Active Learning Opportunities


POLIS Fall 2014 Courses and/or Lecturers

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

Sept 9
The Great Recession of 2008: What Happened, Why Did It Happen, and When Will It End?
Tuesday, (one day) Fee: $4
After the impending failures of financial firms on Wall Street in the 3rd quarter of 2008, the growth of the U.S. Economy stalled and then went negative. The mood of the electorate changed sharply and Barack Obama overtook John McCain towin the 2008 presidential election. After extraordinary injection of money, bailouts of investment firms and banks, new programs and reversals of announced plans, and the unprecedented purchase of U.S. debt by the Federal Reserve, the U.S. economy has still not “recovered”. This course explains what actually happened, why the economy is still in the longest recession in U.S. History, andwhen and why it may change.
Lecturer: Burnard McHone, Retired President of Illinois Corporation and Illinois Bank, Springfield, attended DePaul University, Roosevelt University, and the University of Illinois and has a degree in business institutions and is a CPA

Sept 10, 12
Shakespeare's Measure for Measure
Wednesday & Friday, (two days) Fee: $8
About mid-career Shakespeare wrote several plays that have been described as “problem comedies,” works that seem to many to trouble the spirit of comedy by intruding dark issues, unsettledness, and even gloom. Measure for Measure, one of the plays so described, has nonetheless remained quite popular and is frequently performed today, though often given a rather somber interpretation at odds with the joyousness we expect from comedy. I'd like to try out with you a way of responding to Measure for Measure that reclaims it as a comedy. I should confess beforehand that I view it as a brilliant, fascinating, and delightful play and was drawn to devote about half of my dissertation to it, in an attempt to free it from the grasp of critics of “high seriousness” who saw it as bordering on tragedy.
Lecturer : Dr. Joe Messina, Emeritus Professor of English, Quincy University

Sept 11
Dr. Michael Swango, MD., Serial Killer: Another Side of the Story
Thursday, (one day) Fee $4
Dr. Natalini was Dr. Swango's faculty advisor while he attended Quincy University. Some topics generally not known about Dr. Swango will be discussed. Dr. Natalini will also present a crude time line during the period that he knew him.
Lecturer: Dr. John Natalini, Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences, Quincy University

Sept 16
The True John Wood
Tuesday, (one day) Fee: $4
In his anthology of Illinois governors between 1818 and 1998, historian, Robert P. Howard, devotes an average of 8.5 pages to each of the state's chief executives during that period. Howard, gives John Wood, the 12th governor, less than three. The brevity of coverage could reflect the brevity of John Wood's time in office. He was governor for little more than ten months. Yet, Wood's service proved surprisingly vital to the state, the nation, and President Abraham Lincoln. This lecture looks more closely at a man of many surprising parts to reveal: “The True John Wood.”
Lecturer: Reg Ankrom, former executive director, Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County

Sept 18, 25, Oct 2, 9
Quincy University's Connie Niemann Center, Chapel Stained Glass Windows
Thursdays, (four days) Fee: $16
September 18 – North chapel west windows: Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Sun
September 25 – North chapel east windows: Life's ultimates (death, judgment, etc.)
October 2 – South chapel west windows: the seven Sacraments
October 9 – South chapel east windows: the life of Mary
At the end of the course each participant will be able to purchase a brochure with photos of the windows and descriptions of them. (Cost will cover photocopying).
Lecturer: Fr. Joe Zimmerman, O.F.M., Emeritus Professor of Sociology

Sept 19, 26
Women in United States Wars
Fridays, (two days) Fee: $8
For most of US history, the focus has been on policy makers both presidential and military leaders during wartime. In the past thirty years, historians have turned to studying what roles were played by average Americans and what impact war has had on their everyday lives. This two-part lecture will focus on the roles women played during wartime beginning with the American Revolution. The first session will cover women's roles and contributions through the Great War (WWI). For Part 1, these roles include activities such as keeping the home fires burning to serving as spies or in official military positions.
Heroines such as Margaret Corbin, Molly Pitchers, Harriet Tubman, Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, the “Hello Girls” and Yeoman (f) will be highlighted. The second session, Part 2, will focus on women's roles and
contributions during World War II including homemaker, Rosie the Riveter, teacher, nurse, and servicewoman. The roles of minority women will also be addressed.
Lecturer: Dr. D'Ann Campbell, Professor of History, Culver-Stockton College

Sept 23
Bus Tour to St. Louis: Holocaust Museum
Tuesday, (one day) Fee: $40
Participants meet at Holy Cross Friary, 724 N. 20th St. for a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m.. We depart at 9:00 a.m. to Sweet Tomato Restaurant for lunch. After lunch we will journey to the St. Louis Holocaust Museum where we take a 2-hour and thirty minute tour led by museum docents. The Holocaust Museum and Learning Center houses a 5,000 square foot core exhibition that provides a chronological history of the Holocaust with personal accounts of Holocaust survivors who emigrated to St. Louis. Photographs, artifacts, text panels, and audio-visual displays guide visitors through pre-war Jewish life in Europe, the rise of Nazism and events during the Holocaust between 1933-1946, and post-war events including the Nuremberg Trials and Jewish life after the Holocaust. Price is $40 per person (includes tour fees). Lunch is not included in the price. The tour is sponsored by the Quincy University Retirees Association and led by Dr. Gary Carter, retired former Vice President for Instruction and Provost at Quincy University. Please send checks payable to POLIS to: Quincy University, POLIS, 1800 College Ave., Quincy, IL 62301 by September 3, 2014, OR include payment with your registration on September 3, 2014.

Sept 24
Generation Gaps: It's More than Just Young vs. Old
Wednesday, (one day) Fee: $4
We now have four living generations that are different in so many ways: Millennials, born after 1980, Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1980, Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, and Silents, born before 1946. We will look at this increasing diversity through the spectrums of demographics, politics, economics, technology, religion, and social customs. Understanding of diversity may lead to better communication and acceptance.
Lecturer: Ray Heilmann, Director of Student Teaching and Off-Campus Studies for Quincy University POLIS excess funds go to a Quincy University Scholarship fund. Over $40,000 has been contributed to date.

Oct 1
The Political Animal
Wednesday, (one day) Fee: $4
“Human nature” is a term frequently appealed to in political rhetoric, but political philosophers differ greatly as to what they take the content of human nature to be and as to what limits they believe this nature imposes on the political realm. Accounts range from the rigid and pessimistic “realism” of Hobbes and Machiavelli, who place security above the morality, to the hopeful belief in the malleability of human nature one finds in Rousseau, Marx and later socialist utopians who propose radical political alternatives. This course consults political philosophy, anthropology, evolutionary psychology, and biology to better understand the defining characteristics of human nature and to chart out the bounds, as well as the possibilities, that human nature affords us. We will utilize this understanding to evaluate which
political regimes are most compatible with this nature and which ones aren't.
Lecturer: Dr. Neil Wright, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Quincy University

Oct 3
Ten Things Art Can Do For Us
Friday, (one day) Fee: $4
What is the purpose of art in our world today? Has art outlived its usefulness? Ten examples and explanations from popular culture of what art does for us, a numbered approach. Looking for your input and ideas on how art affects you and what purposes art can serve in our lives. The lecturer has loved the smell of crayons from an early age, has written about, taught and practiced art in many ways over the course of many decades.
Lecturer: Addie Seabarkrob, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, John Wood Community College

Oct 16, 23
“World War I: A War in Two Parts.”
Thursdays, (two days) Fee: $8
On June 28, 1914, the Archduke of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Sarajevo. That event is usually described as the cause of the First World War. However, the origins of the war are far more complex. The end of the war brought about the Treaty of Versailles, a treaty that the United States Senate never ratified. The first part of this talk will focus on the causes of World War I. The second part will detail Woodrow Wilson's struggle to ensure that the United States would enter the League of Nations. Many of the reasons for the start of the war and failure of the United States to enter the League are misunderstood, and this presentation will help unshroud the myths concerning the First World War.
Lecturer: Dr. Justin P. Coffey, Associate Professor of History, Quincy University

Oct 17
Wildlife of the Tri-state Region
Friday, (one day) Fee: $4
The greater Quincy area is home to a diversity of wildlife, but few are aware of all species that can be seen here. For example, one hundred species of birds can be seen without much difficulty. From bald eagles in winter to butterflies in summer, there is always something interesting to observe in the area if one knows the proper times and places. Colorful photographs of many of these animals will be shown, and some of the places to spot wildlife will be described.
Lecturer: Dr. Joe Coelho, Associate Professor of Biology, Quincy University

Oct 21
Climate Change: Something New or Something Old
Tuesday, (one day) Fee: $4
Listening to and reading the news these days, one gets the idea that climate change is something new and primarily due to human generation of carbon dioxide. However, there is a large amount of evidence that climate change has been a “way of life” during most of the life on Earth. There is even evidence that we humans might not have been here except for some cooling events. This presentation will take a look at a number of natural and human impacts on climate.
Lecturer: Dr. Alfred F. Pogge, Emeritus Professor of Biology, Quincy University

Oct 24
Entertaining and Educational Chemical Demonstrations
Friday, (one day) Fee: $4
Complete combustion of a gummy bear. The Hindenburg reaction. Making water the LOUD way. Flammable bubbles. Acid base color changes. Breaking flowers at – 196 degrees Celcius. Making Silver and Gold Pennies.
Methanol explosions using a tesla coil. Methanol in a bottle. Elephant toothpaste.
Lecturer: Dr. Scott Luaders, Professor of Chemistry, Quincy University

Oct 30
Historic Quincy Church Series: St. Francis Church
Thursday, (one day) Fee: $4
Meet at St. Francis Church, 17th & College History and Spirituality of St. Francis Solanus Church and Parish. Brief explanation of Franciscanism. History of Franciscans' journey from Germany to Quincy. Establishment of St. Francis Solanus Parish, points of interest of St. Francis Solanus Church, and the spiritual impact of leaders and parishioners of St. Francis Solanus Parish.
Lecturer: Fr. Tom Shaughnessy, O.F.M. Parochial Vicar

Nov 4, 7
The Development of Distance Education
Tuesday, Friday, (two days) Fee: $8
Many believe that distance education is a relatively new phenomenon, but the roots of learning at a distance can be traced back over two hundred years. Distance education may have changed its delivery mechanisms as communication technology evolved, but the focus is still the same – to offer education and training to those who are separated from the instructor by time and/or place. Distance education
provides access to life-long learning regardless of where the learner may reside. Come and discover how distance education can impact our community.
Lecturer: Jill Starman, Starman Consulting

Nov 5, 12
Terrorism, Seeking an Understanding
Wednesdays, (two days) Fee: $8
Have you ever wondered what terrorism is and how did we get to where we are in the world of terrorism? Perhaps you have asked why someone would commit acts of terror. I have planned two sessions that will help to answer those questions and perhaps give you a new perspective on terrorism. Session 1: In session one, we will examine what terrorism is. Did you know that the word terrorism has a number of different definitions? We will explore the two basic types of terrorism and their differences. We will conclude this session with a brief history of terrorism.
Session 2: In session two, building on what we learned in session one, we will consider the different types of terrorists (as opposed to different types of terrorism). We will examine how terrorists organize themselves and how to study and investigate terror groups. One has to look beyond the act/s of violence to understand the group and meaning of violence. We will conclude our discussion with a snap shot on
terrorism today.
Lecturer: Deacon Harry L. Cramer, M.A., N.A. 165th Assistant Professor Criminal Justice, Quincy University

Nov 11
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

Nov 13, 14
Treatment of Victims: Raising Awareness
Thursday & Friday, (two days) Fee: $8
Victimology, a subdivision of criminology, emerged in the 1940s. The term victimology was coined by Beniamin Mendelsogh, who is considered the “father” of victimology. However, it took the women's
movement; efforts to establish children's rights; growing crime concerns; advocacy for victim compensation; legal reforms; media attention; and academic studies before the victim movement gained momentum.
Part one: The historical context; early research and conclusions; problems with crime statistics; initial and secondary insults to victims; the cost to the victim and society for crime; and the advent of
Victims Rights Legislation. Part two: The various types of victimization and will necessarily include a discussion of the good, the bad, and the ugly in: (a) the various and often heinous crimes; (b) offenders who lack empathy; (c) the role of law enforcement, forensic investigators, first responders and medical/health providers; (d) the response by the legal system and process; (e) the response by victimadvocates; (f) the response by human services providers.
Lecturer: Judge Mark A. Schuering, retired state trial judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois after 24 years, Adjunct Lecturer, Quincy University

Nov 19
“Of Sewing Machines and Umbrellas”
Wednesday, (one day) Fee: $4
Martin Settle is an assemblage artist; that is, he takes junk and recycles it as art. The title to this talk comes from a quote from Andre Breton, founder of Surrealism, “Beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table.” This expresses part of what an assemblage artist tries to do: to take objects out of their familiar environments and put them into unexpected contexts to reinvigorate their mysterious qualities. Marcel Duchamp's urinal is a classic example of this kind of art as well as Picasso's bull made from bicycle handle bars and seat. Settle's assemblages have an added dimension of being conceptual in the sense that each of his pieces is a habitat for an idea. With found objects, he builds speculative sculptures about science, philosophy, and theology. For instance, his piece “Decartes Dream” is inside a large black box like a camera obscura; the viewer puts her face beneath a curtain on the box to participate in the dream. This piece was inspired by Rene' Descartes' actual dreams about a grid world, and this assemblage refers to how Descartes changed the Medieval world from thinking about eternity to thinking about infinity. When a viewer looks inside the box, he can see on grid mirrors, LED lights going through cycles, a glass head, a glass cube, and himself going off into infinity. Martin Settle will also be exhibiting his work in the Brenner Gallery from Nov.
17 to Dec. 7. Some of the pieces have electronic, musical compositions written in collaboration with composer Donald JChamberlain. You can listen to these pieces ahead of time by going to Donald
Chamberlain on Sound Cloud, or you can listen to the music while viewing the piece if you bring your Smart phone to the gallery.
Lecturer: Martin Settle is a retired college English teacher and spent his last 17 years of teaching at UNC Charlotte. In 1969, he received his BA in English at Quincy College where he played soccer
on their national championship team. He has MA degrees in Communications and English from the University of Illinois Springfield and UNC Charlotte respectively. Besides being an assemblage artist, Mr. Settle is a poet with a collection of poems called “The Teleology of Dunes” being published this fall by Main Street Rag.

Nov 20 & Dec 2
Short Fiction
Thursday & Tuesday, (two days) Fee: $8
In this course we will read and discuss short stories written by authors from various time periods and cultures.
Lecturer: Dr. Mary Ann Klein, Emerita Professor of English, Quincy University

Nov 21
The Basics of the U.S. Constitution: Purpose, Powers, and Interpretation
Friday, (one day) Fee: $4
The purposes and rationale for the
Constitution in general; structure of the Constitution, including Amendments; Doctrine of Enumerated Powers, Sources of Legislative Power – Constitution Amendments and Treaties; Constitutional Interpretation, including Philosophy of Interpretation and general approaches to Constitutional Interpretation.
Lecturer: James Palmer, Practicing attorney who handles, among other matters, Constitutional Law issues, governmental affairs, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties litigation, (primarily as defense counsel). Adjunct Q.U. Faculty Member teaching, among other courses, Constitutional Law and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

A program that makes learning a lifetime experience
POLISThe Pursuit of Learning in Society (POLIS) organization, sponsored by Quincy University, allows active adults over 55 years of age to continue a lifetime of learning while relaxing in a comfortable academic setting with those your own age. Members are introduced to new subjects and ideas without the strain of outside study, paper writing, or test taking.

Members explore new topics and help design new courses while engaging in stimulating lectures and conversations with knowledgeable experts. Courses are designed to open your mind and stimulate thinking about variety of subjects; from Mathematics to Genetics, chose from a dozen or more courses that are attended by retirees and taught by university professors, field experts, religious leaders, and researchers.

You can register by mail or register in person on Registration Day, Wednesday, September 3, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the POLIS office in room 122-D located at the North Campus. Volunteers will be on hand to help members register or answer any questions. No appointment is necessary. Just show up.

The costs for classes and membership in POLIS is minimal. Membership for one semester is $15. Each session of a class costs only $4. You can attend one class or all of them,. Anyone who is of the right age can even come and audit one class for no charge

Contact info:
Quincy University North Campus, Room 122-D
Phone: (217) 228-5594
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Board President: Dr. Mary Ann Klein
Quincy University POLIS Director: Dr. Mary Ann Klein, Room 122-D
217-228-5432 ext. 3193

To provide, at a modest cost, learning experiences for retired and semi-retired persons, regardless of previous educational background.

POLIS is a membership organization sponsored by Quincy University. It provides an opportunity for persons over 55 to continue a lifetime of learning in a relaxed atmosphere, without the strain of having to do outside study, write papers or take tests. Members plan, organize, and shape the curriculum, which includes Quincy University faculty and guest lecturers, discussion groups, seminars, and workshops.

Click here for the latest issue of the Polis Patter

POLIS offers courses for the Fall Semester and Spring Semester concurrent with Quincy University degree courses. Most classes are held at Quincy University's North Campus (North 18th Street and Seminary Road) from 2:00 to 4:00 PM with alternate locations and times for field classes.

  • 9/9 – Great Recession of 2008
  • 9/10 & 9/12 – Measure for Measure
  • 9/11 – Dr. Michael Swango, Serial Killer
  • 9/16 – The True John Wood
  • 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, & 10/9 – Chapel’s Stained Glass Windows
  • 9/19 & 9/26 – Women in United States Wars
  • 9/23 – Bus Tour Holocaust Museum in STL
  • 9/24 – Generation Gaps
  • 10/1 – The Political Animal
  • 10/3 – Ten Things Art Can Do For You
  • 10/16 & 10/23 – WWI: A War in Two Parts
  • 10/17 – Wildlife of the Tri-State Region
  • 10/27 – Climate Change: New or Old
  • 10/24 – Chemical Demonstrations
  • 10/30 – St. Francis Church
  • 11/4 & 11/7 - Development Distance Education
  • 11/5 & 11/12 - Understanding Terrorism
  • 11/11 – Homer’s Iliad: Then and Now
  • 11/13 & 11/14 - Treatment of Victims
  • 11/19 – Of Sewing Machines & Umbrellas
  • 11/20 & 12/2 – Short Fiction
  • 11/21 – Basics of the U.S. Constitution

Free parking is provided at the North Campus.

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