POLIS Spring 2015 Courses and/or Lecturers

Unless noted otherwise, courses are held from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Quincy University's North Campus.

January 23
Contemporary Christian Eschatology:  Modern Challenges and Developments in Considering Life After Death
Friday, (one day) Fee-$4

This course will begin with an overview of various perspectives concerning the afterlife.  It will include the commonly held positions of men and women from the ancient world, focusing most especially on the beliefs of Jews and Christians, and then entertain contemporary challenges to the afterlife.  Our course will conclude with proposed new answers to modern challenges.  

Lecturer:  Dr. Daniel M. Strudwick, Associate Professor of Theology, Quincy University

February 11
Understanding the Stock Market
Wednesday, (one day) Fee-$4

A general introduction to the stock market, some website, investing and basics, and some discussion on the valuation of companies.  

Lecturer:  Dr. Mitch Ellison, Professor of Accounting and Finance, Quincy University

February 13 , 18
Modern Syria
Friday & Wednesday, (two days) Fee-$8

This course will consider the experience of Syria and the Syrians from the close of Ottoman domination in the early twentieth century, through the French Mandate era up to the current civil war.

Lecturer:  Dr. C. Patrick Hotle, John Sperry Jr. Endowed Chair of Humanities, Professor of History and Director of Travel Studies, Culver-Stockton College.

February 19
The Grand Jury
Thursday,  (one day) Fee-$4

The Grand Jury:  Its function, its role in the Criminal Justice System, and its dynamics.

Lecturer:  Jonathan Barnard, States Attorney for Adams County

February 20, 27
Brain Matters
Fridays, (two days) Fee $8

Brain Matters:  Mistaken ideas about the mind and what we can learn from brain damaged patients.

Lecturer:  Dr. Brian Nolan, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Quincy University

March 3
Homer's Iliad:  Then and Now
Tuesday, (one day) Fee-$4

After briefly summarizing the plot and some standard themes, the focus will be on the poem's fate through time, from its origins in the oral tradition to its preeminence as a cultural and educational touchstone for much of Western history, to its current status as generally forgotten.  We will conclude by opining what the future might hold for the poem's relevance.

Lecturer:  Dr. Robert A. Gervasi, President, Quincy University

March 5
Tai Chi, Chi Kung (Qigong), and China:  some history, some gentle movement.
Thursday, (one day) Fee:-$4

The course will include historical/ contextual background of tai chi and chi kung development, a brief discussion of the five traditional tai chi styles, and some gentle tai chi and chi kung movement that can be done either sitting or standing.

Lecturer:  Jessica L. Myers, M.A., certified tai chi for health instructor through The Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI).  TCHI is an international organization founded by Dr. Paul Lam and colleagues.  TCHI has certified more tai chi instructors to teach older students and those with chronic conditions than any other agency.

March 6
Spring Flowers of the Quincy, Illinois Area Forests
Friday, (one day) Fee-$4

The spring flowering season in the tristate area forests begins near the end of March and extends through early June.  During this time the ground plants, shrubs, and small trees produce a variety of colorful flowers, completing the flowering process before the canopy trees leaf out and shade the forest floor.  This presentation shows many of the flowers that can be seen during spring visits to area forests and the resources available for identification of the plants that produce them.

Lecturer:  Dr. Alfred F. Pogge, Emeritus Professor of Biology, Quincy University

March 19, 26
Reconstruction A Revolution Thwarted
Thursdays, (two days) Fee-$8

The American Civil War produced unprecedented change.  Reconstruction represented how Americans responded to that change.  The era is one of the most controversial in all American history.  We see a new expanded role for the federal government, drastic changes in race relations, and bitter conflict between the executive and legislative branches of government.  The level of violence in society rose drastically from its prewar level.  Issues were raised that continue to trouble us today.

Lecturer:  Dr. David Costigan, Emeritus Professor of History, Quincy University

March 20
Wildlife of Costa Rica
Friday, (one day)  Fee-$4

Costa Rica is a Central American country with a well-developed ecotourism industry.  In this class, the instructor will highlight the wildlife and ecology of this bio-diverse tropical country via a slide-lecture presentation including numerous quality photographs.

Lecturer:  Dr. Joe Coelho, Associate Professor of Biology, Quincy University

April 1, 8, 15
Hemingway in History
Wednesdays, (three days) Fee-$12

Displacement and disillusionment permeate post World War I expatriate American literature, and no writer embodies these feelings more fully than Ernest Hemingway.  His short stories not only speak of a life at once intertwined with and apart from the world around him, but they offer themselves as a testament to the struggles of an entire generation asked to sacrifice.  The soldiers of WWI could never go home again!  Though they might return to the US, their vision of the world, more in line with Europe's, diverged significantly from their American counterparts.  It's the struggle of movement and experience with the resulting schism of un-shared history.  We see this best in expat literature--in Hemingway's short stories.

Lecturer:  Jannah Zubaidi, MA, Adjunct Faculty, Quincy University

April 7
Contemporary Art 1945-2015
Tuesday, (one day) Fee-$4

Review several movements in the last 70 years with a focus on continuity and innovation.  Development of electronic and photographic equipment encouraged artists to employ old principles of color, form, harmony, value, texture, and composition in these fields.  

Lecturer:  Ruth Ann Snowden, retired Quincy University lecturer in mathematics and contemporary art seminar.

April 9, 16, 24
"The Messier Deep Space Objects"
Thursdays, Friday, ( three days) Fee-$12

French astronomer Charles Messier's catalog of "nebulae" is one of the early listings of deep space objects.  Although first published in the 18th century, it continues to be useful to amateur and professional astronomers today.  This course will trace the development of the catalog and discuss the characteristics of the galaxies, star clusters and other interesting objects listed.  The instructors will make liberal use of astrophotographs of Messier objects, including some that were shot and processed by instructor, Dave Ayers.  

Lecturer:  David C. Ayers received his BSEE from Kansas State University in 1954.  He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps for two years and was employed as a design engineer at Collins Radio Company (now Rockwell Collins) in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Mr. Ayers moved to Quincy, IL, in 1965, to be Engineering Manager at Gates Radio Company (now Harris Corp).  He left Gates in 1970 to co-found Quintron Corporation, serving as its CEO.  He retired from Quintron in 1987.

Lecturer:  Jerry Collins, received his BSEE from the University of Illinois in 1963 and MSEE from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1969.  He was employed first as an antenna design engineer at Radiation Incorporated (now Harris Corporation) in Melbourne, Fl.  Mr. Collins moved to Quincy, IL in 1975 to manage the antenna operations at the Gates Radio division of Harris Corp.  Later, he was director of TV product development and led the development of the first generation of high definition TV transmitters.  He retired from Harris in 1998.

April 17
Reading the Bible Again for the First Time IV
Friday, (one day) Fee-$4

The Hebrew Scriptures (the "Old Testament") and the Christian Scriptures (the "New Testament") can be described as a library or as a collection of books that were written and edited over a thousand year period.  The various books in the bible are included in the "canon" of scripture because they define the identity of the communities that gathered, preserved, edited, and published them in the forms we have received.  They all manifest elements of their cultures at the time they were written and edited.  It should come as no surprise, then, that some of the biblical books inevitably contain elements that contradict themes from other biblical books.  Perhaps it is better to speak of "evolution" of ideas or "changing perspectives" rather than "contradictions."  At any rate, in this lecture we are going to look at many of these contradictions in the bible.

Lecturer:  Dr. Leonard Biallas, Distinguished Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Emeritus, Quincy University

G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, 20th Century Christian Apologist and Humorist
Thursdays, (two days) Fee-$8
Chesterton addressed the pressing intellectual issues of his day with a combination of humor and a prose style characterized by paradox. Some of those issues were scientific skepticism, evolution, materialism, Marxism, nihilism. A series of examples from Chesterton's writings, particularly Orthodoxy, will be presented, together with suggestions as to how they might apply today.

Lecturer:  Dr. Joe Messina, Emeritus Professor of English, Quincy University

April 28
Historic Quincy Church Series:  St. John's Church
Tuesday, (one day) Fee-$4

I.    What is Anglicanism, its worldwide character, and how does it work here?
II.    History of St. John's Parish, beginning with the founding of the Episcopal Diocese of Illinois in 1835 (parish founded in 1837).
III.    The building, beginning in 1852, with 1860's additions, 1957, and 1970 additions.
IV.    Features of the interior, including the stained glass windows, the organ, and various fixtures.
V.    A look at the other parts of the building.

Lecturer:  Fr. Lewis A. Payne, Priest of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone (South America) and the Anglican Diocese of Quincy.  His original training was in music and taught music for about 60 years, both to individuals and in schools.  He was a substitute in the Quincy Schools from 1998 to 2012.  Fr. Payne is an organ consultant and has designed and overseen the building of pipe organs.  He is also a certified drug counselor (in Wisconsin and Illinois) and once was executive director of a drug treatment center, as well as assisting in the counseling center at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.  He has a Bachelor's degree in music, a Master's Degree in Theology and completed all the work for a Master's in liturgiology and church music.  He also has about two thirds of the work completed on a doctorate in Rehabilitation.

May 1
Kentucky Derby 2015
Friday, (one day) Fee-$4

The Kentucky Derby is the first of three horse races each year that, along with the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, constitute the "Triple Crown" of American horse racing.  What makes the Kentucky Derby so special is that it is the first time each year that the best 3-year old horses from all over the United States race against each other.  We are going to look at the past history of this race, how horses qualify for this race, how jockeys are chosen, when a horse won the Triple Crown most recently, and many other questions.  We will study the Daily Racing Form to see if we can determine which horse will win this time.  This lecture will not be a repeat of last year's (when we did find the winner "California Chrome").

Lecturer:  Dr. Leonard Biallas, Distinguished Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Emeritus, Quincy University

May 6
Winston Churchill Museum Bus Tour
Wednesday, (one day) Fee-$45.00

POLIS is proudly promoting a day trip to Fulton, Missouri, to tour the Winston Churchill Museum and a reconstruction of a Christopher Wren church located on the campus of Westminster University.  Dr. David Costigan will lecture on Churchill's legacy en route to the museum and host a question and answer session on the return trip.  Lunch, which is not included in the fee, will be at the University cafeteria which features a large menu and is quite nice.

Tour Facilitator:  Dan Tanna