lifelong learning

Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Kenton

people standing at a table talking
Steve Kenton, center, in the blue jacket, discusses CLIR at a UConn event in 2015.

UConn Extension’s Center for Learning in Retirement (CLIR) provides meaningful and serious intellectual activities for retirees and other adults from all walks of life, conducted in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. Volunteers work to put together interesting speakers for various sessions through the year. One of these volunteers is CLIR President, Dr. Steve Kenton. With the help of the CLIR Council, a volunteer board, Dr. Kenton directs and oversees the CLIR program.

Dr. Kenton is a 1964 UConn alumnus in the Department of Mathematics and has led a busy life. He went on to graduate school and then became a Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Eastern Connecticut State University where he also served as the Head of the Mathematics Department until he retired in 2008. He spent two years as a volunteer for the Peace Corps in Nigeria and had various sabbaticals in Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Thailand. Dr. Kenton enjoys learning new things throughout his life. He always stayed connected with UConn, serving as a self-defense instructor for the Women’s Center, becoming involved in the CLIR program, and most recently, working with the Alumni Center arranging a 50th reunion for the Allen House Alumni. 

Steve first learned about CLIR through colleagues who were members of this Extension program. He started participating in CLIR workshops right after he retired in 2008.  He has now served as the President of the program for the past eight years! Some of his duties include recruiting speakers for the workshops. This might sound like a daunting task but Steve has great volunteers on the CLIR Council who help him with most of the work. Every season there is an impressive line-up of highly educated speakers who cover a wide variety of interesting topics. Each year CLIR offers 3 sessions (Winter, Spring, and Fall) that consist of around 25 single and a few multi-week classes. He can also always rely on the UConn Extension staff to help make a successful program. The most popular classes of CLIR participants are topics on history and political science. Steve volunteers his time because he likes supporting  a community of like minded lifelong learners like himself. He remarks, “As one ages, it is increasingly important to interact socially, and to be of service.”

Steve is making an impact by ensuring the CLIR Council runs smoothly and positions themselves within the overall mission of UConn Extension. With his help CLIR is financially stable. His favorite impression is when the speakers happily realize the CLIR audience are not just passive listeners–rather, they eagerly interact with the presenter.  Steve can’t pinpoint a favorite speaker he has listened to through CLIR since they are all excellent but one of his most memorable classes was when Rebecca Lobo, a beloved UConn Basketball alumna, spoke to the largest audience in attendance of over 75 people (pre-pandemic). When asked if he has any advice for Extension volunteers, Steve said “Take pride in being of service to your community of interest.” It’s important to go into volunteering having a goal so you can enhance your group’s role. He also mentions that, “With the critical continuing support of the UConn Extension staff and volunteers from among our membership, CLIR has a bright future as part of the Extension family.”

UConn CAHNR Extension has more than 100 years’ experience strengthening communities in Connecticut and beyond. Extension programs address the full range of issues set forth in CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:

  • Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
  • Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
  • Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
  • Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate.

Programs delivered by Extension reach individuals, communities, and businesses in each of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities. Learn more about our volunteer programs at s.uconn.edu/volunteers.

Article by Emily Syme

Lifelong Learning with CLIR Begins Again in January

CLIR speakerThe Center for Learning in Retirement, otherwise known as CLIR, is one of the many programs offered through the University of Connecticut (UConn) Extension, part of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. CLIR is a lifelong learning program that provides meaningful and serious intellectual activities for adults of retirement age. Individuals from all walks of life are welcome and there is no educational requirement, just a desire for learning.

Each CLIR class is approximately 1.5 hours long and held in Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot campus. CLIR covers a wide range of topics including agriculture, technology, psychology, culture, and so much more. It is not too late to register for one of the many classes available during the spring semester that starts in January. The fee for each semester is $20 and there is no limit on the number of classes you can attend. Interested participants are also welcome to attend two free classes before deciding to join CLIR.

Michael Adams, a professor from Eastern Connecticut State University, will be teaching a course January 3rd on close up and macrophotography. On January 15th the President and Secretary of Windham County National Alliance of Mental Illness will be teaching a class on Mental Health Awareness. Cameron Faustman, the Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, will be teaching a class on Food Insecurity on March 13th.

Interested in learning more and seeing what other classes CLIR has to offer? Visit clir.uconn.edu, email marilyn.diaz@uconn.edu to get on our email list, or call us at (860)570-9012. We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Fall Semester of Lifelong Learning Classes Begins Sept. 7th

Exercise your mind with good friends.

CLIR speakerUConn Extension‘s Center for Learning in Retirement (CLIR) provides meaningful and serious intellectual activities for retirees and other adults from all walks of life, conducted in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. There are no academic requirements.

CLIR classes are offered in two formats: single classes and courses. A single class is one hour-and-a-half class. A course consists of two or more classes scheduled in successive weeks. Classes for the fall semester begin on Tuesday, September 4th. You can view the course catalog at https://clir.uconn.edu and register online at http://www.cahnrconference.uconn.edu. The cost is only $20 per semester for an unlimited number of classes.

All classes will be held at the Vernon Cottage on the Mansfield Depot Campus at the University of Connecticut. This is a change from previous arrangements because of extensive renovations of several cottages.

Join CLIR today. New members are always welcome! If you would like to sample a class or two at no cost you are invited to do so.

Lifelong Learning Classes Offered in April

CLIR speaker

CLIR, a lifelong learning program offered in collaboration with UConn Extension, will hold the following classes in April, all in Vernon Cottage on UConn’s Depot Campus, from 1:15 to 2:45 except for the Memoir Club.

Memoir Club                 Thursdays, April 5 – 26     10:15 – 11:45

Great Decisions             Mondays, April 9 – 30

Apr 3 Slavery in Film
Apr 11 Biking for Veterans: a cross-country trip  
Apr 18 Mind Over Matter: imagination, male and female brains, and meditation  
Apr 19 Reflections on a Life of Crime, with Attorney Mark Hauslaib
Apr 24 Climate Change, Flooding and Mitigation in the Northeast  
Apr 25 The Conflict Between Nationalism and the Interconnected Global Community

Lifelong Learning in March

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CLIR, a lifelong learning program offered in collaboration with UConn Extension, will hold the following classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in March, all in Vernon Cottage on UConn’s Depot Campus, from 1:15 to 2:45, except for the Memoir Club.

Memoir Club                 Thursdays     10:15 – 11:45

Mar 1 UConn’s Osiris Quartet
Mar 7 What are Stem Cells and Why Should We Care?  
Mar 14 Slavery in America and the Underground Railroad  
Mar 15 Have the Irish Lost Their Sense of Humor?  
Mar 20 Why Europe Went to War in 1914?  
Mar 21 A Two Part Class on the Food Waste Epidemic

Part I: Implications of Food Safety Quality as they Impact Food Waste

 
Mar 27 A Poetry Discussion  
Mar 28 Part 2: Environmental Impacts of Food Waste and the Global/National Perspective

Lifelong Learning Opportunities in February

CLIR speaker

CLIR, a lifelong learning program offered in collaboration with UConn Extension, will hold the following classes in February, all in Vernon Cottage on UConn’s Depot Campus, from 1:15 to 2:45 except for Memoir Club.

Memoir Club           Thursdays     10:15 – 11:45

Feb 1 Musical Theatre – Words of Music
Feb 6 FAKE News
Feb 13 Before the War: the Multicultural Empire of Vietnam (1428-1945)
Feb 14 The Politics of Protection: The Endangered Species Act Past, Present, and Future
Feb 15 Devising Thread City: Performance as Public Dialogue
Feb 21 How Big is Your Water Footprint?
Feb 28 Tastemaker Turks and Modish Mongols: How “Barbarians” became the Arbiters of High Society in Medieval Asia

Lifelong Learning Classes in December

string group

CLIR, a lifelong learning program offered in collaboration with UConn Extension, will hold the following classes in December, all in Vernon Cottage on UConn’s Depot Campus.

Tuesday Dec 5  Origins, Measurement, and Management of Stress and Anxiety    1:15 – 2:45

Wednesday Dec 6  Medical Marijuana and Cancer:  What’s the Evidence?       1:15 – 2:45

Thursdays, Dec 7 and 14     Memoir Club                   10:15 – 11:45

November Lifelong Learning Classes

CLIR group

CLIR, a lifelong learning program offered in collaboration with UConn Extension, will hold the following classes in November, all in Vernon Cottage on UConn’s Depot Campus, from 1:15 to 2:45 unless otherwise noted.

Memoir Club                                                  Thursdays     10:15 – 11:45

Wed  Nov 1  The Origins of Christian Fundamentalism

Tues Nov 7  Programming Love

Wed  Nov 8 Music of the Early Baroque

Tues  Nov 14  Who Is the Buddha?  What Did He Teach?

Wed Nov 15  What Happened to Utopian Literature?

Tues  Nov 16  Statelessness and Contemporary Enslavement

Tues Nov 28  Can Voting Ever Be Fair in a Democracy?

For more information visit http://clir.uconn.edu.

October Lifelong Learning Programs

CLIR classroomCLIR, a lifelong learning program offered in collaboration with UConn Extension, will hold the following classes in October, all in Vernon Cottage on UConn’s Depot Campus,from 1:15 to 2:45 unless otherwise noted.

Memoir Club                                                  Thursdays     10:15 – 11:45

Wed  Oct 4  Putin vs. the World

Tues Oct 10  Everything You Wanted to Know About the English Auxiliary Verb, But Were…

Wed  Oct 11  Gender and Politics in a Comparative Perspective

Tues  Oct 17  AARP CT presents The Con Artist Playbook:  A Look Inside the Mind of a Criminal

Thurs Oct 19  They Called Her Reckless:  A True Story of War, Love and One Extraordinary Horse

Wed  Oct 25  Before the War:  The Multicultural Empire of Vietnam

Thurs Oct 26  Gender from the Perspective of a Biopsychologist

Tues  Oct 31  The History and Mission of the CT Superior Court