2013-2014 Programs


Our 2013-2014 travelogue programs are scheduled for next season. If you have not yet joined or renewed your membership, please send your check of $35* made out to “Vassar Brothers Institute” to:

Vassar Brothers Institute

P.O. Box 3342

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

$35 membership* includes admission for two to all 10 Travelogues

*($100 value at single admission rate of $5 per person)

For Membership information and questions please call: (845) 462-7308

2013-2014 Programs

Travel & Adventure Programs at

Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium

7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45pm)

Mary Lee & Sid Nolan

November 6, 2013

Mary Lee & Sid Nolan

Himalayan Journeys in Nepal and Ladakh

Our journey begins in the predominately Hindu country of Nepal, where our travels include the Katmandu Valley, Nepal’s heartland, where ancient cities preserve exotic art and architecture. Then it’s on to Ladakh, India’s “Little Tibet”, an arid highland region where ancient techniques of harvest and Tibetan Buddhist traditions preserved in hilltop monasteries are commonplace.

Steve McCurdy

November 13, 2013

Steve McCurdy

The World is Round

Steve is returning with his artistic look at the sights, sounds, people and places that inspire our wanderlust and capture our imagination. This is a kaleidoscope of sparkling beaches, stunning cultural festivals, breathtaking palaces, remote villages of India, mystifying ways of the Far East and other unique travel experiences from around the globe.

November 20, 2013

John Holod

Eastern Canada RV Adventure

We continue our RV travels with John and Jodie Ginter as they take us to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. Enjoy John’s special humor and outstanding nature shots. Anne of Green Gables, Cape Breton Highlands, L’Anse aux Meadows Viking settlement, the Titanic story in Halifax. You’ll love it!

Steve Gonser

December 4, 2013

Steve Gonser

Barbados: Island in the Sun

Steve’s love for the Caribbean takes us to Barbados, the “most British” island in the Caribbean Region. It is a sophisticated tropical island with a rich history, friendly people and plenty more to capture the attention of visitors. We will tour the capital of Bridgetown, and points of interest including Harrison’s Cave, Hunte’s Gardens, and St. Nicholas Abbey.

William Washburn

December 11, 2013

William Washburn

A History of Rowing on the Hudson

How many of you are aware that the Poughkeepsie stretch of the Hudson had a long history as the epicenter of rowing competitions in America? Vassar Brothers Institute member, William Washburn, who is president of the Mid-Hudson Rowing Association, will present their fascinating film on the historical and present day rowing on the Hudson.


January 29, February 15, February 12

7:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

(Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)

The 2014 series will be at 7:30 p.m. on January 29, February 15 and February 12. As in the past, each program will consist of an understandable talk by a scientist involved in research on the topic, and an opportunity for questions from the audience. Brochures giving speakers, and subjects and the location will be distributed in January. The purpose of these lectures is to bring together the general public and scientists to explore topics of interest and importance to everyone. Admission is free.

7:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

(Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)

Our Lady of Lourdes High School

131 Boardman Road

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Program Committee

Mary Louise Van Winkle, Chairperson

Maung S. Htoo

Stephen Friedland

Edmund Lynch III

January 29, 2014



MACHINE (Conducted by Rich Guillen)”.



Speaker: Scott Hull

Masterdisk NY, NY

Is technology the scourge of the music business or its savior? The nature of music, a fundamental form of art and communication, was forever changed through a revolution that began with Napster. What is the overall effect of the democratization of creative empowerment and the sharing economy? How did the recorded music first change the way we communicate? And what does the future hold for a society that refuses to pay for the ever increasing quality and quantity it demands?

This talk will explore our relationship with music as it has moved from the local distribution of sheet music to the global distribution of digital files and beyond.

Scott Hull is an accomplished audio engineer and owner of the world famous Masterdisk in New York City. Through his work with legends including Bruce Springstein, John Zom, Bob Dylan and Sting, Scott has upheld a tradition of excellence in the art of audio recording, and stands on the forefront of the vinyl record’s resurgence. He is a graduate of Arlington High School, LaGrangeville, NY as a Bill Sweeney trombonist.

February 5, 2014



Speaker: Brian Fallon, MD

Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases

Research Center at Columbia

University Medical Center

Controversy has plagued Lyme disease. What diagnostic test or lab is the best? Can one have Lyme disease without the classic presentations? Can spirochetes persist in the human despite prior antibiotic therapy? Why do some patients develop chronic symptoms? What treatments are best? Clinicians have been divided as to how to answer these questions and until recently science offered little help. However, there is now good news. Recent breakthroughs in biotechnology and in animal and human studies are finally bringing answers to these fundamental questions. This lecture will provide an update on the latest scientific findings, their clinical implications, and future directions.

Brian Fallon, MD directs the Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases Research Center and Center for Neuroinflammatory Disorders and Biobehavioral Medicine at New York State Psychiatric Institute . He is currently launching a prospective study of Lyme disease to evaluate a new diagnostic assay to determine the biomarkers of recovery and chronicity. Dr. Fallon received a B.A. and M.Ed. from Harvard University and a MPH in epidemiology and MD from Columbia University.

February 12, 2014


ORCHESTRA” (28 person group conducted

by Jonathan Handman) .



Speaker: Dr. James L Green

NASA, Planetary Science Division

Washington, DC

NASA’s planetary science program has embarked on an ambitious effort to search for life in our solar system. Through our planetary spacecraft, we are studying the potential habitability of many bodies such as Mars, Europa and Titan. Each of these objects holds special promise for harboring past and perhaps, even life today. To see if life can exist in extreme conditions, we also study life here on earth. Our astrobiologists found that microbes from Earth can survive and grow in the low pressure, freezing temperatures and oxygenstarved conditions as on Mars. Water clearly plays a role in life as we know it and we are finding that our solar system has vast reservoirs of water of all forms. This lecture will explain what we have found out so far and our next steps in determining if we are truly alone in the universe.

Dr. James Green became the director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA headquarters in 2006. He received his Ph.D in Physics from the University of Iowa in 1979 and has written over 110 scientific articles.

Travel & Adventure Programs at

Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium

70 Forbus Street, Poughkeepsie, NY

7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45pm)

Dale Johnson

February 19, 2014

Dale Johnson

Lure of Alaska

Such a lure to all of us. Yet so remote! Dale takes us to some of the most beautiful places in our largest state. He shows us an out-of-the-way Alaska that few tourists see. Marvel at Dale’s outstanding skill in capturing on film the wild life that still abounds in these remote areas.

Stan Walsh

February 26, 2014

Stan Walsh

Italian Lakes Adventure

Stay at the elegant “Bella Époque” hotels on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Visit the stunning Boromeo palace and gardens on Isola Bella and dine on nearby Isola Del Pescatori. Ferry hop from town to town on Lake Como, including beautiful Bellagio, the “Pearl of the Lake”. Take in the sights on Lake Garda and so much more!

Rick Ray

March 5, 2014

Rick Ray

Lost Worlds of the Middle East

Join Rick on his personal journey in words and images exploring the essential nature of the Middle East. Gain a better understanding of the peoples, cultures and sources of conflict in this historical, yet volatile, area of our planet. Visit Petra, Palmyra, the Dead Sea, Damascus, Jerusalem, Beirut, Baalbek and the Cedars of Lebanon.

Buddy Hatton

March 12, 2014

Buddy Hatton

The Faces of Korea

South Korea is a land of contrasts. Buddy will take us through this country of modern, vibrant cities and smaller, more traditional towns and country side. Visit Seoul, the country’s economic power house, where you will also see the royal palaces and gardens which reflect the country’s 5,000 years of history.

Clint Denn

March 19, 2014

Clint Denn

Vietnam, Cambodia & Cruising the Mekong

From Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, renowned for its graceful colonial architecture, to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Clint and Sue Denn take us on an unforgettable journey through these two fascinating countries. With them we cruise down the Mekong River, as it meanders through small cities, fishing villages, fertile rice paddies, and numerous ancient temples and monasteries.

2013-2014 Officers

Maung S. Htoo, President, Ph.D.

Edwin E. Fitchett, Vice-President

Edmund Lynch III, Secretary

Arne C. Christensen, Treasurer

Board of Trustees

Klaus D, Beyer, Ph.D.

Robert Brickner

Arne C. Christensen

Edwin E. Fitchett

Cliff Foley

Stephen Friedland, M.D.

Richard A. Herodes

James Holmgren

Margaret A. Horton

Maung S. Htoo, Ph.D.

Steven C. Johnson

Edmund Lynch III

Arthur B. McComb

Lorne E. Richards

Mary Louise VanWinkle, Ph.D.

Cynthia A. Walker