Cultural Speaker Series to Feature Award-Winning Cayuga Professor

A Cayuga Community College associate professor and award-winning author will discuss her novels and the history of a prominent Upstate New York family at the College’s next Cultural Speaker Series presentation.

Currently, in its inaugural season, the Cultural Speaker Series is welcoming Cayuga Associate Professor Sheila Myers to discuss the Adirondacks’ legendary Durant family and the trilogy Myers wrote about the family’s rise and fall. The discussion is scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Student Lounge on Cayuga’s Auburn Campus.

Emily Cameron, Cayuga’s Assistant Director of Community Education and Workforce Development, said the series offers people a chance to learn about local culture and history and appeals to those who are new or familiar with the topics. Cameron said Myers’ research and novels were particularly appealing because of their illustration of Upstate New York’s extensive contributions to history.

Sheila Myers, Cayuga Community College Associate Professor

Sheila Myers, Cayuga Community College
Associate Professor.

“Hearing how Sheila has created this amazing trilogy about the Durant family, and that these stories do have that local tie, it’s a great topic to feature in our Cultural Speaker Series,” said Cameron. “This is an opportunity to learn about one of Upstate New York’s most famous families, but also all the research that went into telling a really great story.”

Myers authored three historical novels about the Durant family, who were best known for their instrumental role in building the Transcontinental Railroad and pioneering the Adirondacks. She received the 2017 Best Book of Fiction Literary Award from the Adirondack Center for Writing for her final novel in the trilogy, “The Night is Done: A Durant Family Saga.”

Her research took her to the Library of Congress, the New York State Public Library System, Winterthur Museum and England as she tracked down information about the Durant family. Myers said she’s looking forward to discussing the Durants, her research and her novels with the audience.

“I enjoy talking with people about my research journey, especially because so many local people have a connection to the Adirondacks,” said Myers. “This new series is a perfect opportunity to reach out to the Cayuga County community and to provide a glimpse into the history of one of the Adirondacks’ most important families.”

In addition to her upcoming presentation at Cayuga, she has also been a guest lecturer at the Adirondack Experience Museum, the Saratoga Historical Museum and at SUNY Cortland and SUNY ESF properties in the Adirondacks.

Myers’ books will be available for purchase at the discussion, with proceeds going to the Seymour Library in Auburn. To find out more about her research and novels, visit https://www.wwdurantstory.com/.

Registration to attend the presentation is encouraged but not required. There is a $5 fee to attend. To register, visit https://registration.xenegrade.com/Cayuga/courseDisplay.cfm?schID=6319.

For more information about Cayuga’s Cultural Speaker Series, including details about future presentations, visit https://www.cayuga-cc.edu/blog/series-to-highlight-cayuga-county-history/.