Author: Deven Leigh Ellis

Grassroots organization finds fertile soil

Bill McKibben’s lecture created hope for chapter creation of his coalition, 350.org.   Bill McKibben’s recent visit to UVU spurred a collective enthusiasm about current environmental issues, and Associate Professor in Philosophy and Humanities Michael Minch thinks UVU is the perfect place for a 350.org chapter to take root.   “When McKibben was here on March 8, people were very excited [about 350.org] and I thought, ‘Maybe we can build something off of this momentum,’” Minch said.   A prolific environmental journalist who is well regarded in climate change discussion circles, McKibben also founded 350.org, which derived its name...

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Seniors ‘pay it forward’

The announcement no sooner left Nancy Smith’s lips before being drowned out by the thunderous applause of over 500 attendees. As Senior Director of UVU’s Donor Relations and Scholarships, Smith was privileged to announce the grand total of $55,488 in scholarship donations over the past seven years by Elder Quest members.   “Without these scholarships, so many of today’s young people endowed with great potential would never reach that potential,” said 82-year-old Bill Walton, a former psychology professor at BYU who teaches classes about World War II heroes to other Elder Quest participants.   A self-supporting group operating under UVU’s Community and Continuing Education Department, Elder Quest provides member-driven educational opportunities to local seniors over age 55. On Tuesday, April 10, the several hundred members convened at the Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center to raise funds to add to the $45,000 endowment Elder Quest’s scholarship already possesses.   Although Elder Quest members are aware of how they may be perceived by the greater, younger UVU student population, they don’t let that impression impede their goal of remaining active and engaged in their community.   “People think Elder Quest is a bunch of nice, white-haired seniors who sit around watching Oprah!” said Editor of the Elder Quest Newsletter Fran Reiser.   On the contrary, Elder Quest makes a concentrated effort to remain engaged with the surrounding community and views...

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Elders will ‘Quest’ for scholarships at seminar

The day a 101-year-old member of Elder Quest ceased participation in the group’s activities was the day she died.   A little-known “lifelong learning” organization for senior students over 55, Elder Quest has been supporting UVU since 1992 as an integral part of UVU’s Community and Continuing Education Department. Not only has the self-sustaining organization with over 350 members offered peer-taught, non-credit classes exploring everything from opera to Civil War field studies, it also sponsored 18 scholarships for nontraditional students this past school year.   Elder Quest President, 66-year-old Provo native Rhoda Zobell, championed Elder Quest as a proponent of UVU’s well-known tagline: engage.   “What better way to be engaged with the people who live here?” Zobell said, noting Elder Quest’s involvement with the greater Orem community and the university’s propensity to focus on younger, more traditional students.   Zobell also mentioned Elder Quest’s focus on collaborative learning and its goal to gather students and teachers from the same pool, emphasizing that “you don’t have to have a degree in anything to teach.”   In addition to its semester-long classes, Elder Quest’s $35 annual membership fee also backs monthly current event luncheons and weekly classic movie viewings.   “After a week of scholarly activities, we have fun,” Zobell said regarding the weekly movie night. Elder Quest members are also planning a trip to view the musical, “Wicked.”  ...

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Student nominees’ night to shine

Co-hosts lend novel perspective to 17-year-old event.   Seeing how the Wolverine Achievement Awards program hasn’t changed much from the previous 17 years, emcees Dr. Bob Rasmussen and Phil Clegg took the evening’s entertainment upon themselves.   Following an extended absence from the Ragan Theatre stage, Clegg, the assistant dean of students, acquiesced to Rasmussen’s beckoning and returned, eyes glued to his smartphone. Following an inquiry from his cohort, the dean of students, Clegg replied that he had “become addicted to this game, Draw Something,” currently the most downloaded app by iPhone users.   “You’re playing it now?” a...

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Two classes breathe life into summer term

Students yearning for a means to meld academia and notions of pop culture may find deliverance this summer in two classes taught by Humanities Professor Steven Hall.   Originally developed to attract more students to the Humanities program, “Post-Modern Hollywood” and “From Mozart to Michael,” both revived for their second summer, have attracted students from a wide range of majors, including cinephiles and casual movie-watchers alike.   Although both courses reside at the 2000 level, Hall stated that no prerequisites are necessary because of the way he teaches, proclaiming himself, first and foremost, “a student of films as entertainment.”...

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