Fall 2023 Lyceum Speaker Series

Month of September

Constitution Day Event

2:00 pm -3:00 pm on Wednesday, September 13th,  This is a HyFlex event , and In person gathering in  CA 321, Annandale Campus.  

Link to registration if you are attending virtually 

After registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

“Rooting out discrimination, warrioring for equal rights, and why your lived experiences matter!”

Speaker: Lisa Sales, President of Virginia Chapter of National Organization for Women (VaNOW)


Moderator: Melissa Chabot (Associate Professor of Communication Studies)


Hispanic Heritage Fiesta for celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 

From 11:00 am to 2:30 pm  in front of CF building on Wednesday, September 20th. 

The event welcomes the Latin community and any other interested participants to set up booths or tents, providing opportunities to offer complimentary food samples, sell arts, crafts, and food items to our students and faculty and staff.

Main Organizers: Connie Robinson and Judith Gomez ( Campus  Administrative staff)


Deaf Awareness Month

5:00 pm -6:00 pm, Thursday, September 28th,  

Register in advance for this meeting:


“Mohamed Del: A Beacon of Hope and Education”

Speaker: Mr. Mohamed Del

Mohamed Del, born in Mogadishu, the bustling capital of Somalia, has impacted education and advocacy for the Deaf community. His journey, full of challenges, has taken him from the heart of Somalia to the United States.

Mohamed’s dedication to fostering the development of Somalian Sign Language shines through in his notable presentations. At the International Muslim conference in Qatar, he advocated for establishing Somalian schools and proposed the creation of Deaf schools in Puntland, Somalia.

In addition to his advocacy work, Mohamed has also made significant contributions to the field of language instruction. He has taught Arabic classes at Global Deaf Muslim, a non-profit organization committed to supporting the Deaf Muslim community.

Mohamed’s influence extends beyond the classroom. As a panelist, he’s strongly advocated for creating Muslim sign language materials, which are incredibly valuable for Deaf Muslims or anyone interested in learning Muslim signs.

His active involvement in interfaith discussions highlights his dedication to fostering understanding and dialogue and showcases his genuine passion for bridging cultural and religious divides. Through his valuable contributions to discussion forums on Christian and Muslim faiths, he exemplifies a willingness to connect and embrace diverse perspectives.

Mohamed’s inspiring journey from Somalia to America for better education opportunities amid civil unrest in his homeland offers a powerful narrative of resilience and determination. As a guest speaker, he has shared these experiences, shedding light on the particular challenges faced by the Deaf community and providing inspiration to many.

This Deaf Awareness Month, we are privileged to host Mohamed Del, a true embodiment of perseverance, education, and advocacy.

Moderator: Fatimah Aziz ( Professor of American Sign Language)


Month of October 

1:00 to 2:00 pm in CA 302 on Wednesday, October 11th.

Back by popular demand, we are hosting a featured guest speaker in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month – Mr. Michel Zajur, “Mexican American Roots” brought to you by the Lyceum Committee’s Our American Dream Series.


Mr. Zajur is a well-respected VCCS Board Member and the Founder and CEO of both the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Hispanic Foundation.

Please join us as we celebrate this highly accomplished local business leader, entrepreneur, and community advocate who has significantly contributed to the growth and development of the Hispanic Community. Therefore, we invite you to come out and help us welcome one of the most influential people in Northern Virginia, who has made an impact throughout the Hispanic Community and beyond.

Moderator: Connie Robinson ( Annandale Campus Administrative Staff)


Month of November

In House Presenter

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, in CA 302, on Wednesday, November 1st.

“I Wonder if ‘Jackhammers for the Unicorn Brigade’ is the Weirdest Thing I’ll Have to Find in This War.”

Speaker: Ms. Robin C. Rohrback, Science Learning Center Coordinator, Annandale Campus

Ukraine’s military and humanitarian successes rest in part on the creativity and resourcefulness of Ukrainian civil society and the nimble global network of volunteers who support it. In March 2023, Robin Rohrback took a quick trip to Kyiv, Ukraine to deliver over 100 pounds of volunteer-sourced and -delivered tactical medical supplies for a Ukrainian Army brigade in Donbas, electronic components and an old drone for a crack group of tinkerers in a Kyiv basement solving technical challenges for the Ukrainian military, and some other assorted odds and ends.

Ms. Rohrback will discuss her experiences and share pictures and videos from her trip. She will also discuss a few of the volunteers she works with and the astonishing work they do, such as getting jackhammers for the Unicorn Brigade, a demining suit from the president of Malaysia, and simple, everyday supplies to residents of occupied regions in the absence of green corridors.

Ms. Rohrback has been active in Ukrainian matters since the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity, during which she was the head English-language editor for EuroMaidan PR (now Euromaidan Press). She has helped supply the Ukrainian military off and on since mid-2014. She is a senior moderator for r/Ukraine, the world’s largest English-language forum dedicated solely to Ukraine; sits on the board of Ukraine Front Line, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) dedicated to supplying troops on the front lines, and serves as their logistics coordinator; and is a general helper-around-the-edges when needs arise.

Moderator: Manori Nadesalingam ( Professor of Physics)