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Community University Offers 15 New Classes this Spring for Adult Learners

A new slate of classes designed for lifelong learning just got started at WLU.

“The Community University’s spring session includes topics of interest for everyone. We have everything from sports to wine on the schedule,” said Jeff Knierim, WLU’s vice president of community engagement.

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean your college days are over thanks to WLU's Community University!

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean your college days are over thanks to Community University!

The Community University at West Liberty offers stimulating learning to people age 50 and older. All presenters are volunteer instructors and most classes are held at West Liberty University’s Highlands Center.

“Community University programs are shaped by the interests of our presenters themselves and by our students who let me know what they might enjoy learning about. We have many learners who return time and time again,” Knierim said. Topics covered include the arts and literature, sciences and technology, history, religion, business and commerce, current events and antiques.

The Community University at West Liberty offers three terms annually: a spring term, a summer term and a fall term. The complete schedule for spring 2013 includes:

101 – Scandal and Disaster: Dark Side of Wheeling, presenters: Local Historians and Authors Jeanne Finstein, Ed.D. and Judi Hendrickson, Wednesday, March 27, 10-11:30 a.m.

Like every other city, Wheeling has had its share of sensational stories, from murder to epidemics to arrests for selling watermelons on Sunday.  This course will focus on the dark side of our local history, man-made and natural, pathetic and humorous.

102 – China in the Cinema, presenter: WLU Professor Emeritus Art Barbeau, Ph.D. This course will be taught in a series of 12 classes, Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 2-May 9, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Twelve films, half made in China and half made in the U.S., will be viewed on cinematic images of China. Titles include Chinese films, “Raise the Red Lanterns” and “Pagoda Ridge” and U.S. films, “The Good Earth” and the “Red Corner.” Discussion follows.

103 – Do you know your rights? Land use affected by drilling in the Marcellus Shale Formation, presenter: Attorney Dan Baker, Wednesday, April 3, 10-11:30 a.m.

Exploration and recovery of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale Formation, nearly a mile underground, has provided opportunities for surface owners to benefit or suffer from drilling and recovery activities. This class will present issues and discuss the rights of individual landowners.

104 – World War II-History of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor (ADBC), presenters: WLU Professor Emeritus Richard Lizza and ADBC Museum Director Jane Kraina, Wednesday, April 3, 1:30-3 p.m. This course will be held at Brooke County Library, 945 Main St., Wellsburg

Captured by the Japanese following their conquest of the Philippines in 1942, thousands of American military personnel died while imprisoned under horrific conditions.  The ADBC Museum, located in the Brooke County Library, is the official national archive, designated as such by the ADBC, of artifacts and documents donated by the survivors and their descendants.

105 – Smart TV with Roku, presenter: WLU Chief Technology Officer Jim Clark, Thursday, April 4, 1:30-3 p.m.

Roku is a low cost alternative to satellite and cable.  Millions of people use Roku to choose what they want to watch instantly.  Whether you’re into exploring over 700 channels and hundreds of thousands of movies and shows, delving into what really interests you, or just stumbling across something new, Roku makes it        happen easily, instantly and affordably. Movie night, or any night, will never be the same.

106 – Getting the Most Out of Your iPad, presenter: WLU Professor Earl Nicodemus, Monday, April 8, 1:30-3 p.m.

If you have an iPad and are looking for things to do with it, then this course is for you! We will examine a number of useful and fun iPad applications. We will also review some iPad basics such as moving and deleting applications, adding files to the iPad using iTunes and turning off applications that drain the battery or consume data by running in the background even when they are   not being used. Please note that this workshop is designed specifically for iPad tablets. No previous iPad experience is     required. Participants will need to bring their own iPad.

107 – Ten Commandments of Plumbing: Things Every Home Owner/Dweller Should Know, presenter: Master Plumber Ted Owens, this course will be taught in a series of two classes, Wednesday, April 10 and17, 10-11:30 a.m.

Learn from Master Plumber Ted Owens the basics of plumbing. Owens will simplify tasks that many of us are fearful of tackling.  Techniques learned in this class will enable you to make repairs and avoid that expensive call!

108 – Behind West Liberty’s Sports Renaissance, presenter: Retired WLU Professor Michael J. Strada, Ph.D., Wednesday, April 10, 1:30-3 p.m.

Learn about sports excellence at West Liberty as told by Michael J. Strada, author of “Behind West Liberty’s Sports Renaissance.” In addition to sports at West Liberty, subjects covered in the book include: the WVIAC’s long and proud history, problems with the NAIA, differences between the NAIA and the NCAA, cogent critics of Division I commercialization, its eight academic dilemmas and the stubborn tensions between sports and academia’s explicit goal: teaching undergraduate students critical thinking skills for lifelong learning in a world of flux.

109 – African American Participation in the Civil War and Its Impact, presenter: Civil War Historian Wilkes Kinney, Thursday, April 11, 1:30-3 p.m. Course will be held at the West Virginia Independence Hall, 1528 Market St.

Learn how African Americans participated as Union and Confederate Soldiers through a unique prospective. Course will include period dress, pictures, artifacts and video.

110 – The World of Wine, presenter: WLU Professor Aron Massey, series of four classes, Wednesday, April 17, 24, May 1 and 8, 1:30-3 p.m.

Examine what wine is, how grapes are grown, winemaking techniques and grape growing regions across the globe.  If attendees want to take part in optional wine tasting during each presentation, they will need to bring a wine glass and pay a small fee of $5 per week to offset the cost of the wine.

111 – What Does a Lobbyist Really Do?, presenter: Former Chief of Staff for the late U.S. Senator John Heinz and consultant, John Bonassi, Thursday, April 18, 1:30-3 p.m.

Learn first-hand how a lobbyist needs to have the experience necessary to fully understand the legislative and regulatory      process, so as to affect those processes to the benefit of a client.

112 – Roller Derby: History and Modern, presenter: Ohio Valley Roller Girl Sara Sweeney, Thursday, April 25, 1:30-3 p.m.

The popular traveling show of roller derby from the 1970s has  made its way back into the sports world as the fastest growing sport in the world.  This course will focus on the changes of the sport as well as how the game is played today.

113 – History of Philanthropy in the Ohio Valley, presenter: Executive Director Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley Susie Nelson, Thursday, May 9, 1:30-3 p.m.

Philanthropists have provided many wonderful things in the Ohio Valley including Wheeling and Oglebay parks. This course will outline our community’s most generous philanthropists, who have made our community a great place to live.

114 – Is It Getting Old in Here or is It Just Me, presenter Social Worker Ann Koegler, Wednesday, May 15, 1:30-3 p.m.

Aging is unavoidable – if we live long enough. There are things that we all face as we age. What is normal? What is not normal? Understanding what we might reasonably expect as we age and the resources and adaptation skills that are within us and around us can help us with our own aging process.

115 – Glasnost: A 25-Year Retrospective, presenter: WLU Assistant Professor of Russian Leonard Rinchiuso, Thursday, May 16, 1:30-3 p.m.

In 1988, President Mikhail Gorbachev introduced a policy of sweeping reforms and individual freedoms to the Soviet people. This policy, known as Glasnost, paved the way for the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the conclusion of the Cold War. In this lecture, glasnost is examined, on its 25th anniversary, from both Russian and American perspectives. Class asks the critical question: Did Gorbachev truly want to re-develop the Soviet superpower–as most historians believe–or did he secretly want to dismantle it?

There is a registration fee to enroll in Community University. To find out more or to sign up for any of the above classes, please contact Knierim at 304-336-8301 or by email, [email protected].