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SU Gerontology Center launches Lifelong Learning Institute
SU Gerontology Center launches Lifelong Learning InstituteFebruary 26, 2008Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
The Gerontology Center at Syracuse University is launching a Lifelong Learning Institute beginning this May. The multidisciplinary courses are unique in that each will balance academic pursuits with a community engagement component and service project.
The institute — consisting of 10 courses designed for people over the age of 50 — will be offered May 12-June 5 to take advantage of the nice weather in Central New York. Courses will be taught by SU instructors and are being offered to local residents and retired SU faculty, alumni and staff.
“The goal is learning for learning’s sake,” says Madonna Harrington Meyer (right), director of the Gerontology Center and professor of sociology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. “We wanted to offer a wide array of courses that emphasize both education and engagement in the community. Lifelong learning and civic engagement are good for the mind, heart and soul.”
Courses offered through the institute are non-credit and will not be graded. Students will participate in a wide variety of activities, reading and writing. Each class will meet twice a week for two hours, over the course of four weeks. All classes will be held at the Goldstein Student Center located on Skytop Road on South Campus. The location offers free and convenient parking and accessible facilities.
Tuition for the institute is $105 for the first course and $100 for the second course. Students may enroll in two courses. The cost includes a $5 annual membership fee for the Lifelong Learning Institute. All fees are nonrefundable.
“The Stars and Planets with Carl Rosenzweig”In this astronomy course, students will learn how to navigate the stars of the night sky and explore the nature of the planets. The community engagement project will bring this knowledge of the heavens, and a telescope, to those in assisted living homes and rehab centers. Rosenzweig, professor of physics and astronomy in The College of Arts and Sciences, has interests in fundamental particle physics and cosmology and extensive experience in community outreach.
“The Earth as Sacred Space with Edward Mooney”In this religion course, students will consider literature, poetry and scripture that evoke Earth both as sacred and at times a disenchanted, desolate or even defiled, space. Community engagement will offer the opportunity for creative responses through writing, photography and other methods to focus on local sites or, alternatively, discussions with leaders of various religious traditions in the community. Mooney, professor of religion and philosophy in The College of Arts and Sciences, teaches classes on Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Basho and Kierkegaard.
“Making Documentaries with Richard Breyer”This film course will focus on how to tell stories with cameras, from Hollywood to home movies. For the community engagement project, the class will produce a short documentary and screen it at a special community event. Breyer, professor of television, radio and film in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, has been producing documentaries for three decades. His latest film, “Freedom’s Call,” tells the stories of two African American journalists who covered the Civil Rights Movement during the turbulent `60s.
“Life Writing with Christina Feikes”In this writing class, students will read and write short memoir projects, practicing techniques for building narratives and strengthening voice. For the community engagement component, the class will host a writing workshop and take oral histories from residents at a local retirement home. Feikes, an instructor in the writing program of The College of Arts and Sciences, has taught creative nonfiction, service learning and composition courses for the past 15 years.
“The 2008 Elections with Kristi Andersen”This political science course will provide students with the historical and political information necessary to make sense of this year’s presidential campaign and provide a basis for informed participation. For the community engagement project, the class will use the skills developed in discussing and organizing information about the candidates and the campaign to produce written and Web-based information that can be used by middle school teachers to educate their students about the campaign and encourage involvement. Andersen, professor of political science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and The College of Arts and Sciences, is an expert on parties and elections. An elected member of the Cazenovia Town Board, she is also a panelist on WCNY-TV’s “The Ivory Tower Half Hour.”
“The 2008 Presidential Election with Danny Hayes”This political science class will provide an overview of the 2008 presidential election, focusing on the candidates, the issues and the way voters make their decisions. For the community engagement component, the class will participate in local voter registration efforts. Hayes, assistant professor of political science in the Maxwell School and The College of Arts and Sciences, is a former newspaper reporter whose research focuses on campaigns, elections and the mass media.
“Families, Children and the Law with Sarah Ramsey”This law course will examine the challenges the law confronts in regulating complex and changing families in such areas as marriage, cohabitation, custody and child neglect. For community engagement, the class will develop educational and outreach materials for the Syracuse Family Advocacy Program, a medical-legal cooperative program that seeks to ensure that health-related legal needs of low-income children are met. Ramsey, professor of law in the College of Law and co-director of the Syracuse Family Advocacy Program, specializes in family law with a particular interest in children and the law.
“The LiveWELL Advantage with Mary Pagan”In this exercise and nutrition class, students will learn new approaches to long, healthy living, combining energizing and healing nutritional practices, focused exercise sequences and brain-power building meditation techniques. For the community engagement project, the class will teach community residents the top 10 healing foods for people over 50 and a series of simple exercise movements and posing sequences to improve appearance, bone density and posture, with an additional learning component of meditation and breathing geared to promoting clearer mental focus. They will provide outreach to retirement and assisted living programs. Pagan is an exercise physiologist, wellness expert and practitioner of the Okinawan Longevity Program, in addition to being an academic advisor for part-time continuing education students at SU.
“Classical Music with David Ross”In this music course, students will discuss the elements of music (melody, harmony, and rhythm), take a whirlwind tour through the history of music, and attend a Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (SSO) concert. For the community engagement component, the class will raise resources for instruments to be donated to Signature, a local music program for low-income schools. Ross, a bassoonist with the SSO, is a past instructor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
“Food and Memory with the Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows”Through cooking demonstrations and storytelling, students will explore how foods shape families and communities. They will engage hidden members of the community, such as food pantry guests, to hear their food stories and memories and create a cookbook of recipes and stories to be distributed to hunger relief organizations. Baskerville-Burrows is a chaplain at SU’s Hendricks Chapel and rector at Grace Episcopal Church. She writes the food blog “Cookin’ in the `Cuse” and is an advocate for sustainable food justice, working on issues of hunger and justice for nearly 15 years.
The Gerontology Center includes 30 faculty members who are engaged in aging research, education and policymaking. The center hosts scholarly conferences, oversees an undergraduate and graduate certificate in gerontology, and works to coordinate and foster interdisciplinary activities relating to gerontology across campus.
For more information on the Lifelong Learning Institute and how to enroll, visit http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/cpr/gerontology/LLI/ or contact Martha Bonney at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 443-2703.