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This issue of our newsletter is sent to members and friends of the Emory University Emeritus College (EUEC). I hope the newsletter will help keep you informed about our activities and help you feel connected with our members throughout the U.S. On the left are links to our website and links to contact either me or the EUEC office.
With best wishes,
Gray F. Crouse
Message from the Director
Our Lunch Colloquium last week had the largest turnout ever. You can read the article below to find out why it was so popular, and click to see two dog videos. It is great to see such good turnouts for our Lunch Colloquiums, but it is important to register for them as we have a limit on how many people can fit into the room (and how many chairs we can find in the building).
In addition to the article about last week's Colloquium, there is information about the one next week, about some exciting plans for celebration of the arts next spring, and about various faculty activities and opportunities for activities you might undertake yourselves.
Finally there is a thank you to those of you who have made donations this year, and an encouragement for those of you who have not yet done so. We are planning to honor our donors at an awards ceremony in February as a small way of thanking you for your vital support of EUEC.
I am very grateful to Gretchen Schulz and John Bugge for help with proofing and editing.
December 15 Lunch Colloquium
Colloquium and Holiday Party
Next Monday will be a two-for-one special! Read about it below and come to enjoy both parts.
The Luce Center, Room 130, 11:30-1:00
For more information, click here
December 1 Lunch Colloquium
How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
Given by Greg Berns, Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics in the Department of Economics and Director of the Center for Neuropolicy and Facility for Education and Research in Neuroscience
We had barely enough chairs for the record audience that came to hear Greg Berns. What did we learn?
A Season of Thanks and Giving
Now that we have made it through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, I hope that there will be at least some diminution of solicitations and associated emails! But first, this one. The approaching end of the year does provide an opportunity for reflection about the year and what has been worthwhile and what is worth supporting.
Our yearly donation campaign began in early August with a mailing to all of our members. It is difficult for me to express how appreciative and grateful I am on behalf of EUEC for your generosity. Funding from members is an important part of our budget and in particular helps us to do programming that we could not otherwise do. Over 100 of you have already made a donation for this year.
As a small token of our gratitude, I would like for those of you who have made donations to Save the Date: on February 5, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., we will have a reception for EUEC Award winners, new members, and our donors. Provost Sterk and Dean Forman will be in attendance, and this will be a time to celebrate those who have won awards, those who represent "new blood" flowing into EUEC, and those who are generously helping EUEC financially. You will get a special invitation later and I hope you will be able to attend so we can thank you in person.
For those of you who have not yet made a donation, there is still time! If you are comfortable making donations online, there is a link in the left-hand column of this newsletter that you can click and that will take you to Emory's secure website for donating. If you would prefer to make a donation by mail, you can send an email request to Kimberly Hawkins (email@example.com) and she will be glad to send you a donor form and return envelope, or you can just mail a check payable to Emory University directly to EUEC at The Luce Center, 825 Houston Mill Road NE #232, Atlanta, GA 30329. If you are not sure whether you have made a donation this year, Kimberly will be glad to check for you.
Thank you all for your generosity and support this year.
Celebrating the Arts next Spring
Next spring is going to be a real EUEC celebration of the arts. You will be receiving more information later, but I wanted to make you aware of what is coming up so that you can save the dates and perhaps begin to prepare.
We have been invited to display EUEC art in the Chace Lobby of the Schwartz Center towards the end of spring semester. A committee of EUEC members (Katherine Mitchell, Pat Miller, and David Goldsmith) is helping to coordinate this effort and will be contacting EUEC members later, seeking out the visual artists among you who have art to display during this period. We are planning a gala opening reception for Sunday, March 8, in the afternoon.
On Monday, April 6, Will Ransom and the Vega Quartet will give a special concert just for EUEC at our Lunch Colloquium (in the Carlos Museum) and then on Wednesday, April 8, Brenda Bynum will give our annual Sheth Lecture. Devoted to the theme of Creativity in Later Life, the Sheth Distinguished Lecture is named in honor of Dr. Jagdish and Mrs. Madhuri Sheth whose generous donation made this annual event possible.
Thanks to everyone involved in helping to put together what promises to be a grand time for us all!
Jim Keller is the voting representative of EUEC to both the Faculty Council and University Senate. You can read short summaries of the latest meetings of each by clicking Council Concerns and Senate Summary.
Atlanta Community Food Bank
A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who donated to the Atlanta Food Bank holiday food drive. The barrels placed in the front lobby spilled over with food and other items. Although the weight of the items did not reach our 400 pound goal, these donations will provide food to more than 181 individuals, including children and seniors. We look forward, with your help again next year, to exceeding the goal!
EUEC in the News
EUEC is a long time member of AROHE, the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education
. As you might remember from a previous newsletter, three of us representing EUEC went to the AROHE conference earlier this year. Below is an article that appeared in their monthly newsletter:
Representatives from Emory University Emeritus College attended the AROHE conference in August and did a presentation entitled "'School Forever': The Life of the Mind in Emory University's Emeritus College." John Bugge, one of the founders of the EC and long-term Chair of the Executive Committee, and Gretchen Schulz, Coordinator of the EC's successful Luncheon Colloquium sessions discussed the various highlights of the organization's programming, including the small grants for retirees pursuing scholarly work (the Bianchi Awards, named after Gene Bianchi, another founder of the EC), and the EC newsletter, slated for e-publication every two weeks by Gray Crouse newly appointed Director of the EC and also in attendance at the conference.
While at the conference they met Roger Baldwin, a professor of Educational Administration in the College of Education at Michigan State. His area of scholarly specialization is higher, adult, and lifelong education, and, of late, he's been doing a lot of work on retirement organizations, especially those that style themselves "emeritus colleges." As it happened, one of the Bianchi Awards mentioned above went to Gretchen Schulz, who applied for support to help cover the costs of attending the annual conference of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, hosted by Michigan State University, where she'd been invited to present a paper entitled "Better Late Than Never: Inter-disciplinarity and the Emeritus College of Emory University." When Roger heard Gretchen would be visiting his campus, he invited her to speak with his colleagues in the College of Education (and assorted others) about Emory's Emeritus College. Gretchen happily agreed, and all enjoyed a lively and informative discussion. Roger Baldwin of MSU in his thank you note stated, "I think my MSU colleagues left the conversation with a much richer sense of what an emeritus college can be."
Letters to the Editor
Below you can read all of the reader comments that have come in.
More are certainly welcome, and any suggestions for improvement or future articles (or volunteering to write an article) will be greatly appreciated!
EUEC Interdisciplinary Seminars
John Bugge is blazing a path that represents a significant advancement in the vision of what an emeritus college can be with his offerings of Interdisciplinary Seminars. Once again, he is inviting participation in a seminar next semester.
Click here to read about John's invitation
Emory's OLLI program (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Emory) remains very interested in recruiting faculty from EUEC to teach in its courses. To encourage EUEC participation, we are offering EUEC-OLLI teaching fellowships. For more information about OLLI and what teaching in OLLI is like, please click here
The new OLLI catalog is out for the January-March 2015 term, and four EUEC members are teaching
. Click here
to see the full list of courses. Michael Zeiler is teaching History of Psychology Part II
, John Bugge is teaching A Short History of the English Language
, Herb Benario is teaching Fictional History, Historical Fiction
, and Dorothy Fletcher and Bill Fletcher are teaching Exploring the World of Persian Miniature Painting II
. In addition to those courses, there are many more being offered. Register for classes by going to olli.emory.edu
December 15 LUNCH COLLOQUIUM / HOLIDAY PARTY
On Monday, December 15, we'll be dividing our time between a program and a party, both planned to enable attendees to celebrate the season by giving of themselves in a variety of ways, with pleasure in the process guaranteed.
(1) For one thing, attendees can give to the Emeritus College itself (and hence to one another) by responding with enthusiasm to our presenters' pleas for contributions--contributions in the form of SUGGESTIONS for ways in which the EUEC might enhance opportunities it already makes available to its members and add to the roster of such opportunities. In a Lunch Colloquium that really will be a colloquium, the co-chairs of our Membership Committee, Julianne Daffin and Beverly Schaffer, will solicit input from all, ideas on what the EUEC might do (or do better) for its members and what it might enable its members to do for the EUEC, the University, and the wider community, indeed, the wider world. Please come ready to throw some thoughts of this sort into our "collection bucket." We promise to sort through them all in the course of the new year.
(2) Then there'll be our actual "collection bucket"-or rather a "collection bin." We are reinstituting a practice from earlier times in the EUEC by asking members to consider making a contribution to TOYS FOR TOTS upon this holiday occasion. We'll take care of getting anything you bring where it needs to go. As for what you might bring? The website asks only that toys be new and unwrapped. And it encourages people to think creatively in considering what might qualify as toys.
(3) We'll be offering everyone lunch, of course--with the usual request that you r.s.v.p. as to whether you'd like the lunch or not when you r.s.v.p. as to whether you'll be able to attend. But we're also offering those of you who enjoy holiday baking a chance to share some of your favorite COOKIES-that-suit-the-season with us. We're seeking volunteers willing to bring a couple of dozen such treats for distribution when the party portion of our session begins. (We'll provide the sparkling cider.) Anyone who's willing and able to give in this way should email Viola (Tiny) Westbrook to sign up to do so. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope we'll get half a dozen volunteers, bringing two dozen cookies (or cookie-like-things) each (in non-returnable containers of some sort--baggies would be just fine).
(4) In between sips of cider and bites of cookie, you'll have a further chance to give (so as to enhance our party atmosphere) by singing holiday SONGS and sharing holiday MEMORIES. Don Saliers has agreed to bring his keyboard once again--and lead us in renditions of some classics of the season. And we'll alternate our communal music-making with chances for individuals to speak of special moments from their remembrances of holidays past--moments that might resonate with the rest of us, too. Please come ready to contribute in this special way. We'll try to allow time for all who want to do so.
(5) We'll conclude our party by having all in attendance vote on the attendee who deserves the award for "The Most Spectacularly Seasonal Sweater" (and whether that's spectacularly ugly or spectacularly gorgeous will be up to you). The winner will go home with bragging rights . . . and with a very special prize . . . we promise.
We look forward to seeing all of you who can make our special holiday version of the Lunch Colloquium. And as for those of you who won't be able to join us, we wish you much joy in the holiday season here and now, and look forward to seeing you in the new year.
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Faculty ActivitiesA Celtic Christmas
EUEC member Jim Flannery was one of the driving forces behind the Atlanta Celtic Christmas concert that took place for many years at Emory. The Emmy Award-winning film of the Southern Celtic Christmas Concert is being featured nationally on PBS as a Christmas special for the second year in a row. Here in Georgia, GPB is carrying the program for the fourth year in a row, with the broadcasts scheduled on Sunday December 21st at 4:00 pm and December 22nd at 11:00 pm. You can see a flyer describing the program by clicking here.
The Concert was for many years one of the most beloved and popular events of the Holiday Season among the Emory and Greater Atlanta communities. Called by the Atlanta Journal Constitution a "rollicking yet reverent occasion," in poetry, music, song, dance and story, the program celebrates the connections between the Christmas traditions of Ireland and the other Celtic lands with those of the American South. Performers in the program include three Grammy Award-winners along with a number of Emory faculty members and students. In addition, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney makes a rare television appearance talking about the inspiration for his beautiful poem, "St. Kevin and the Blackbird," which Jim then has the honor of performing.
Compass Records has released a beautiful DVD of the Concert that includes several bonus tracks, including a seventeen-minute interview with Seamus Heaney in which he talks about the reverence for nature at the heart of Medieval Celtic Christianity and the influence this had on his writing. Jim has been able to arrange for Compass to make the recording available to EUEC members at $15.00, including the cost of shipping (a $10.00 savings off the list price). Jim says these DVDs would make lovely Christmas gifts!
This special offer may be accessed by members of the Emeritus College through the following link:
Our last issue featured a poem written by Gene Bianchi in response to the last election. For those who would like to read more of his poetry, he reminds us that there is a link on his website,
A Persistent Scholar
On November 24, the Chronicle of Higher Education had a lengthy and entertaining article about one of our own "persistent scholars," Ron Schuchard. You can read the entire article by clicking here. Persistent in this case refers to the first letter that Ron wrote to Mrs. T. S. Eliot in 1970 (click here to read that letter) that did not bear fruit until 1987! Ron continues to work very actively on this project. You may remember the articles celebrating the launch of his first two volumes of Eliot prose in Issue 5 of this newsletter.
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How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog
Decode the Canine Brain
Do you have a dog? Have you ever had a dog? Do you even just like dogs? If you answer "Yes" to any of these questions then you have looked into a dog's eyes and thought "I wonder what you are thinking?" Of course, if you are like most of us dog owners, you are sure you know. Well, the good news according to Professor Gregory Berns, Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine, is that you are right! At least partially.
Professor Berns, author of How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and his Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain, spoke to a standing room only crowd at the Emeritus College luncheon on December 1. Professor Berns specializes in the use of MRIs in understanding cognition. He has gone from research in humans to research in dogs seeking to answer that age old question "What do dogs think?" Of course, all dog owners project their own emotions on their dogs. Yes, my dog shows remorse when he gets into the garbage or digs a hole in the couch, and yes, my dog shows happiness when I go for his food dish or produce a special treat. As dogs have no verbal language, traditional research into canine behavior has always been in the behaviorist tradition. Charles Darwin first described animal emotions seeing in them the evolutionary root of human emotion. Before Professor Berns' research, our judgment of a dog's understanding and emotions was based solely on how a dog acted.
Professor Berns, however, has devised a way to study their brains. Thanks to his partnership with an expert dog trainer, Mark Spivak of Comprehensive Pet Therapy, dogs are trained to hold still in an MRI machine, an unfamiliar and noisy environment, for up to 30 seconds at a time while their brains are scanned. Once a trained dog is in the machine, the activity in its brain can be monitored. For example, Professor Berns was able to see the differential response of the brain to hand signals for hot dog or no hot dog. Dogs with different personalities do react differently to some of his experiments, but his overall conclusion is that dogs do form bonds with their human companions and prefer their human to others. Yes, your dog loves you BEST! Future study will focus on impulse control and as some dogs in the study age, he will be able to study decline in cognition in the older dogs.
Not surprisingly, Professor Berns was peppered with questions. He emphasized that no dogs are harmed in his research. He uses only positive reinforcement in the training. When asked about whether he would consider studying cats, he replied that he did not think they would "enjoy" the MRI experience!
Thank you to Professor Berns for a really interesting and fun program and thanks to the Emeritus College for bringing him to us!
Your faithful reporter, Lois Lane (AKA Jan Pratt).
Click here to see How Dogs Love Us video
Click here to see What is your dog thinking?
Letters to the Editor
(OK-so there is only 1 letter, but there is space for plenty more!)
I have so enjoyed the newsletters this year and want to thank all who are involved in producing them. The November 24 issue is especially lively and interesting. The variety of topics, illustrating the many talents and great wisdom of our members, as well as the convenient and attractive layout make it one thing I look forward to seeing in my inbox.
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EUEC Interdisciplinary Seminars
For active faculty, it is all too easy to think about what one would lose in retirement, rather than what one could gain. As much as Emory as an institution talks about interdisciplinarity, the reality is that it is very difficult to accomplish what one needs to in one's own discipline, much less to reach across discipline and school boundaries. Consequently there are many faculty in our own schools we don't know, and it is all too seldom that we have opportunities to get to know faculty outside of our own school.
I hope that many of you have discovered that EUEC represents a place where you can interact with faculty from across all of Emory's schools and enjoy the different perspectives that people bring from their disciplinary backgrounds. The Interdisciplinary Seminars represent an ideal way in which to explore that interaction. John Bugge is willing to lead another seminar next semester. Read his invitation and description of the Interdisciplinary Seminars by clicking here. However, he invites you also to consider leading such a seminar yourself. There is no reason we could not have more than one seminar, and anyone would be able to participate in more than one at a time.
If you are interested in participating in (or leading) an Emeritus College Seminar, please send an email to John ( email@example.com) with answers to the following questions:
Which TWO of the suggested topics in the attachment (if any) would you be most interested in pursuing, in order of preference (first choice, second choice)?
What is your academic field or specialty?
Is there another topic not listed here that you would suggest as appropriate for an Emeritus College Interdisciplinary Seminar? (Please name it, and if you like, add the title and author of one or more books or other sources that you think would serve as a resource for the topic.)
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Emory University Emeritus College
The Luce Center
825 Houston Mill Road NE #206
Atlanta, GA 30329