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Course Presentations

Current Offerings


Presentations for February through April 2020

Presentations are held from 2-3 p.m. each Tuesday in Olin Library, lower level, unless otherwise noted.


February 4
History Museum on the Square: Then and Now
John Sellars, executive director

John will share scenes from old and new Springfield as he travels down memory lane and as a native Springfieldian, he has lots of them.

February 11
Springfield Ballet Company: Passion for Dance, Poise for Life
Ashley Walden, executive director, and/or Andrew Parker, artistic director

Discussion will center around Springfield Ballet’s history in the community, its mission, how it impacts the community and ways to get involved with the organization, if interested.

February 18
All Maps are Lies
Kelly Johnston

Maps spur our imagination. Maps transport us. In maps we trust. But all maps are lies. Filled with examples of maps from the Show-Me State and beyond, this presentation will forever change the way you look at maps. You will come away as a more informed and discerning map reader with an understanding that not only is it easy to lie with maps, it is essential.

February 25
Ozarks Literacy Council
Amy Jardell, executive director

Amy will discuss literacy in Springfield and how the community is working to increase its literacy rate, specifically adult low literacy, how to recognize it and how to help.

March 3
Investing in Education, Innovation and Economic Development
Allen Kunkel, associate vice president for Economic Development and director of Jordan Valley Innovation Center

The IDEA Commons district is home to the Jordan Valley Innovation Center and the eFactory. This presentation will provide an overview of the IDEA Commons district, and the expansion plans for the future.

March 10
A Debt of Dignity: History Flight’s work to recover missing American servicemen from World War II
Bill Garvin, director of Library and Information Services, Drury University

Bill will discuss his work as a volunteer with History Flight, a nonprofit dedicated to recovering the remains of more than 70,000 American servicemen still listed as missing in action from World War II, working in concert with the Pentagon’s Defense POW/ MIA Accounting Agency. Bill will describe the work he did on a project in July 2019 to recover the remains of three American airman lost on a bombing mission over Germany in May 1944.

March 17
Safe to Sleep: More than a homeless shelter
Jessica Lurass, Council of Churches

Safe to Sleep is a homeless shelter for women in Springfield. In addition to providing year-round shelter to more than 30 women a night, the shelter works with each guest on a case-by-case basis to find stable and sustainable housing.

March 24
Convoy of Hope: 25 years of delivering hope
Jessica Blake, public relations director, Convoy of Hope

Jessica will share the history and the mission having served more than 115 million people worldwide through six different initiatives: agriculture, children’s feeding, community events, disaster service, rural compassion and women’s empowerment. The group’s goal is to bring hope to people who need it most in the United States and vulnerable communities around the world.

March 31
Recycle Right
Laurie Duncan, education outreach coordinator, and Ashley Krug, market development coordinator, city of Springfield

Recycling, why bother? Does it really matter? And are there things I’m doing that might actually be contaminating my materials? There really is a way to make sure you are doing your part to recycle right.

April 7
Ten of the 6 Million: Please remember them, Hungarian Jews in 1944
Erika Schwartz, IML member

The family decimated by the Nazi Holocaust, Erika and her mother were the lone survivors. As one of the youngest Holocaust survivors, Erika has been a featured speaker in Los Angeles at the Museum of the Holocaust, the Museum of Tolerance and at various high schools. Now living in Springfield, she has told the story of her family at high schools and at the St. Louis Museum of the Holocaust.

April 14
A Region in Conflict: The Civil War era in the Ozarks
Dr. Brooks Blevins, history professor, History, Missouri State University

Brooks is the Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University. He has written or edited nine books, including “Ghost of the Ozarks: Murder and Memory in the Upland South” and “A History of the Ozarks, Volume 1: The Old Ozarks.” His talk comes from his most recent book, “A History of the Ozarks, Volume 2: The Conflicted Ozarks.”

April 21
The Ethics of Eating: How do we eat in a way that is good to ourselves, others, animals and the environment?
Dr. Peter Browning, philosophy and religion professor, Drury University

In this presentation, Eating is more morally complicated than we might think. Peter will explore processed foods, health, weight and body diversity, world hunger, the treatment of animals and the impact of food production and consumption on the environment.

April 28
Boonville Road and the Butterfield Overland Mail
Helen Murray White, author

Helen will discuss her research on the Boonville Road and describe the Butterfield Mail Route to Springfield, which ran front of her old farmhouse. She will describe the route from Tipton to Springfield, the focus of her book, “Butterfield Overland Mail Route, a History of Early Settlers Along Boonville Road in Northern Greene County, Missouri.”


Past Offerings

Click here to see past offerings.


Other Opportunities for Learning

Below you will find websites you may wish to visit in order to learn about other opportunities for expanding your horizons, learning about services which may be available for you and much more. If you have suggestions for other sites that should be listed, please write down the website address (URL) for those sites and give the list to the group leader at the next meeting of the IML. Thank you!

Institute for Mature Learners