of carbonate and clastic rocks. He earned a B.S. degree from the University of Notre Dame, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining Eastern, he worked as a specialist at Exxon-Mobil’s research lab. Professor Drzewiecki’s primary interest lies in understanding the way tectonics and climate have influenced ancient sedimentary environments.
  • Mark Evans

    Professor of Geology

  • Richard Friswell

    Director, Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning

    RICHARD FRISWELL is a cultural historian and associate director of Wesleyan University's Institute for Lifelong Learning.  He lectures widely on topics related to Modernism and the modern era in world history.  Underpinning a 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 next publication, Morpheus Dreams: China, Opium and My American Fortune (planned 2020), will deal with the experiences of the Middletown merchant Samuel Russell in Canton, China.

  • Rhea Higgins

    Professor of Art History, University of Hartford

    RHEA PADIS HIGGINS is an adjunct professor in the art history department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hartford. She taught at Wesleyan in Graduate Liberal Studies from 1986 to 2002. Her area of expertise is 19th-century European painting, with an emphasis on post-Impressionist artists.

  • Rachel Lindsay

    RACHEL LINDSAY is an ecological designer, artist, and local food advocate. She draws from her experiences in farming, community development, international work, and graphic communication to engage people in the design process with cultural sensitivity and environmental integrity. In 2009 she received a Fulbright grant to work on sustainable farming and watershed protection in Nicaragua, and completed a course in Agroecology and Bio-intensive Agriculture at the Las Cañadas education center in Huatusco, Mexico. She holds an MS in Ecological Design from The Conway School and a BA in Anthropology from Wesleyan University.

  • Michael Maglaras

    Director, 217 Films

    Originally trained as an opera singer in the United States and Europe, Michael Maglaras performed widely as a singer and opera director. He is now the Principal of a well-respected international risk management and insurance consulting firm headquartered in Ashford, Connecticut. In 2001, he started 217 Records, specializing in alternative rock, jazz, and spoken word recordings, including a complete recording of Longfellow's "The Song of Hiawatha", produced in honor of the Longfellow bicentennial in 2007.  He founded 217 Films in 2003 with the aim of introducing a new audience to the rich history of the art of the American experience.  Michael Maglaras has been called a "film maker of nearly Bergman-like gravitas" (Victoria Dalkey, Sacramento Bee). Scott Whipple wrote in the New Britain Herald "Maglaras and Templeton's work is comparable to that of the widely acclaimed Ken Burns." He has recently been featured in a full-length interview on "Conversations from Penn State" on Public Television.
  • Mark Meredith

    MARK MEREDITH currently teaches hands-on physical science at the Talcott Mountain Science Center & Academy, including Astronomy, Robotics, Electronics, Ham Radio (school club W1TMS), and Physics. He received his BSc in Computational and Applied Mathematics from UCONN in 1987, and has coached for the F.I.R.S.T Robotics program, the F.I.R.S.T. Lego League and the Trinity College Home Firefighting Robot Competition.
  • Karl ScheibeĀ 

    Professor of Psychology, Emeritus


    PROFESSOR SCHEIBE is a social psychologist whose current teaching and writing is about the psychology of self and identity and the relationships between psychology and theater. His current research interests also include problems of substance abuse and other excessive appetites.