Adult Life Long Learning

We believe our church is a place where "we keep on learning together."

Life Long Learning programs
  Most programs will be scheduled for the second and/or fourth Wednesdays, 4:00—5:30 of each month.  Content will be varied, including philosophy, history, spirituality, archaeology, and education.  Most programs include time for audience questions and comments.

The LLL Committee is interested in receiving proposals or ideas for consideration



                                         Spring, 2019 PROGRAMS 

            All of these programs are scheduled for Wednesdays, 4:00—5:30

 Programs to look forward to:

 2019 Life Long Learning Programs


 Cliff Jackson

 January 23, 2019, 4:00—5:30

 Last May I read a curious article in the News Journal.  "Man with no tail discovered in Ormond Beach". What in the world? I don't have a tail either! I had no idea that people have tails. I'm 67 years old and now I find out about this. Unbelievable!   Actually, that is unbelievable, but it is exactly how I felt when I found out that I have Aphantasia. I am "mind's eye blind". My first thought was amazing. I'll share the history, testing, current research and personal experience of the condition. We will also explore related conditions like synesthesia and eidetic memory.

 Cliff has lived in Ormond Beach since 1980. He has a bachelor’s degree in Organic Chemistry. He had a chemical manufacturing business in Holly Hill, started in 1980 and sold in 1996. He is married to Cathy and has two daughters, Lisa and Sandra in the Atlanta area. Lisa is taking care of their two grandchildren Aden and Annalise. He enjoys fishing, is active with UU and is a member of two Toastmasters clubs. 

WORLD RELIGIONS CLASSES— led by Rev. Kathy Tew Rickey 1 st and 3rd Wednesdays 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 1 — January 16 & 30, February 6 & 20, and March 6 & 20. In six 1½ hour sessions, we will study the basic tenets of religions of the East: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Shinto, Confucianism. No pre-reading, no homework – just come and enjoy in words, pictures, and hear from some folks who are practitioners of these faiths. There will also be break-out sessions for class participants to explore and process with each other the many remarkable aspects of eastern religions. Rev. Kathy is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago, Illinois. She has been serving UU congregations since 2011 and has lived in Ormond Beach since being called to UUCOB in 2016. She shares her home in Ormond Beach with her little dog, Daisy. Rev. Kathy also serves as cochair of the F.A.I.T.H. organization. In addition, she is active in Toastmasters and enjoys gardening, kayaking, golfing, travel, and dining with friends



Brain as a Believing Engine

Dr. Jack Bates

Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 4:00—5:30

Survey research over the last twenty-five years has demonstrated consistently that many adults, often independently of their educations, hold a variety of pseudoscientific, supernatural, and otherwise illogical, impossible, or outright disproven beliefs about the nature of reality.  Among such widely held beliefs are that full moons cause violent behavior (up to 60% of Americans), that modern humans once coexisted with dinosaurs (up to 75%), and that psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance are established facts (up to 80%).  One way to understand such high rates of credulity is from the perspective that the human brain is a composite of interdependent modules that have evolved not to acquire and apply accurate knowledge, but rather to construct beliefs that help individuals survive long enough to reproduce; moreover, such beliefs do not need to be truthful to be useful and adaptive.  This talk will discuss the functions of several of these components and how those functions can contribute to construction and maintenance of false beliefs.  A set of guidelines will be offered to conduct skeptical assessments of our own beliefs about the nature of reality.

John Bates obtained his Ph.D. in general psychology from the University of Massachusetts, and recently retired as full professor and associate provost at the University of Baltimore.  For more than 30 years, he conducted research on the prevalence of and factors contributing to pseudoscientific and supernatural beliefs among large samples of American and Russian college students and has made presentations on these topics at meetings of various regional and national organizations, including Georgia Skeptics, the National Social Science Association, and the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology. 


      February 27th   Panel Discussion on Masculinity Crisis – Joan Thate

     March 13th The Royal Alcazar of Sevilla:  Jewel of Islamic Spain - Martha Brandt

     March 27th Reading Nietzsche in Our Turbulent Times - Kyra Brokoph

     April 10th   Panel Discussion: What Does Spirituality Mean to You? - Dan Kennedy                       

     April 24th A Discussion of Astronomy - Derek Demeter

     May 8th Today’s Religious Issues - Jim Rothweiler

     May 22nd Human Factors Psychology:  Making Designs Work for You – Shawn Doherty

Spring, 2019 Special Programs

World Religions - Rev Kathy Tew Richey - Wednesdays, 2019, 4:00--5:30:  Jan 16 & 30;    Feb 6 & 20;  March 6 & 20. 

Pre-K Education & Economics - Tim Bartik - Saturday, Feb 23, 10:00—11:30

Plato’s (Socrates) Apology - Ted Mashburn -   Saturday, March 23__10:00—11:30



 Debbie Wingfield

 January 9, 2019, 4:00—5:30  During this program, listeners will learn about Microplastics; what they are, where they come from, how they are affecting our waterways, and what we can do to prevent them. They will also hear about the impacts of marine debris on the environment and marine mammals and learn how they contribute to the problem of microplastics. Following the discussion,Debbie will filter various water samples, to test for microplastics.

 Debbie Wingfield is a Marine Science graduate from Coastal Carolina University. She is the Manager for the Volusia County Manatee Protection Program and Marine Mammal Stranding Team. Previously she has worked for Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge as an Animal Care Specialist and Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator, before that, the Marine Science Center (Ponce Inlet, FL), as an Animal Care Technician for seabirds and raptors, and at Banfield Pet Hospital as a Veterinary Technician.


December 12, 2018   Book of Job:  Bibical Existentialism? DAN KENNEDY, Ed.D.   

 The Book of Job, a part of Old Testament Biblical wisdom literature, addresses the age old philosophical and theological Problem of Evil.  Why do bad things happen to good people and good things to bad people?  Might it be because we live in an indifferent and impersonal universe?  This program, using a Biblical critical analysis  approach, will examine the origin and story of Job, and argue for an interpretation related to Existentialist philosophy.

Dr. Kennedy is retired from a career that combined psychology and education, spent mainly in university settings (University of Oregon, University of Hawaii, and Florida International University).  He was a licensed psychologist for a number of years in Hawaii and Florida.  After retirement Dan remained active in education for several years through adjunct faculty positions at the University of Central Florida and Nova Southeastern University.  In addition to education, areas of interest include the humanities, social sciences, history and philosophy of science, and exercise physiology and sports science.


The United States and our Constitution were founded on the philosophy of Reason and the climax of the Enlightenment -- the 18th-century attempt to combine science and learning to self-governance.  However, we seemed to have drifted from those lofty ideals.  Embedded in our culture is a force that could be a dialectical seed of destruction:  Anti-Intellectualism.  It is defined as opposition or hostility toward educated people and academic, artistic, social, and scientific theories associated with them. It is believing that common sense and faith are more important than facts, reason and critical thinking.  This talk will explore the historical context of Anti-Intellectualism and its implications for our future

Jim Rothweiler, with degrees in sociology and business, spent 35 years in the telecom industry conducting research to identify and analyze market needs for new services.  Jim attended his first UU community in Morristown, NJ in 1981, and has been with the UU in Ormond since 2010. 


November 14, 2018   EDGAR ALLAN POE  - IRENE CURRAN 


Irene Curran, a literary lecturer, will talk about Edgar Allen Poe, the Master of the Macabre, the originator of the detective story, his life and his writings. She will discuss how his turbulent life affected his writing; several of his poems, "Alone", "Annabel Lee", and "The Raven" will be included in the talk.


Irene Curran, a retired teacher from New Jersey, gives lectures on various authors and historical figures that she finds interesting, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Mark Twain and Agatha Christie. Irene received her B.A. degree in History from Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N.Y. in 1973 and her Masters' Degree in Reading from C.W. Post College in Brookville, N.Y. in 1978. She also earned her supervisor's certification from TCNJ, N.J. She now speaks at libraries, nursing homes and senior centers in New Jersey and Florida.



This program will provide an examination of the spiritualism movement (of which we have a local example (i.e. Cassadaga) as a religion, clairvoyant and healing practice, and as entertainment.  Its origins, beliefs, traditions, rituals, and principles will be covered.  Using a workshop format, lecture, discussion, audience experiences, and demonstrations will be included.  Ron “Mel” Melvin, known for his practice of entertainment type magic, is also a serious student of the history and practice of mysticism.


Preston Garrison took an 8-year sabbatical from his career in mental health advocacy and public policy to work as a contract wildlife and travel photographer and writer. During his time in this "second career", he was involved in a variety of projects in Zimbabwe, Morocco, Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica, and other countries, typically working with national tourism boards that were trying to develop eco-tourism strategies for their country. Preston returned to the not-for-profit mental health advocacy sector in 1998 and retired from the World Federation for Mental Health in September 2009. His love for wilderness travel and photography continues and, in November - December of 2017, he fulfilled a life-long dream by taking an expedition trip to Antarctica aboard Quark Expedition's Ocean Adventurer. He will share his adventure with us through comments and his photographs.



                                      League of Women Voters – Volusia County 

                                                   Life Long Learning Program 

                                               Saturday, October 6, 2018, 10:00—11:30 am 

                                                      Unitarian-Universalist Congregation 

                                                      56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL  

Every 20 years a Constitutional Revision Committee (CRC) meets and proposes amendments to Florida's constitution. This year’s November ballot will have thirteen Florida constitutional amendments. Although the CRC only proposed eight, most are "bundled", which means multiple changes are contained in a single amendment. The ballot also contains amendments proposed by the state legislature and by citizen petition. This vote is important, as the Florida Constitution is the highest law of the state, and other laws and regulations must be compatible with it.  

The League of Women Voters (a non-partisan organization), is working to clear the fog. This presentation will discuss each of the proposed Florida Constitutional Amendments and explain, for each amendment, what happens if it passes and what happens if it does not. Also, information will be provided about who supports each amendment and who opposes it. 

            September 26___Ashley Lear__Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

This program reports on a new book by Dr, Ashley Lear, The Remarkable Kinship of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Ellen Glasgow, which examines the deep connections between two pioneers of American literature who broke the mold for women writers of their time. Pulitzer Prize–winning novelists Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Ellen Glasgow had divergent careers in different locations—Rawlings in backcountry Florida and Glasgow in urban Virginia—yet their correspondence on life and writing reveals one of the great literary friendships of the South. Rawlings felt such admiration for Glasgow that she spent the last year of her life compiling materials for Glasgow’s biography, a work she never completed. The author draws on the documents Rawlings collected about Glasgow, Rawlings’s personal notes, and letters between the two writers to describe the experiences that brought them together.

 Dr. Ashely Lear is an associate professor of humanities at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dr. Lear has a B.A. in English and Psychology from the College of William and Mary, an M.A. from Wake Forest University in English, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Houston. Prior to accepting a position with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, she completed a year as a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech. Dr. Lear's research interests include digital pedagogy, literature of the American South, science fiction, and women's literature.

 LLL Programs resume in September




 Preston Garrison

                                                                  Life Long Learning Program

                                               Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 4:00—5:30

                                                      Unitarian-Universalist Congregation

                                                      56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL 


People with mental disorders and problems say that the social stigma attached to mental ill health and the discrimination they experience, often reinforced by media depictions and language can make recovery more difficult. This presentation will explore the history, course of development, impact, and current trends in the stigmatization of people experiencing and living with one of the world’s most common and complicated areas of global health.


Preston Garrison retired in September 2009 as the Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer of the World Federation for Mental Health, the oldest and largest international citizen’s advocacy and educational organization working in the field of mental health. Preston served as the chief executive officer for the National Mental Health Association (US) (now Mental Health America) from 1984 through 1991. Prior to appointment to that position, he served as chief staff officer for NMHA affiliates in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida, which focused on the development of effective grassroots mental health public policy advocacy, public awareness, and consumer involvement.

 Poetry is Personal 

Jim Cunningham, Rodney Rogers, Joan Thate 

                                                                  Life Long Learning Program 

                                               Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 4:00—5:30 

                                                      Unitarian-Universalist Congregation 

                                                      56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL  

This program presents a panel of poetry aficionados, who will discuss their individual, personal experience with poetry. Each will explain why poetry is important in their life and will share with us some poems, which are meaningful to them. 

 Jim Cunningham has taught poetry and other areas of the humanities for forty-four years. In addition, Jim has served as Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and more recently as Associate Vice President, Academics and Director of the Study Abroad Programs at Embry-Riddle.  

Rodney Rogers has had a thoroughly unconventional forty-six year academic career, teaching literature, computer science, and aeronautical science at universities including Clemson, the Citadel, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He holds the PhD degree in English and American Literature from the University of Virginia and in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida.  

Joan Thate is the President of the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation Board of Trustees. She has spent a long career teaching high school student and then teachers. She has during her 47-year career taught American and English literature, creative and expository writing, speech, drama, American and European history, sociology, psychology, economics, advanced placement English and American History, and lunch duty.  She also spent her summers taking additional courses a variety of subjects. 


Are Unions Still Necessary to Maintain a Middle Class?

Andrew Spar

                                                                  Life Long Learning Program

                                               Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 4:00—5:30

                                                      Unitarian-Universalist Congregation

                                                      56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL

 Andrew Spar will lead a discussion about how important unions are to the viability of the American Middle Class.  Labor unions have brought us the 40-hour work week, child labor laws, retirement security, equity in the work place, and much more.  In the past couple of decades, we have seen efforts to undermine unions and American workers.  Good paying union jobs in America have disappeared either through automation or by jobs moving overseas.  As jobs disappeared, union membership declined, as did the middle class.  Today, employees are less likely to have job security, pensions, health insurance and annual salary increases that keep up with the cost of inflation. 

 Andrew Spar is President of the Volusia United Educators and Secretary/Treasurer of the Florida AFL-CIO. Andrew graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Music Education, and he has taught in Volusia County Schools for 23 years.



Dr. Martha Sanders Brandt

                                                                  Life Long Learning Program

                                               Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 4:00—5:30

                                                      Unitarian-Universalist Congregation

                                                      56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL

 Martha Brandt has been engaged in a decade-long study of Islamic art in museums and cultural sites around the world. This program, using a presentation-discussion format, will focus on La Mezquita in Cordoba and La Alhambra in Granada, Spain. These renowned monuments of the Andalusia region offer beautiful art and engaging histories relating to more than eight centuries of Islamic influence in Spain.

 Dr. Brandt, a retired college professor of French, comes from a life filled with art, music, literature, spiritual quest, and worldwide travel. Her experiences with these fascinating sites in Spain have been among the highlights


Life Long Learning programs  Most programs will be scheduled for the second and/or fourth Wednesdays, 4:00—5:30 of each month.  Content will be varied, including philosophy, history, spirituality, archaeology, and education.  Most programs include time for audience questions and comments.

                                                        LIFE LONG LEARNING 

                                                                  THE EPICUREAN RIDDLE

                                                                  TED MASHBURN, D.PHIL

                                                   SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2018, 10:00—11:30

                                                UNITARIAN-UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION

                                                                   56 N. HALIFAX DRIVE

                                                             ORMOND BEACH, FLORIDA 

Dr. Ted Mashburn, Professor and Department Chair of Humanities at the University of Mobile, will “take on” the Epicurean Riddle which is a major challenge to concepts of God.  Professor Mashburn is well equipped for this task with an academic and professional background combining religion/spirituality (e.g. Baptist pastor positions) and philosophy/theology (e.g. Master of Theology degree, University of Edinburgh and Doctorate of Philosophy, Oxford University).  This thought provoking program, using a lecture-discussion format, will provide time for audience participation.

For more information:      Dan Kennedy   386-672-2556                                         


Reading Franz Kafka in the 21th Century

Dr. Kyra von Brokoph

                                                                  Life Long Learning Program

                                               Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 4:00—5:30

                                                      Unitarian-Universalist Congregation

                                                      56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL 


Franz Kafka (1883-1924) lived in Prague, Czechoslovakia, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During his short life he wrote four novels, one play and many short stories. Only a small number of his stories were published during his lifetime. His substantial literary remains were published posthumously by his friend Max Brod. No other writer of the German language has had such a profound and extensive impact worldwide as Kafka, so much so that the twentieth century was named the century of Kafka. His work has been appropriated by philosophical and religious thinkers as well as psychologists. His novel The Trial has been transferred to the screen several times, in several countries. But most importantly his writing style and peculiar sensibility has become inescapable for writers who followed him. The term Kafkaesque has slipped into the vocabulary of literary critiques and journalists as easily as Catch 22.

Recommended reading for this lecture are some of his short stories collected in the volume The Metamorphosis

Dr. Kyra von Brokoph taught at St. Lawrence University from 1973 until 2010 where she held an endowed chair in German literature and culture.  She is the author of seven books and innumerable articles on German literature. As an internationally acclaimed scholar on Austrian literature, she lectured worldwide at conferences and universities. Her research and writing enabled her to live on two continents and spend extensive time in Vienna. Dr.  Brokoph studied English and American Literature at the university in Munich, Germany, Theater at Boston University and received a Ph.D. in German literature and Philosophy from the University of California. 

 Ambiguous Intelligence vs Artificial Intelligence

               Dr. Keith Garfield

                                           Life Long Learning Program

                          Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 4:00—5:30

                                 Unitarian-Universalist Congregation

                               56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL 

This program provides a discussion of the differences in how humans and computers attempt to make decisions in the real world, and the impacts on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The talk will give a practical overview of the kinds of tasks that you can expect current AI systems to do well, and identify the things that they cannot do well. This distinction is becoming more important as more of the objects in our daily life become computerized, active, and “smart.” The goal is to provide an expectation of the limits of AI now and in the near future, while describing why those limits exist. 

Dr. Garfield began his career as a structural engineer with McDonnell-Douglas, designing and testing space flight hardware used on a variety of satellites.  Following that, he worked on the shuttle payload integration team at the Kennedy Space Center before becoming a researcher at the Institute for Modeling and Simulation at the University of Central Florida. Now a professor at ERAU, Dr. Garfield teaches the formal mathematics and formal representations necessary to pursue software and computer engineering disciplines.  He also teaches programming and software engineering processes.  Dr. Garfield is actively involved with a number of research activities.  He is participating in designing experiments to study how air traffic controllers and pilots interact in the airspace of the future.  He is also interested in machine learning and creating artificially intelligent agents that can interact with humans in natural and intuitive ways. 


UUism & WHITE SUPREMACY CONCERNS                                          

 Wednesday, February 14 & 28, 2018, 4:00—5:30 

                                    Unitarian-Universalist Congregation 

                                    56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL 

Note:  This program is intended for members and friends of the UUCOB and will not be publicized to the general public. 

During the past several months the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has been expressing serious concern over issues of racism and white supremacy in the UUA and in member congregations, and has encouraged congregations to explore these concerns and issues.  To wit, recent UU World magazines have contained a number of papers with strong indications that racism and white supremacy are clearly present in UUism and need to be addressed in our congregations.  Goals of this two-part program are:   

1.  Examine the concepts of race, racism, white supremacy, and white privilege. 

2.  To contribute to an UUCOB assessment of these UUA concerns relative to 

      our congregation. 

Part 1    Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 4:00—5:30
A panel discussion format will be used to address the above stated goals..
Panelists:  Marion Ahlstedt, Ron Melvin, Rev Kathy Tew Rickey.
Moderator:  Dan Kennedy
Following the panel discussion:  1.  Questions and comments session.  2.  All present respond to a written questionnaire, the results of which will be discussed in Part 2.

Part 2     Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 4:00—5:30
Program Leader: Joan Thate,
A.  Questionnaire results presented.
B.  Small group activity.
C.  General discussion of trends & issues resulting from the program.
D.  Summary and conclusions related to the program goals. 

For more information:      Dan Kennedy


                          DR. MASSOOD TOWHIDNEJAD

                                             Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 4:00—5:30   

                                            Unitarian-Universalist Congregation    

                                            56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL  

 Artificial Intelligence (AI) and autonomy are becoming a major component of our day-to-day life. In this program, we will first look at how intentionally or unintentionally we are interacting with the different applications of AI; then, we briefly look at some of the different techniques and methods that are used in different AI applications.  Finally, we will look at some of the myths and aspirations about what AI can do for us now or in the future. We will conclude the session with an effort to build a human robot. 

Dr. Masood Towhidnejad is a Professor of Software Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dr. Towhidnejad received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1990. His teaching and research interests include STEM education, software engineering, software quality assurance and testing, autonomous systems, and Air Traffic Management. He has also served as a Faculty Fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Visiting Research Associate at the Federal Aviation Administration. 


                                   DONALD KENNEDY                                                                       

Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 4:00—5:30                                                                 Unitarian-Universalist Congregation

         56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, Fl


This program, using a presenter-audience interaction format, will focus on a major two faceted historical development in the visual arts.  The art world has seen an essentially bi-model distribution of work representing the categories of photo-realism and abstraction.  Other issues, e.g. judging and pricing of art work or political matters, may be discussed as interest is shown.


Don Kennedy, local artist, is retired from the Volusia School System where he served in teaching, guidance, and sports coaching.  B.S. and M.A. degrees were earned from Murray State College in history, fine arts, and education.  Additional graduate hours have been earned from University of Hawaii, Miami Ohio University, Stetson University, and Florida State University.  In the art world he has received numerous awards from juried exhibitions and has conducted workshops at various art centers and universities.


This program is free and open to the public.     For more information:      Dan Kennedy                                           386-672-2556


  Gödel - Philosophy, Logic, and Mathematics

Tom Hilburn
       Life Long Learning Program
        Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 4:00—5:30
         Unitarian-Universalist Congregation
   56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, FL 


This program will discuss aspects of philosophy, logic, and mathematics, concentrating on the relationship between the philosophical concept of “truth” and its use in logic and mathematics. The talk will demonstrate how mathematicians use deductive logic to prove the truth (or falseness) of mathematical statements. Finally, there will be discussion of the remarkable life of the mathematician Kurt Gödel, and how he shattered the conventional view of establishing truth in a mathematical system.


Tom Hilburn is a Professor Emeritus of Software Engineering and a Distinguished Engineering Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie-Mellon from 1997 – 2009.  In addition to teaching mathematics, computer science and software engineering, he has worked on software engineering education and research projects with the FAA, the MITRE Corporation, NSF, DOD, and the IEEE Computer Society.   


Unitarian-Universalist Congregation 
56 N. Halifax Dr Ormond Beach, FL 32176 
Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 4:00-5:30 
Panelists: Drew Hilburn, Science Teacher, Mainland High School 
Dan Kennedy, Retired Psychologist and Educator 
Carl Persis, Volusia County School Board Member 
Moderator: Betty Green, Professor of Education, Daytona State College


The K-12 school reform/accountability movement had its origins in the late 1970s to early 1980s, with a puzzling and controversial development, of which t many are not aware. The movement resulted in numerous educational issues which persist decades later locally, statewide, and nationally. This panel will consider such issues as: motivation for the reform movement; basic educational goals; educational testing; grading schools; charter schools and vouchers for private schools; and local vs state control of education. This program is free and open to the public and will provide time for audience participation. 
For information: Dan Kennedy 386-672-2556


 Florida’s Battle over Evolution in the Classroom

 Brandon Haught

 Life Long Learning Program

 Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 4:00—5:30

 Unitarian Universalist Congregation Ormond Beach,

 56 North Halifax Drive, Ormond Beach, FL

 This program will discuss attempts to influence science education (especially concerning lessons on evolution), which have been ongoing in Florida since the 1920s. Two new state laws are the latest salvo in this battle. One law changes the way textbooks and instructional materials can be reviewed and challenged by citizens. The other law allows students and all school personnel to express religious viewpoints free from discrimination. Proponents of these laws have gone on the record to boldly state that they will both be used to attack the teaching of evolution and climate change at the local school board level. Additionally, the Florida Department of Education started the process of reviewing and approving new science textbooks that will be used in classrooms for several years to come. This talk will focus on the origins of the new laws, their potential impact, and what concerned citizens can do to defend quality science education here in the Sunshine State. 

Brandon Haught is a founding board member for the nonprofit Florida Citizens for Science and the author of Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom, published by the University Press of Florida. Brandon served in the Marine Corps as a combat correspondent and then was a spokesperson for the Volusia County Sheriff's Office for a decade. He then transitioned into the classroom in 2014 where he now teaches environmental science to high school students. Brandon has been a guest on the popular national radio show Science Friday and recently had a column published in Nature magazine. He's been at the forefront of the fights over science education in Florida since 2006, especially battling against attempts to inject various forms of creationism and climate change denial into the curriculum.


Thriving in a Time of Mind-Boggling Change 

Life Long Learning Program 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 4:00—5:30 

Unitarian Universalist Congregation Ormond Beach, 

56 North Halifax Drive, Ormond Beach, FL 

This session will be a panel discussion based on Thank You for Being Late, a recent best-selling book by the New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman.  The panelists, Philip Elliott, Tom Hilburn, and Susan Garrison, will discuss the dizzying pace of contemporary technological change, the effects of this change on culture and the earth, and how we might minimize the negative and build on the positive effects of change. 

 Joan Thate, a retired veteran of more than 45 years in public secondary education teaching, will moderate the discussion. Philip Elliot is a community leader and attorney in the Daytona Beach area, Tom Hilburn is a retired professor from Embry-riddle Aeronautical University, and Susan Garrison is a retired elementary school principal and librarian.                                        

           November 5, 12, and 19  Sunday 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. 
Religions of the World: An Overview with Rev. Kathy Tew Rickey

Reverend  Kathy Tew Rickey

Life Long Learning Program

2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays, November 5, 12, and 19

Unitarian-Universalist Congregation

56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, Fl  

Reverend Kathy will discuss a few things you've always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sufism, Baha'i, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism,  and more. She will briefly examine the sacred texts, belief systems, values, and ethics of each, over a series of 3 two-hour sessions.           Email Reverend Kathy at        to sign up and/or ask questions.

 Kathy Tew Rickey is an ordained Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister. She serves the UU Congregation of Ormond Beach. Rev. Rickey has served congregations in Rochester, Syracuse, and Cortland, New York. She also served as a hospital chaplain in Rochester. Before becoming a minister, Rev. Rickey was a banking consultant and continuing education teacher. She raised two daughters and several dogs while living in various places in the Eastern U.S. Over the years, she has taught many adult and youth religious education courses in the context of congregational life.  


 Past Programs  

 From Enlightenment to Romanticism

                                                           Dan Gribbin

                                             Life Long Learning Program

                                               Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 4:00—5:30

                                                      Unitarian-Universalist Congregation

                                                      56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, Fl

 This program will involve discussion of the following:

In the 17th century, the phenomenal success of the scientific method (think Sir Isaac Newton) gave rise to the notion that Reason, which was rapidly developing Laws of Nature, could profitably be applied to society in an effort to improve, perhaps even perfect, the lot of humankind.  And so, it became the project of the Enlightenment (18th-century French Encyclopedists in particular), to determine what we might call the Laws of Society and to apply them to our betterment.  However, around the time of the French Revolution, there arose a significant backlash against the notion of the omnipotence of Reason, a movement which came to be known as Romanticism.  It would exalt Imagination over Reason.  It would regard Nature as a marvelous, organic process to be apprehended by human Intuition rather than being dissected by dry Reason.  (Think Ralph Waldo Emerson.)  Though born in the glow of the Enlightenment (the Age of Reason), the United States, with our breathtaking landscapes and our ready opportunities for individualism in thought and action, would become a ripe field for the evolution of Romantic thought. 

Dan Gribbin has retired from college teaching after 37 years.  He spent the bulk of his career as Prof. of English at Ferrum College in Virginia, teaching writing, film, and a variety of literature courses.  During the past decade, he taught African-American Literature and American Literature at the University of Central Florida.  He and his wife Martha live in Daytona Beach Shores and are members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ormond Beach, where he serves as Co-chair of the Worship Committee.     

   Gretel 's World in East Germany after 1945 

                                                                              Gretel   Timan 

                                                           Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 4:00—5:30 

                                                            Unitarian-Universalist Congregation 

                                                            56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, Fl  

Gretel Timan was a young girl when Germany split into the East and the West in 1945. As West Germany in the late 1940s prospered under the Marshall Plan, life in East Germany, ruled by Russia and Russian educated Communists, became extremely difficult. 

Travel between the West and East was increasingly restricted and a wall was erected by the East which included flood lights, watchtowers, dogs and finally a mined death strip. Tensions increased even more following Stalin's death in 1953. Current estimates are that 1,000 people lost their lives and thousands were imprisoned. Three million out of eighteen million East German citizens eventually fled to the West, mostly through Berlin until the second Wall was erected in 1963. Both walls fell in 1989 and Gretel returned a year later to meet with people who remained. Gretel will discuss her experience, impressions, and insights.

                                                                          June 14, 2017

                                                  Gretel's Cross                                                                           

      Meredith Wayne Price

4:00 pm  - 5:30 on Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Unitarian Universalist Congregation Ormond Beach,

56 North Halifax Drive, Ormond Beach, FL


Mr. Price will present life in Germany, focusing on the period between 1914 and 1945.  He will discuss his book Gretel's Cross, a historical fiction work based on an intimately told true story of forbidden romance, suicide, and tragic war deaths, along with the joys of everyday life within the idyllic surroundings of a German medieval town.  Meredith will bring historical events to life from the perspective of a family faced with challenges and personal triumphs.  

Meredith Wayne Price was born and raised in rural Indiana.  His early childhood on a farm shaped a love of family, exploration, and adventure.  Mr. Price’s BA in history from Franklin College led to a career in education. 

As a young adult Meredith taught for many years in Germany where he learned the German language and became immersed in the culture.  He resides in Ormond Beach and visits Germany often.   

       May 2017 LLL program 


              Professor Ted Mashburn 

Saturday, May 27, 2017, 10:00 - 11:30 am 
Unitarian-Universalist Congregation                                                                                                   56 N. Halifax Dr.       Ormond Beach, Fl 32176 

The Program will consist of a discussion about religious experiences and opinions related to the contrast between fundamentalist and liberal Christian beliefs and practices. Professor Mashburn will introduce the subject and lead a discussion about it with the attendees. 

Dr. Ted Mashburn is Chair of the Department of Humanities and a Professor of Philosophy and Theology at the University of Mobile. Professor Mashburn received his D.Phil in Philosophical Theology at Oxford University in 1985. Since then, he has had numerous publications and presentations in his areas of interest. In 1999, Professor received the University of Mobile’s “M. Ray Megginson Teaching Award”. 

 Life Long Learning Program 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 4:00—5:30
Unitarian-Universalist Congregation
56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, Fl 


This program will focus on recent past and current life in Iran.  An interview format will feature Dr. Dan Kennedy interviewing Dr. Massood Towhidnejad, who having been born and raised in Iran , is personally acquainted with and knowledgeable about life there.  His interests and educational background have given him a broad and insightful perspective of social, political, and general cultural matters in Iran.  The interview will consist of such topics as:  life in Iran today, socio-economic stratification, and opinions concerning Western culture.  Dr. Towhidnejad is Professor of Software Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and earned his Ph.D. in that field at the University of Central Florida.     

Murder in Paradise 

Sara Fogle 
Life Long Learning Program
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 4:00—5:30
Unitarian-Universalist Congregation
56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, Fl  

In the genre of contemporary mystery, crime, and detective fiction, Florida is blessed with many of the best authors writing today.  This presentation will address the reasons why the Florida setting is conducive to the genre, some of the most popular and successful authors, and the important  themes addressed in their novels. 

 Sarah Fogle is a Professor of Humanities and Communication and program coordinator for the B.S in Interdisciplinary Studies at Embry-Riddle University.  She has published extensively in the crime, mystery, and detective fiction areas, including articles on novels and films. 

June 2017  Life Long Learning

Gretel's Cross,    by  Meredith Wayne Price
Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 4:00—5:30
Unitarian-Universalist Congregation
56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, Fl 

Mr. Price will present life in Germany, focusing on the period between 1914 and 1945.  He will discusshis book Gretel's Cross, a historical fiction work based on an intimately told true story of forbidden romance, suicide, and tragic war deaths, along with the joys of everyday life within the idyllic surroundings of a German medieval town.  Meredith will bring historical events to life from the perspective of a family faced with challenges and personal triumphs.   

Meredith Wayne Price was born and raised in rural Indiana.  His early childhood on a farm shaped a love of family, exploration, and adventure.  Mr. Price’s BA in history from Franklin College led to a career in education.  

As a young adult Meredith taught for many years in Germany where he learned the German language and became immersed in the culture.  He resides in Ormond Beach and visits Germany often. 

                                                 Gretel 's World in East Germany after 1945 

                                                                              Gretel   Timan 

                                                           Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 4:00—5:30 

                                                            Unitarian-Universalist Congregation 

                                                            56 N. Halifax Dr, Ormond Beach, Fl  

Gretel Timan was a young girl when Germany split into the East and the West in 1945. As West Germany in the late 1940s prospered under the Marshall Plan, life in East Germany, ruled by Russia and Russian educated Communists, became extremely difficult. 

Travel between the West and East was increasingly restricted and a wall was erected by the East which included flood lights, watchtowers, dogs and finally a mined death strip. Tensions increased even more following Stalin's death in 1953. Current estimates are that 1,000 people lost their lives and thousands were imprisoned. Three million out of eighteen million East German citizens eventually fled to the West, mostly through Berlin until the second Wall was erected in 1963. Both walls fell in 1989 and Gretel returned a year later to meet with people who remained. Gretel will discuss her experience, impressions, and insights.



                                            Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 4:00—5:30

This program is an introduction to beach wildlife and habitat, related to the Volusia County Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).  It explains how we balance protecting our fragile environment with recreational activities occurring along our 36 miles of sandy beaches.  Topics covered will include sea turtle nesting season, shorebirds, other protected species, and programs and policies used to help manage beach driving and other human activities.

Jennifer Winters is a Volusia County native who has been a Sea Turtle HCP Manager since 2002.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography emphasizing Environmental Science.  She has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as an Environmental Specialist in wildlife biology, domestic wastewater and submerged lands and environmental resource permitting departments. 

                                     SLICES OF AMERICAN PIE, JIM ROTHWEILER

                                     Wednesday, April 26,2017, 4:00—5:30

America is a diverse society (e.g. ethnic groups; socio-economic stratification) which results in both opportunities and challenges.  Various ways of slicing the pie will be examined to understand our diversity, including Social, Economic, Political, and Technological factors.  We will examine the unique characteristics of each slice in terms of needs, motivations, and behaviors with members of other slices.  Our goal will be to better understand how we, and others, think about each other.

Jim Rothweiler, with degrees in sociology and business, spent 35 years in the telecom industry conducting market research to analyze needs for new services. 

                                            LIFE LONG LEARNING__March, 2017 


                                                    GEORGE ANDERSON

                            Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 4:00—5:30

George Anderson, a retiree from the U.S. Department of Defense Intelligence Agency, will present the career of Dr. Vannevar Bush (1890—1974) who is not known to most Americans.  However, the contributions of Bush to U.S. science and technology and to the U.S. government were truly momentous.  During World War II he was a major science advisor to the Roosevelt Administration, holding chair positions of major science committees and had a prominent role in the Manhattan Project.  At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he was a professor and Dean of the School of Engineering and made contributions to the development of computer science.  Professor Bush also provided the basic ideas for the creation of the National Science Foundation.

                           CLIMATE CHANGE and GLOBAL WARMING
                                                  Dr. Bradley Muller

                                 Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 4:00—5:30

Dr. Muller will discuss how we know that the earth is warming and the scientific evidence that this is a result of fossil fuel burning.  He will touch upon possible future scenarios for the earth’s climate and discuss actions that would mitigate the most serious impacts.

Dr. Muller teaches Aviation Weather, Physical Meteorology, and Satellite and Radar Weather Interpretation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Prior to Embry-Riddle he worked as an Atmospheric Physicist at the Center for Clouds, Chemistry, and Climate of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and as an Air Quality Scientist at AeroVironment,Inc.   His academic degrees in Meteorology are from San Jose State University and Florida State University.    While at Florida State University, Dr. Muller worked with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, researching water vapor sensing satellites.                  

   The State of Medical practice, An Ethical Perspective

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 4:00—5:30

 On Marth 29th, Dr. Frank A. Thomas, MD, will be giving a talk outlining his opinions on the contemporary state of medical practice in our country, from an ethical perspective. Dr. Thomas has been in the continuous practice of general surgery from 1972 until he retired in 2014. He has a special interest in biomedical ethics. He has taught undergraduate courses as well as advanced courses in bioethics to senior medical students.

                                  LLL Programs for February 2017

   Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 4:00—5:30                                                     

  TO HELL WITH HELL?               Skip Lowery

                                      Ideas concerning a possible afterlife of eternal torment in Hell have been with us from ancient to modern times.  This program will examine historical concepts of Hell found in religious and other literature.  Ethical issues will be raised, such as frightening young children with horrendous visions of Hell.  Opinions from audience members will be solicited.

Skip Lowery comes from a teaching (high school & college) and writing career background.  He is the author of numerous articles and photo-essays published in local and national magazines, as well as the “Mark Twain:  Stormfield Days” play performed at Deland’s Sands Theater and read at Sarasota’s Asolo Theater.

   Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 4:00—5:30 

                      FAVORITE POEMS                   RODNEY ROGERS, Ph.D                                   

Robert Frost was quoted in Newsweek saying he’d “Just as soon play tennis with the net down” as write free verse.  Not everyone will agree with this controversial view, but few would argue with the idea that a poem which rhymes and has a regular meter is likely to sound better than free verse when read aloud.  Dr. Rogers will offer a reading of some of his favorite poems punctuated by brief biographical and textual information intended to facilitate appreciation and understanding.  All of the poems are short and easily comprehended, and with the exception of a few, are by poets “playing Tennis” with the net up and stretched taut.  Attendees will likely leave with an increased liking of poetry.

Rodney O. Rogers is Professor Emeritus at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  In an unconventional forty-six year academic career he taught literature, computer science, and aeronautical science at Clemson, the Citadel, and University of North Carolina, Asheville.  He  has a BS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ph.D degrees in English and American Literature, University of Virginia, and in Computer Science, University of Central Florida.  During his youth he was a U.S. Naval Aviator.  For an example of type of poetry to be used in this program see:

LLL for January 2017  


                                    From a long range historical viewpoint human developments have contained both positive and negative aspects.  Has the general pattern been mainly positive or negative?  What are the prospects for the human future?  This two part program will examine these questions, and more, with help from the disciplines of biology, neuroscience, history, anthropology, and psychology.  Audience participation will be encouraged.

 Part 1__Wednesday, January 11, 2017__Human Nature and the Future 

Part 2__Wednesday, January 25, 2017__The World WE Want to Achieve

       Book Discussion: In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria

December 14, 2016, 4:00—5:30

Joan Thate, a high school teacher with more than 40 years in education, will lead a discussion of Fareed Zakaria’s book that the New York Times review called, “an accessible, necessary defense of an idea under siege.”  The book, a fast read, begins with Zakaria’s own educational story, defines and gives the history of the idea of a broad education in all the major academic disciplines, identifies what each contributes not just to a better world, but—just as important—to a better life.  He identifies the problems besetting liberal education today, and offers ideas of how these might be overcome. 

We will watch Zakaria give an 11 minute speech to the 2014 Sarah Lawrence graduating class that summarizes his book, and then open the floor for discussion.  You’ll be given an opportunity to purchase a used book at UU, or it is widely available in bookstores or online.   

LLL for January 2017 


                                    From a long range historical viewpoint human developments have contained both positive and negative aspects.  Has the general pattern been mainly positive or negative?  What are the prospects for the human future?  This two part program will examine these questions, and more, with help from the disciplines of biology, neuroscience, history, anthropology, and psychology.  Audience participation will be encouraged.

Part 1__Wednesday, January 11, 2017__Human Nature and the Future

Part 2__Wednesday, January 25, 2017__The World WE Want to Achieve

Caves of the Thousand Buddhas

November 9, 2016, 4:00—5:30

Dr. Geoffrey Kain will relate the experiences of Sir Marc Aurel Stein’s discovery of a secret library hidden away in a Chinese cave for more than a thousand years. Stein was a Hungarian-British archaeologist who led four major expeditions to Central Asia.  His greatest discovery came in 1907 at the Mogao Caves, also known as "Caves of the Thousand Buddhas.”  The caves form a temple system of 492 grottoes strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road.

Stein found a printed copy of the Diamond Sutra, which dates to AD 868 and is, according to the British Library, “the earliest complete survival of a dated printed book.”  Dr. Kain will also share a small number of the photographs that he took during his recent trip to the British Library and British Museum depicting various manuscripts and paintings that Stein recovered from Cave 17.   

Dr. Geoffrey Kain is a Professor in the Department Humanities and Communications and Director of the Honors Program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dr. Kain has a Doctor of Arts in English from Idaho State University, has served on the faculty of Fuzhou University, China and Xiamen University in China, and has numerous publications about Asian literature.

 Wednesday, October 26, 4:00—5:30

What is Spirituality?     Dan Kennedy 

For several years an increasing percentage of people in the U.S. are identifying with a concept of spirituality rather than with traditional religion.  When asked to explain their beliefs it is clear that spirituality means different things to different people.  This program will explore concepts of spirituality by way of a panel discussion presenting a variety of viewpoints.  The panel will consist of Charlie Ferguson, Betty Green, John Horner, and Lorell Remington, and will be moderated by Dan Kennedy.     

Wednesday, October 12, 4:00—5:30
The Greatest American President?     Tom Hilburn

In this presentation, with the help of the audience, Tom will explore what qualities and circumstances make a President great, who are likely candidates for such a title, and which candidate should be designated as “Greatest.”  For purposes of this session, only the first 170 years of the presidency will be considered.  Audience members will be invited to select and argue for their favorite.  Also, Tom will reveal and discuss his selection.  The purpose of this session is to get us ready for the 2016 election, without advocating any particular candidate. 

 Dr. Thomas Hilburn is a Professor Emeritus of Software Engineering and a Distinguished Engineering Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie-Mellon from 1997-2009.  In addition to teaching mathematics, computer science and software engineering, he has worked on various software and systems engineering development and research projects.

Wednesday, September 28, 4:00—5:30
Confucianism Anyone?     Kimberly Park 

Kimberly will discuss how Confucianism helped shape her character, beliefs, and behavior growing up in South Korea right after the end of the Korean War and how it impacted the process of her adjustment/assimilation into the American culture.  She will also offer her views on how this ancient philosophy/tradition, in conjunction with Buddhism and Daoism, still has strong influence on the cultural, social, and political forces in modern Korea as it navigates through the onslaught of Western beliefs/values, such as Christianity, consumerism, democracy, capitalism, etc. 

Kimberly spent her formative years in war-torn Korea until her family moved to Aurora, Colorado, one month before her seventeenth birthday.  She finished her education at the University of Colorado before moving to the Los Angeles area for employment.  She spent the next twenty-five years in various positions both in Corporate America as well as in self-employment, the most recent as owner of a real estate company.  The collapse of the housing market in 2008 precipitated a brief move back to Colorado before moving to sunny Florida for an easier life.

 When Cultures Collide, Pastor Kathy Tew Rickey, September 14, 2016, 4:00--5:30 p.m.

 The movie, "Crash" is set in the culturally diverse city of Los Angeles; it explores what happens when cultures collide in human relationships. Issues of cultural preservation, cultural competence, class, power, and privilege are raised in this fast-paced drama. It is an engaging way to help open dialogue about cross-cultural competency. You don't have to see the film to participate but it will enrich the conversation if you do. Pastor Rickey will try to arrange a "watch-party" of the film at church before September 14. 

The program will be presented by Kathy Tew Rickey, UUCOB's new minister. Pastor Kathy has a Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, Illinois. She is in Preliminary Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association and will be ordained in October. Pastor Kathy served as chaplain at a large hospital in Rochester, New York, and before coming to UUCOB, she served as minister to two congregations, one in Syracuse and the other in Cortland, New York.

 2016 Winter-Spring Semester LLL

 Programs run from 4 to 5:40 pm in Room 1

Life Long Learning

 WEDNESDAY   4 to 5:30 pm  Free and open to the public. 

May 11: Dr. Carol Thomas: "Exploring the Nature of Poetry: Tony Hoagland's 20 Little Poems that Could Save America and Additional Lyric Poetry.
Dr. Carol Thomas is a retired university professor, clinical psychotherapist and noted published author of poetry. She currently lives in Palm Coast with her husband, a retired surgeon.  Her educational accomplishments include: a BA in in English and Psychology from Saint Leo University, a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Saint Thomas University, and a Masters in English Literature from Stetson University. In addition she has graduated with a D.Min. from Pittsburg Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Union Institute and University in Literature and Psychology.   As a faculty member at The University of Connecticut she assisted in the development of a major in Women’s Studies as well as working as a full time psychotherapist with Shoreline Psychiatric Associates in Connecticut.  She has published seven books of poetry.
Her talk will include a view of how poems could help Americans face some of our stubborn problems, with readings from the Tony Hoagland essay mentioned in her title, as well a selection of her own poetry which also shed light on those problems.
May 25: Dr. Rachel Friedman: "The Messages You (Mis)communicate: A Discussion of Non-Verbal Communication"
Dr. Rachel Friedman is a Professor in the Department of Humanities and Communication at Embry-Riddle and has taught courses in Intercultural Communication, Media Criticism, Political Communication, as well as Speech. Prior to working at Embry-Riddle, Friedman was a professor at Penn State, Doane College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Dr, Friedman is the co-author of "The Style and Rhetoric of Elizabeth Dole: Public Persona and Political Discourse" and has an upcoming book on GOP women. Rachel is also a member of the National Communication Association, the Central States Communication organization, and Women in Aviation.
 Dr. Friedman will present a program titled “The messages you [mis]communicate: A discussion of nonverbal communication", addressing the central question: What do your facial expressions and clothing communicate about you? During her talk, Dr. Friedman will examine how paralanguage, culture and body/facial expressions communicate emotions to others. Often, we are unaware of how other people perceive us based on these nonverbal expressions. We will look at images across the world and see how common certain expressions are. Yet, the differences may astound you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 4:00—5:30 


Dr Schlieper, retired from  teaching at various institutions of higher learning, has a strong interest in the practical application of ethical principles to real life situations.  After a brief presentation on theoretical concepts, the focus will be on examining a realistic case study.  Audience participation will be an important part of the program

April 27: Dr. Thomas Hilburn, "The Constitution, Language and Meaning" Dr. Thomas Hilburn is a Professor Emeritus of Software Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie-Mellon from 1997-2009.  In addition to teaching mathematics, computer science and software engineering, he has worked on software engineering development and research projects around the U.S.  Dr. Hilburn’s talk—“The Constitution, Language and Meaning”— will explore the language of the Constitution, its interpretation by legal scholars and the public, as well as the impact of Supreme Court.  A lively discussion will follow—especially of how the meaning of certain parts of the Constitution have evolved and extended the original intent of the authors

Life Long Learning for March

March 9: Dr. Robert Fleck: Physics and Astronomy Professor at ERAU: " We Are Stardust"
Dr. Robert Fleck is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he has taught courses in physics, astronomy, and the history of science.  He received the University Outstanding Teaching Award in 2000 and 2015.  Dr. Fleck is a NASA and National Science Foundation supported star and planet formation theorist; his focus in the history of science is on the cultural parallels of science, particular those pertaining to the visual arts.  Dr. Fleck has held appointments as an NSF Visiting Professor at the University of Massachusetts, a Visiting Scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a Lecturer at the University of Maryland, European Division, and as a Perren Visiting Fellow at the University of London.  He holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Florida.  When not teaching and learning, he enjoys swimming, surfing, and cycling.

Dr. Fleck will deliver a talk titled  'We are Stardust "  In her song "Woodstock,"Joni Mitchell sings "We are stardust, billion-year-old carbon."  Indeed, we are made of the stuff of stars  Here is our "cosmic connection,"  no need to look for it in the silly pseudo science of astrology  This talk will trace the science of the life cycle of stars"stellar evolution" ”and point out exactly how we are connected to the cosmos.
March 23: "The Truth about World Population"

Through the magic of the internet we will see the world trends in population, poverty, and government as they really are, not how we imagine them to be based on obsolete information.  The presenter is an erudite but also amusing world renowned speaker..  Hans Rosling is a Swedish medical doctor, academic, statistician and public speaker. He is the Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed theTrendalyzer software system which graphically presents the truth of the world statistics.
Rosling's research has also focused on other links between economic development, agriculture, poverty and health. He has been health adviser to WHO,UNICEF and several aid agencies. The presentation is less than an hour, which will give us plenty of time for discussion.  You'll find this eye-opening. Don't miss it. 

LIFE LONG LEARNING: A Varied Program the Month of February 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 4:00 – 5:30 pm— “Posthumous Writings of Mark Twain”     Skip Lowery, noted writer and photographer, has long been a scholar of Mark Twain’s life  and work.  His interpretations of Twain have included the writing of a play and numerous lectures and articles.  In addition to his work on Twain, Lowery has been a high school  teacher and college professor.  His many articles, poems and photo-essays have been published in local and national magazines. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm— “Issues in K-12 Education”

   Come to hear a distinguished panel of educators discussing such topics as:  testing (e.g. grading schools,  evaluating teachers, student retention in grade); vouchers and charter schools; Common Core curriculum;    academic aptitude; and international models.

   Panel members include Chris J. Colwell, Chair, Department of Education, Stetson University; Susan Garrison,
   Retired Public School Administrator; Tom Russell, Superintendent, Volusia County Schools; and Andrew Spar,
   President, Volusia Teachers Organization. 

January 13:  Inequality for All  movie and discussion 

January 20:  Indian cooking demonstration (this will be a sign-up event limited to 15 people, no outside publicity) 

January 27: Dr. James Cunningham,  ERAU,  Poetry

2015 Line-up for Fall Life Long Learning Schedule

Programs run from 4 to 5:40 pm in Room 1
September & October programs are on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays 

It’ll be a good idea to clear your calendars to make room for the informative and fascinating programs we have planned for the fall “semester” of Life Long Learning.  
An Interesting and Varied Line-up for Fall 2015
September 9th:
Our first program, particularly relevant as we are flung willy-nilly-ready-or-not into the excruciatingly long presidential primary season, will be presented by UUCOB member, Dr. Tom Hilburn, whose subject will be
Statistics and Truth.” 

Professor Hilburn will explore the nature of the discipline of statistics and its relationship to establishing the truth of a proposition. He’ll explain basic statistical terms and techniques. Then he’ll use these basics to illustrate the proper and improper use of statistics to draw conclusions and make decisions.   He’ll also discuss the use of statistics in conducting and interpreting opinion polls.
Tom Hilburn is a Professor Emeritus of Software Engineering and a Distinguished Engineering Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Englineering Institute, Carnegie-Mellon from 1997 to 2009.  He’s worked on many projects for the government and private businesses, and has written over 80 papers in his fields of interest. 

 September 23rd Our second September offering will feature author Brandon Haught, a science teacher and activist who has spent five years researching the history of the battles in our state over the teaching of evolution in our schools.  The result of his research is a book Going Ape: Florida’s Battles Over Evolution in the Classroom, published by the University of Florida Press, on which his talk will be based.  He’s titled his presentation “Un-American, Atheistic, Subversive, and Communistic:  Teaching Evolution to Floridians.”       Haught describes his presentation this way: 

“Teaching evolution to impressionable school children in the nation’s schools has been a topic that brings out fire-breathing, head-exploding passion in people like few other subjects can.  Here in the Sunshine State, a decades-long war over whether evolution should be taught in our schools has swept up governors, lawmakers, university presidents, school board members, parents, high school teachers and average Joes in national headline-grabbing brawls.  This talk will center on the zany, outrageous, nonsensical and wacky things Floridians have said and done as they tried to save poor boys and girls from the evils of evolution.”

 See upcoming Jotter articles for specific details about the October, November, and December presentations, but meanwhile, here is a quick overview:

 October 14th and 28th Our own well-known and respected Dr. Dan Kennedy will present: Comparing Liberals and Conservatives.  This two-session program is designed to examine the psychological characteristics (e.g. values, attitudes, beliefs, interests, personalities, behavior) associated with conservative and liberal social-economic-political philosophical positions.  Format will include lecture, discussion, and participant self-assessment. 

November 11th Allison Berard, a director and therapist at the Florida Autism Center in Daytona Beach, will talk to us about the complex syndrome that is labeled autism. 

December 9th Our UU member Kim Park has devoted the last two years to researching and writing an eco-thriller, Purple Canary, a finalist in the Thriller-Suspense genre for the 2015 Royal Palm Literary Award by the Florida Writers’ Association.   Kim will present information about the massive bee death in recent years—its likely causes, potential consequences, and what might be done to change it.   The title of her talk: “What Have We Done to the Bees?” 

The Life Long Learning Committee is currently working on the spring schedule, which we know will include retired surgeon Dr. Frank Thomas speaking about medical ethics, Dr. Carol Thomas talking about how some relevant poems could help save our country, and Robert Reich’s film, Inequality for All.   We welcome suggestions from our fellow UU members.  Please contact any of our committee members: chair, Joan Thate, Dan Kennedy, Dorothy Dobbins, Peter Remington, Marti King, Jean Scott, or Carol Thomas with  any ideas that you’d like us to look into or good speakers you can help us contact. 

                                                                                                                                                           --Joan Thate--Chairperson 


Science and History Focus for May Life Long Learning 

May 6th : Dr. Judith Milkarsky, DVM, will present a program including scientific slides and photos based on her research on the problem of feral cats and the homeless in our very own community.  It's an eye-opening subject that has also become a political issue here. 

May 13th and 20th we will present a two part program that features a PBS documentary, Slavery by Another Name. The project is based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon. Slavery by Another Name challenges one of our country’s most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The documentary recounts how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged in the American South, keeping hundreds of thousands of African Americans in bondage, trapping them in a brutal system that would persist until the onset of World War II. The work of Dr. Blackmon poses the proposition that this dark and mostly unknown period in our history has profoundly affected the economic development of our black population and helps understand their profound distrust of our justice system.  It's a must see.  And a must discuss.  We will have approximately 45 minutes for discussion each session. 

May 27, Wednesday from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m LIFE-LONG LEARNING -- Slide presentation on India by Mr. Robert Arnettt, the renowned author of India Unveiled and Finders Keepers? --both award-winning books. Join us at UU for a unique sojourn to India, and experience its culture, customs, sacred sites of all major religions, art and architecture, monuments, and other remote sites seldom visited by travelers. After the presentation, enjoy a social hour.

 All Life Long Learning programs begin at 4 p.m. and run to 5:30 p.m.            Hope you can join us.


Life Long Learning in April: Understanding Islam and Looking at Our Options in Aging

In April our Wednesday afternoons will provide a rare and wonderful chance to learn about a religion that most of us do not know well: Islam. 

The Imam from the local Islamic Center and, we hope, many of his parishioners will join us for lectures and discussion on this subject.  We are also invitinga local organization, Women Into Life Long Learning, which has been studying world religions this year, to join our discussions. 

The Islamic group will be inviting us to an open house at their center later this month, so we are looking forward to establishing some connections with our meetings that will lead to some real dialogue. 

Wednesday, April 8: 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.   Islam 101

Wednesday, April 15: 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Going Deeper into Islam.

  Part 2.

Wednesday, April 22: 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Being Mortal. 

We will watch as PBS’s Frontline follows renowned New Yorker writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawnde as he explores the relationships doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life.  Following our viewing the program, Rev. Craig Roshaven, who has read the book Dr. Gawnde wrote about his growth as a doctor exploring this subject,  will lead a discussion on the problems and some of the solutions to dealing with this difficult, but universally inevitable event.  

Wednesday, April 29: 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  “Navigating the Maze of Elderhood”. 

Our own Kurtland Davies will use an ancient Italian story to help us understand the options we all have of using our years and wisdom to guide us through what can be a wonderful stage of life. 

It promises to be an exciting and informative line up this month.  Please put as many of these dates as you can on your calendars and join us.

 Joan Thate, LLL chair

 March 2015 

LIFE-LONG LEARNING—Heavily into Science
Our March schedule promises some religion and lots of science. We’d love it if you join us for all of these programs, which meet in Room One from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

March 2 (Monday): We will once again meet with the community group Women into Life Long Learning for a program entitled Buddhism 101. One of our members who is a dedicated and long-term Buddhist will be the
featured speaker. Please note the departure from our usual Wednesday meetings—the Monday schedule is for this meeting only. The time will remain the same: 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. 

March 11 (Wednesday): Dr. Emily Faulconer, from Embry Riddle, will present a program entitled “Fracking in Florida.” We are indebted to Tom Hilburn for making this contact for us after he had attended her presentation at the university and found it excellent.

March 18 and March 25 (both Wednesdays): Dr. Dan Kennedy and I are working on a program incorporating videos, short informative lectures, and lots of discussion on the subject, “Science vs. Pseudoscience.” We will look at what distinguishes the two, and how pseudoscience prevails today in spite of the advances in science.

Pseudoscience includes belief in a wide variety of disproven or unproven areas ranging from fad diets and other “alternative” medicine claims to beliefs in alien visitations and an abundance of paranormal beliefs.
--Joan Thate, chair

Wednesday, February 18:  Rita Sheeler will present a program on the problem with plastics and some ways of handling the plastic that inevitably finds its way into our lives.  This program is also the informative background for a project chosen by the Action for Social Justice Committee.  

Wednesday, February 25: A panel of members of the Action for Social Justice Committee will present the program they have described as follows:

Societies today are living through a period of heightened polarization based on negative assumptions and stereotypes of people and groups of whom they know little about. This polarization has led to a climate of intolerance and incivility. At the federal, state and local level, it has even  led to gridlock at the neighborhood level and has resulted in loss of life. Why is this happening and can it be remedied?

The Action for Social Justice Committee will offer a series of sessions to address the polarization and negative assumptions among Whites and Blacks.

The goal of the sessions will be to raise awareness and understanding of each groups sensitivities and challenges. These sessions will lead to proposals for actions that we can take within our communities.

The group will return to Life Long Learning in May and present their action proposals to the congregation as a whole.  

Monday, February 23, 2015. 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. 

Varieties of Christianity
It can be helpful to step back and examine the broad outlines of Christianity in America. Rev. Roshaven, a Unitarian Universalist minister, will summarize key insights from two books, The Restructuring of American Religion: Society and Faith Since World War II by Robert Wuthnow and Congregation: Stories and Structures by James F. Hopewell, to that end. 

January 28 2015  LLL

Free and open to the public:

The Life Long Learning committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 56 N. Halifax in Ormond Beach will host an informative program on issues that arise in the process of aging. The program will take place January 28 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.  Speakers for the event will be Estelle Pecchio, marketing director of Sarah House, a director from Council on Aging, Cathy Coats, and elder attorney Scott Selis or a representative from his office, and nurse Kathy Cabala.  This is not a marketing program. The purpose is to provide information about what is available and who to go to when questions arise.  A door prize will be offered.