LEWISTON — The Senior College program at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College will offer 26 courses in the fall semester starting Sept. 24.

Open to everyone age 50 and older, the courses are presented by peers, with no entrance requirements, grades or tests. An annual Senior College membership fee of $35, valid from Sept. 1, 2018, through Aug. 31, 2019, is required.

The cost of each course is $25 which includes most books and materials. Members who attend a course will have access to the campus library, the Senior College free winter classes and the popular special interest clubs.

All courses are held at L-A College, 51 Westminster St., except as noted. There are no classes Oct. 8 and Nov. 12.

The fall semester course offerings are:

Advanced Genealogical Techniques: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Mondays beginning Sept. 24. For the more experienced genealogist, this course will explore the five elements of the Genealogical Proof Standard. Instructor Lin Wright is a genealogist and historian with more than three decades of experience.


Microbes — Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Mondays beginning Oct. 1. Consisting of PowerPoint presentations and discussions, this course explains microbes and their effects on human life. Instructor Peggy Volock is an experienced science teacher and certified medical technologist specializing in microbiology.

History of New France: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for four Mondays beginning Sept. 24. Providing a general overview of New France, an area covering central and eastern Canada and a third of what is now the United States, the course covers Acadian history and the general principles of French-Canadian genealogy. Instructor Rev. Robert Parent studied the art and history of New France and is president of the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society.

The Culture of India Through Film: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Mondays beginning Sept. 24. Depicting India’s rich culture from Ghandi to Bollywood, this course will provide a different film each week. Instructor Judy Hierstein is a long time admirer of India and its mysteries.

Genealogical Laboratory: 1 to 3 p.m. for eight Mondays beginning Sept. 24. This course provides an opportunity for genealogists of all levels to further hone their skills and explore available resources. Basic computer skills are strongly encouraged. Instructor Lin Wright is a genealogist and historian with more than three decades of experience

Russian-American Relations in Historical Context: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Mondays beginning Sept. 24. From Ekaterina Dashkova to Maine’s Samantha Smith, this repeat course will introduce governmental and private connections from the 18th century to the end of the Soviet Union. Instructor Christine Holden has a Ph.D. in European History and has taught at Bates College and the University of Southern Maine.

Current Events: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Mondays beginning Sept. 24. This course will deal with local, state, national and world current events. Participants should come prepared to discuss events as they are happening. Instructor Crystal Ward taught American Government for over twenty years at Lewiston High School.


The Books of Harper Lee: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Tuesdays beginning Sept. 25 at SeniorsPlus in Lewiston. This course will explore two books authored by Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Go Set a Watchman”, as well as viewing the Gregory Peck film. Instructor Laura Sturgis taught English at Edward Little H.S. for fifteen years and the Syracuse University’s Project Advance for three years.

Simply Drawing: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Tuesdays beginning Sept. 25. This studio course will explore the elements and principles of art, using simply pencil and paper. Instructor Judy Hierstein spent her career as an art teacher, children’s book illustrator, graphic artist and digital arts teacher.

Come Discover Local Franco-American Treasures: 1 to 3 p.m. for four Tuesdays beginning Sept. 11. A series of four workshops, this course explores the reasons French Canadians migrated to Lewiston-Auburn, the challenges and successes they achieved, the role of the Church and parochial schools in their lives and the elements of their family life. Instructor Doris Bonneau is chairperson of the Franco Collection Board at USM and has been decorated by the French government for her contributions in education and community service.

Decorative Journaling and Letter Writing: A new Online Course meeting 2 to 4 p.m. for six Tuesdays beginning Sept. 25. Participants will create a decorated journal of memories and share special moments with illustrated letters using paints, collage, photographs and much more. The online Zoom Course will be used and computer loading help provided upon signing up for the course. Instructor Anne Cardale is the director of the Maine Senior College Network and a strong proponent of online learning.

Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions: 6 to 8 p.m. for three Tuesdays beginning Sept. 25. A broad range of participants in the criminal justice system will discuss incarceration and its ramifications on life afterward. Instructor Leonard Sharon has practiced as a defense attorney for over forty years and served twenty three years on the Governor’s Pardon Board.

Green Dot Bystander Intervention Training: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for four Wednesdays beginning Sept. 26. Participants will learn how and why a bystander may intervene safely and reduce the potential for harm caused by bullying or harassment. Instructor Peter Elias is a retired local family physician and certified Green Dot Intervention instructor.


Five Guys — Jesus Through the Eyes of the Four Gospel Writers: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Wednesdays beginning Sept. 26. Variations in the four Bible stories of the life of Jesus reflect the purposes and perspectives of the writers. Recognizing these differences is crucial to understanding the message and story of Jesus. Instructor Rev. Stephen Carnahan is a graduate of the Nazarene Theological Seminary and pastor of the High Street Congregational Church in Auburn.

Hand Reflexology for Health and Wellness: 9:30 to noon for four Wednesdays beginning Sept. 26. This workshop in Hand Reflexology will provide training in touch techniques to bring about relaxation while treating issues of insomnia, headaches and gastrointestinal discomfort. Instructor Lynn Poor is a Maine Certified Reflexologist and has a passion for holistic and integrative health.

Gardening Potpourri: 1 to 3 p.m. for seven Wednesdays beginning Sept. 26. Each week a different gardening expert will speak on a specific garden-related topic including companion plants, compost, invasive plants, container gardening, insects, organic gardening and the perma-culture. Facilitated by Judy Hierstein.

Little Monsters: Storytelling Through Puppetry: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Wednesdays beginning Sept. 26. Participants will create and use small to medium scale puppets while focusing on storytelling for small children. Instructor Terry Strieder has a background in stage acting and design, and is proficient in basic and advanced puppet design.

A House Divided 1861-1865 — The American Civil War: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Thursdays beginning Sept. 27 at Schooner Estates in Auburn. Examining the sequence of events leading to the Civil War and those taking place during its four years will help participants better understand the war’s outcome and its impact on the future of the United States. Instructor Dr. Charles Plummer has taught many courses at Senior College. He holds a doctorate in Religious Studies and degrees in Education and Metaphysics.

Taboo and Evil and Morality: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Thursdays beginning Sept. 27. This course studies a family which cocoons a pedophiliac couple whose memoir provides participants challenges to some of our bedrock moral assumptions. Instructor Steven Piker is a retired anthropologist who teaches at Senior College here and in Portland.


Advanced Conversational French: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Thursdays beginning Sept. 27. This continuation course is designed to help students with a solid background in the French language to maintain their skills in conversation and writing. Instructor Lorraine Giasson is a retired teacher with a B.S. from the University of Maine and a M.A. in Education from the University of New England.

Thinking About Inequality: 1 to 3 p.m. for seven Thursdays beginning Oct. 4. This course examines the facts of inequality in America against the ideology of equal opportunity and the American Dream. Instructor Jean Potuchek holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and was an award-winning teacher of sociology and women’s studies at Gettysburg College.

Books with a Maine Connection: A new Online Course, 1 to 3 p.m. for six Thursdays from Sept. 13 to Feb. 14. Participants will read six books by Maine authors and meet online on the 2nd Thursday of each month. The online Zoom Course will be used and computer loading help provided upon signing up for the course. Instructor Mary Jane Beardsley is a retired librarian and has chaired a book club for several years.

Immigrants of Androscoggin County: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Fridays beginning Sept. 28. Immigration has strongly influenced the development of Androscoggin County. This course will provide speakers from the various immigrant groups who will discuss their history, ethnicity and identity. Facilitated by Cynthia Peters.

The Rise of Fake News: 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. for six Fridays beginning Sept. 28. The term “fake news” generates over 10 million Internet hits. This course will define the term and aid the participants to become diligent skeptics of news media using articles, videos and classroom discussions. Instructor Marty Gagnon is the Adult Services Manager of the Auburn Public Library and is a graduate of LaSalle University with a degree in Written Communications.

Female Singer/Songwriters: 1 to 3 p.m. for five Fridays beginning Sept. 28. This course will examine the careers of female singer/songwriters of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, including Carole King, Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon, Joan Baez, Linda Ronstadt and more. Instructor David Bernier is a retired educator who taught thirty years in Lewiston and then eight years at Poland Regional High School.

Using Sign Language and Gestures in Communicating: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Fridays beginning Sept. 28. This fun and animated course will teach the use of basic sign language and gestural skills. Instructor Stephanie Gelinas is the founder and executive director of Sandcastle Clinical & Educational Services and has been a speech language pathologist for over thirty years.

Fall semester course registration begins Monday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. Register online at usm.maine.edu/seniorcollege. See the entire catalog to peruse the courses, then follow the link to the registration website to sign up. Credit card is the only form of payment for online registration. For other types of payment, complete the mail registration form and mail it with payment attached. For more assistance call 207-780-5960.

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